Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

A decade of molecular cell biology: achievements and challenges


Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology celebrated its 10-year anniversary during this past year with a series of specially commissioned articles. To complement this, here we have asked researchers from across the field for their insights into how molecular cell biology research has evolved during this past decade, the key concepts that have emerged and the most promising interfaces that have developed. Their comments highlight the broad impact that particular advances have had, some of the basic understanding that we still require, and the collaborative approaches that will be essential for driving the field forward.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Takahashi, K. & Yamanaka, S. Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors. Cell 126, 663–676 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Kalab, P., Weis, K. & Heald, R. Visualization of a Ran-GTP gradient in interphase and mitotic Xenopus egg extracts. Science 295, 2452–2456 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Fuller, B. G. et al. Midzone activation of Aurora B in anaphase produces an intracellular phosphorylation gradient. Nature 453, 1132–1136 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Chapman, P. B. et al. Improved survival with vemurafenib in melanoma with BRAF V600E mutation N. Engl. J. Med. 364, 2507–2516 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Nazarian, R. et al. Melanomas acquire resistance to B-RAF(V600E) inhibition by RTK or N-RAS upregulation. Nature 468, 973–977 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Klar, T. A. et al. Fluorescence microscopy with diffraction resolution limit broken by stimulated emission. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 97, 8206–8210 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Betzig, E. et al. Imaging intracellular fluorescent proteins at nanometer resolution. Science 313, 1642–1645 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Rust, M. J., Bates, M. & Zhuang, X. Sub-diffraction- limit imaging by stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM). Nature Methods 3, 793–796 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Related links

Related links


Asifa Akhtar's homepage

Elaine Fuch's homepage

Tim Mitchison's homepage

Reuben J. Shaw's homepage

Daniel St Johnston's homepage

Andreas Strasser's homepage

Susan Taylor's homepage

Claire E. Walczak's homepage

Marino Zerial's homepage

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Akhtar, A., Fuchs, E., Mitchison, T. et al. A decade of molecular cell biology: achievements and challenges. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 12, 669–674 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing