Planned associated senior groups



Prof. Dr. Anja Bosserhoff

Molecular understanding of malignant melanoma - Lessons from embryogenesis

Cells in embryogenesis harbor several features like high proliferative capability, which are also found in cancer cells. In embryogenesis these characteristics are strictly controlled whereas in cancer this regulation is lost. In this project we will focus on a detailed understanding of differentiation and migration of melanocytes in embryogenesis compared to melanoma cells to determine molecular changes in regulation.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Engelhardt

Functional characterization of miRNAs and their mRNA targets in cardiovascular disease

MiRNAs are small, noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. MiRNAs are required for virtually all phases in the life of a living cell or organism and have been shown to play important roles in disease. Bioinformatic analyses predict an enormous regulatory potential of miRNAs, yet only few are well understood in view of function and interactions. This senior research group analyzes the function of miRNAs in the cardiovascular system.

Prof. Dr. Karl-Peter Hopfner

Molecular systems analysis of viral genome sensing by cytoplasmic innate immune receptors

The innate immune system is a first line of defense against invading pathogens. We aim at revealing how sensors of the human innate immune system recognize pathogen molecules and distinguish self from non-self. Our goal is to correlate quantitative and qualitative interactions of innate immune sensors with pathogen nucleic acids with their protein structural features and the strength of the innate response.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Klein

A systems biology perspective on pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases – novel genetic defects and basic mechanisms of intestinal immunity

Studying rare human diseases may offer new insights into basic biological principles. Here, we propose to combine the perspectives of clinical pediatrics, genetics, biochemistry, and immunology to propose a new systems-biology view on inflammatory bowel diseases

Prof. Dr. Andreas Ladurner

Systems analysis of gene regulatory adaptation to nutrient metabolism

All organisms have to react and adapt to environmental changes. Depending on the availability of nutrients, animals adjust their gene expression, growth, cell morphology and behavior. We study how changes in metabolism dynamically regulate nuclear processes like chromatin structure and its impact on epigenetic mechanisms and gene expression.



Prof. Dr. Gunter Meister

Proteomics-based identification of cellular networks regulating miRNA maturation

The genetic information for protein-coding genes is encoded by the sequence of the DNA. Protein-coding genes are transcribed to messenger RNA, which serves as the template for protein production. This process is commonly referred to as gene expression. MiRNAs form a class of small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of protein-coding genes and influence literally all cellular processes.

Prof. Dr. Robert Slany

Transcriptional priming as global mechanism controlling self renewal and differentiation during hematopoietic development

The stem- or founder cells of the blood system must continuously decide if they should self-renew or produce progeny to adjust blood cell numbers according to the current needs of the organism. Errors in this control system may have dire consequences including the development of leukemia. Therefore we want to elucidate on a genome-wide scale the identity and function of the respective genetic elements that control this most critical decision in the life time of a stem cell.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Spang

Algorithms, models and statistical methods for the analysis of genomic data in the area of tumor biology

Cells in a tissue compound communicate through proteins, which are secreted by secretory cells and detected through receptors on the receipient cell. Immune cells communicate non-stop with nearly all cells of the human body. Cells within the tumor stroma communicate with the actual tumor cells and thereby influence their growth, their potential to devleop metastasis and also their therapy resistence. 

Prof. Dr. Jörg Vogel

Temporal control of gene expression by small RNAs

Small RNAs are an abundant new class of regulators that massively impact bacterial gene expression at the mRNA level. In this project, we aim to understand how their regulatory activity differs from that of transcription factor at the DNA level. We will harness the power of new RNA deep sequencing technology to unravel the potential role of small RNAs as timing devices in several important physiological circuits including stress responses and virulence.

Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf

Developmental impact of maternal diabetes mellitus - a molecular systems study of oocytes, embryos and their maternal environment in genetically designed mouse and pig models

This project addresses consequences of maternal diabetes mellitus on oocytes, embryos and their interaction with the maternal environment. Samples from genetically designed diabetic mouse and pig models will be analyzed for structural, functional and molecular alterations to provide systemic insights into developmental consequences of maternal diabetes.

Prof. Dr. Ralf Zimmer

The Exp3 project deals with Exploring and Explaining Expression patterns in regulatory networks involved in host response to Herpes virus infection.

The main goal of the Exp3 project is to develop an iterative and targeted systems biology approach combining theoretical prediction and modeling with high-throughput experimentation to resolve cellular regulation mechanisms. From network, interaction and process models a number of suitable and informative perturbations are proposed, which will be applied via combinatorial knockdown of one or multiple genes, followed by functional assays for virus replication and a detailed measurement of the expression levels of a large number of relevant genes (again proposed via the models).