Overview of the Departments
Eukaryotic Genetics (Prof. Dr. Jörn Lausen, W3)
A gene-regulatory network of lineage-specific transcription factors and non-coding RNAs regulates the differentiation of stem cells into functional cell types. Changes in central transcription factors, epigenetic regulators and signaling molecules are the main causes of cancer, metabolic diseases and aging processes.
In the Department of Eukaryote Genetics, fundamental genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of stem cell differentiation are researched. This contributes to understanding how cell type-specific gene expression patterns arise and are maintained. This research uncovers molecular target structures that can represent starting points for the therapy of leukemia and other cancer diseases. Based on the results of basic research, we develop new tools for targeted therapies and regenerative medicine.
Systems Biology (Prof. Dr. Stefan Legewie, W3)
Cellular processes are coordinated by networks of interacting molecules. Many diseases are caused by perturbations in these networks, and cannot be fully understood by studying single genes or proteins. Therefore, the scientific interest of the systems biology department is the wholistic analysis of gene regulatory networks, especially in the field of cancer research. By linking mathematical models with quantitative experimental data, the mechanisms of gene expression control and their heterogeneity at the single-cell level are investigated. The knowledge gained should contribute to the development of more efficient therapeutic approaches.
RNA-Biology and Bioinformatics (Prof. Dr. Björn Voß, W3)
RNA is involved in almost all central processes in the cells and takes on regulatory functions in particular. In the department of RNA Biology and Bioinformatics, biochemical and molecular biological methods in combination with tailor-made algorithms and software pipelines are developed to analyze and understand regulatory RNA networks in their entirety. The goal here is to use this knowledge for targeted interventions, again based on RNA, in a medical context.
Genome Editing (N.N., Tenure-Track W1)
The rapid development of novel strategies for genome editing is rapidly changing the field of biomedical research and its application. The professorship for genome editing is intended to cover the field of biomedical genome editing with innovative research topics. In particular, novel methods are to be developed and validated. Topics could be cancer therapy, the treatment of hereditary diseases or regenerative medicine.