Radiation Response and Genome Stability

Department members have a strong expertise in radiation biology, which is highlighted by the DFG-funded research training group 1657 “Molecular and Cellular Responses to Ionizing Radiation” coordinated by our department. The training group focuses on a combination of approaches from cellular and molecular biology, biophysics and bioinformatics to understand the consequences of radiation from the molecular level to the whole organism. In this context, experts from the Biology, Chemistry and Physics departments of the TU Darmstadt collaborate closely with the renowned radio-biophysical group at the GSI and the Clinic for Radiation Therapy of the Medical Faculty of the Goethe University Frankfurt. Furthermore, we are members of the newly funded DFG CRC “Regulation of DNA Repair and Genome Stability” coordinated by the JGU Mainz.

In addition to studying the genome under stress, we are also interested in understanding its three-dimensional architecture and how it changes dynamically. Methods to study genome architecture have been scarce and, thus, the genome has mainly been studied as a one-dimensional polymer with little regard to its three-dimensional arrangement. Taking advantage of the well-established interdisciplinary environment at the Department of Biology, we are investigating the interplay between the three-dimensional genome architecture and its function (including genome replication, damage repair and expression).