We have a strong expertise in radiation biology covering the full spectrum from ionizing to solar radiation. This expertise was consolidated during the DFG-funded research training group 1657 and is further showcased by several research networks funded by the German ministry for research and education (BMBF). In our research we use an interdisciplinary approach to understand the consequences of radiation from the level of single molecules to whole organisms. In this context, we collaborate closely amongst each other as well as with the research groups at the “Molecular and Cellular Responses to Ionizing Radiation” GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt
Within this initiative, we focus on mechanistic analysis of genome maintenance systems with the aim to establish functional connections between individual repair pathways and integrate them into larger regulatory networks.
In addition to studying genome function and stability, we are also interested in understanding its three-dimensional architecture and how it changes dynamically during cellular differentiation, reprogramming and disease. In the past, the genome has mainly been studied as a one-dimensional polymer, since methods that facilitate detailed insights into the genome’s spatial arrangement became available only recently. 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, gene expression and interplay with learning processes).