Epigenetic research at FMI

How can the same genome give rise to a diversity of stable cell types? Epigenetics refers to processes that modulate the expression of a genotype into one or multiple distinct phenotypes. Molecularly, such modulation is mainly mediated by transcriptional and post-transcriptional modes of gene regulation.

The Epigenetics research groups at the FMI study basic principles of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation. We are particularly interested in understanding how such regulatory pathways specify and maintain cell identity, as well as influence cellular differentiation and reprogramming. To this end, we use numerous model systems including yeasts, worms, mice and mammalian cell lines. We develop and apply state-of-the-art approaches to characterize epigenetic regulation from single molecules to whole organisms.

We aim to understand how epigenetic mechanisms are involved in defining cell identity in order to exploit epigenetic regulators for regenerative medicine. Likewise, we strive to uncover how mutation or dysregulation of epigenetic regulators causes pathologies ranging from developmental disorders to cancer, neurological syndromes, and aging-related diseases. Gaining such insights is vital for developing novel concepts and approaches in disease treatment.

Epigenetics group leaders