Marc Bühler

Group News

Feb 11, 2020
Connecting two important processes in gene expression
Sep 10, 2019
Chromatin looping: CTCF versus ADNP
Aug 5, 2019
Unlocking the secrets of an important regulator of human development
Mar 19, 2019
A distinct form of epigenetic memory
Aug 2, 2018
Long non-coding RNA genes give away some of their secrets
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FMI report pages
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NCCR RNA & Disease

Marc Bühler

Epigenetic Gene Regulation

Research in our laboratory is focused on elucidating the function and evolutionary conservation of mechanisms that govern genome organization and gene expression in eukaryotes. We pay special attention to biogenesis, processing, and activity of non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and their potential impact on chromatin.

Our general strategy is to take advantage of the power of fission yeast (S. pombe) genetics to address fundamental mechanistic questions. Importantly, S. pombe has a functional RNA interference pathway and its chromatin shares many post-translational modifications and protein components with mammalian systems. This makes fission yeast particularly well suited for studying the link between ncRNAs and epigenetic genome regulation. Building on the findings from yeast, we investigate similar mechanisms and potential conservation in more complex model systems such as mouse embryonic stem cells, transgenic mouse models, and Drosophila melanogaster.

Our main interests lie in:

  • RNA interference
  • Trans-generational epigenetic inheritance
  • Heterochromatin silencing
  • Helsmoortel-Van der Aa Syndrome
  • ChAHP complex
To investigate the aforementioned topics, we combine several complementary approaches, including forward and reverse genetics, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, light and electron microscopy, protein crystallography and mass spectrometry. We have direct access to cutting edge technology platforms at the FMI, the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, and the NCCR RNA&Disease.

Marc Bühler

This is a list of selected publications from this group. For a full list of publications, please visit our Publications page and search by group name.

Lucas J.T. Kaaij, Fabio Mohn, Robin H. van der Weide, Elzo de Wit, Marc Buehler (2019) The ChAHP Complex Counteracts Chromatin Looping at CTCF Sites that Emerged from SINE Expansions in Mouse.

Cell. 2019 Sep 5;178(6):1437-1451.e14

Lea Duempelmann, Fabio Mohn, Yukiko Shimada, Daniele Oberti, Aude Andriollo, Silke Lochs, Marc Buhler (2019) Inheritance of a Phenotypically Neutral Epimutation Evokes Gene Silencing in Later Generations.

Mol Cell. 2019 May 2;74(3):534-541.e4
Highlighted in:
Capella and Braun, Nature Struct Mol Biol., 2019

Ostapcuk V, Mohn F, Carl SH, Basters A, Hess D, Iesmantavicius V, Lampersberger L, Flemr M, Pandey A, Thomä N, Betschinger J, Bühler M (2018) Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein recruits HP1 and CHD4 to control lineage-specifying genes

Nature, 557(7707):739-743
Highlighted in:
Jensen and Lorincz, Nature, 2018, 557:640-641
Kooy R: F1000Prime; DOI: 10.3410/f.733262791.793546116
Nowacki M: F1000Prime; DOI: 10.3410/f.733262791.793546888
Blelloch R: F1000Prime; DOI 10.3410/f.733262791.793550074

Flury V, Georgescu PR, Iesmantavicius V, Shimada Y, Kuzdere T, Braun S, Bühler M (2017) The histone acetyltransferase Mst2 protects active chromatin from epigenetic silencing by acetylating the ubiquitin ligase Brl1

Molecular Cell, 67(2):294-307

Kowalik KM, Shimada Y, Flury V, Stadler MB, Batki J, Bühler M (2015) The Paf1 complex represses small-RNA-mediated epigenetic gene silencing

Nature, 520:248-52
Highlighted in: Zaratiegui, Nature, 2015, 520:162-164

Keller C, Adaixo R, Stunnenberg R, Woolcock KJ, Hiller S, Bühler M (2012) HP1(Swi6) mediates the recognition and destruction of heterochromatic RNA transcripts

Mol Cell, 47:215-227
Highlighted in:
Ren and Martienssen, EMBO J, 2012, 31:3237-3238
Schuldt, Nature Rev Mol Cell Biol, 2012, 13:478-479
Creamer and Partridge, Mol Cell, 2012, 47:153-155
Barbash D, Faculty of 1000, 2012,

Full list of publications
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Group leader

PhD students

Postdoctoral fellows

Technical/Research associates


PhD students

Aneliya Rankova (2015-2020)
Lea Duempelmann (2016-2020)
Veronika Ostapcuk (2012-2018)
Valentin Flury (2013-2017)
Rodrigo Villasenor Molino (2011-2016)
Katarzyna Kowalik (2011-2015)
Rieka Stunnenberg (2010-2014)
Claudia Keller (2008-2012)
Katrina Woolcock (2008-2012)
Stephan Emmerth (2008-2011)

Postdoctoral fellows

Aneliya Rankova (2020)
Alex Tuck (2014-2020)
Philip Knuckles (2011-2019)
Ausma Termanis (2018)
Ausma Termanis (2016-2017)
Daniele Oberti (2012-2017)
Claudia Keller (2012-2013)
Julien Bethune (2012-2013)
Raghavendran Kulasegaran Shylini (2009-2013)
Katrina Woolcock (2012-2013)
Tanel Punga (2008-2010)
Heiko Schober (2008-2010)


Aude Andriollo (2018-2020)
Merle Skribbe (2018-2019)
Aude Andriollo (2018)
Gizem Incekara (2017-2018)
Lisa Lampersberger (2017)
Tahsin Kuzdere (2016-2017)
Alice Wenger (2015)
Silke Lochs (2015)
Adriano Biasini (2013-2014)
Rodrigo Villasenor Molino (2010-2011)

Visiting scientists

Chiara Ruggeri (2018)
Ausma Termanis (2017)
Scott Berry (2014)
Julia Batki (2014)
Rikako Tsuji (2013)
Ayako Hirata (2011)


PhD, Institute of Cell Biology, University of Berne, Switzerland
Diploma, Department of Developmental Biology, University of Berne, Switzerland

Positions held

Professor in Molecular Biology, University of Basel, Switzerland
Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
Assistant Professor, University of Basel, Switzerland
Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA


EMBO member
European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant
European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher Grant
Friedrich Miescher Prize, Swiss Society for Biochemistry
EMBO Young Investigator Award
Swiss National Science Foundation, Professorship
Bio-Rad RNAi Award
SNF Fellowship for Advanced Researchers
EMBO Long-Term Fellowship
SNF Fellowship for Prospective Researchers (gratefully declined)
Faculty Prize, University of Berne, Switzerland