I did my undergraduate studies in Biology at the Ruhr University in Bochum and became quickly interested in regulation of gene expression which governs virtually all cellular processes like proliferation, development, differentiation and interaction with the environment. During my Diploma thesis, I studied gene regulation in the dinitrogen-fixing purple bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus. For my PhD thesis I moved to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and investigated how different signaling pathways regulate genes encoding ribosomal RNA (rRNA) in human and mouse cells. This work focused mainly on signaling to the transcription machinery via reversible protein phosphorylation. The exciting discovery of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as crucial regulators of chromatin structure sparked my interest in epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation and I discovered a novel lncRNA (‘PAPAS‘) and how it modulates chromatin structure. Since then, I am working on elucidating how non-coding transcripts control the packaging and the activity of genome. I will tackle this question also in my new (since 2016) shared appointment at the Friedrich Schiller University and the Fritz-Lipmann Institute (FLI) for Aging Research in Jena. The main focus will be to understand by which mechanisms non-coding RNAs find their specific target sites in the genome to locally establish certain chromatin features.
Short Curriculum Vitae
* 8 October 1976, Meschede, Germany
Since 2017: Research group leader “Epigenetics of Aging” at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Center for Molecular Biomedicine (CMB)
2016-2017: Interim Professorship for Genetics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Genetics
2007-2015: Postdoc at the German Cancer Research Center, Division of Molecular Biology of the Cell II.
2003-2007: Ph.D. Biology (Dr. rer. nat.), German Cancer Research Center, Division of Molecular Biology of the Cell II
1997-2003: Undergraduate and Diploma studies in Biology, The Ruhr-University Bochum
Hobby: Marathon Running (‘mens sana in corpore sano’)