Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry
We investigate pattern formation, stem cell differentiation and apoptosis primarily in the cnidarian Hydra. We have chosen this pre-bilaterian model organism out of interest for the evolution of signalling pathways in animals. We focus on the interplay of Notch-, Wnt- and growth factor signalling during budding, pattering of the head and differentiation of germ cells, nematocytes and nerve cells from pluripotent stem cells.
In vertebrates we study the function of an oxygen dependent enzyme, Jmjd6, for development. Jmjd6 plays a role in modifying splice factors and we analyse target proteins for this enzyme and genes where alternative splicing depends on its activity.
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