Transcriptional condensates

Dr. Denes Hnisz

October 04, 2022

Are you interested in secrets of your most important genes? Do you have a passion for solving puzzles with a creative and collaborative approach? Do you find any aspect of stem cell, developmental or disease biology particularly exciting?

The mission of the Hnisz laboratory is to discover principles that underlie control of transcriptional programs during development and disease. We recently proposed a model that transcriptional regulatory proteins can form phase-separated ‘transcriptional condensates’ that play important roles in mammalian cells (Hnisz et al., Cell 2017). The central theme of the lab is to use the transcriptional condensate model to solve major outstanding problems in transcription-, developmental and disease biology. We combine advanced imaging, biochemical, genomic, computational tools, and work in highly collaborative teams. For some of our recent work see: Basu et al, Cell 2020; Asimi et al, Nature Genetics 2022.

Successful candidates will develop projects e.g., investigating the molecular basis of transcriptional condensate formation, investigating the regulatory functions of transcriptional condensates and elucidating their roles in various developmental and disease contexts.

We work closely with several labs at the institute, including the labs of Martin Vingron, Alexander Meissner, Matthew Kraushar, Stefan Mundlos, Daniel Ibrahim and are open for creative collaborative project ideas.


For more information have a look at the website of the Precision Gene Control group.


Derepressed IAPs form nuclear foci that associate with RNAPII condensates and incorporate nearby genes. Representative images of individual z-slices (same z) of RNA-FISH and RNAPII IF signal, and an image of the merged channels. The nuclear periphery determined by DAPI staining is highlighted as a white contour. The zoom column displays the region of the images highlighted in a yellow box (enlarged for greater detail). Merge of the nuclear z-projections is displayed, and overlapping pixels between the RNA-FISH and IF channels are highlighted in white. Displayed MOC and Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) values are an average obtained from 24 analyzed nuclei. Scale bars, 2.5μm.Asimi et al, Nature Genetics 2022

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