The independent research groups at the MPIMG
The "Otto-Warburg Laboratory" of the MPIMG is the organisational roof for independent research groups, which are not integrated into departments. The groups receive their budgets from various sources (MPG, BMBF, DFG, AvH-Foundation and others) and may obtain additional finances through grants. The group leaders have full responsibility for their research and publications and manage their budgets independently. Their appointment to the MPIMG usually is temporary.
The "Otto-Warburg Laboratory" was named in honour of the biochemist and Nobel price laureate for Medicine in 1931, Otto Heinrich Warburg (1883-1970).
Despite their constant genome sequence cells of multicellular organisms have different morphologies and functions due to the execution of distinct gene ex- pression programs. In this context, transcriptional regulation is very important, as it controls the production rate of mRNAs, which together with the degradation rate determines the steady state level of mRNAs. Transcriptional control depends on the action of transcription factors, which bind to distinct DNA sequences in so-called cis
-regulatory elements. These binding events in turn influence the re- cruitment and activity of RNA polymerases.
Recent high-throughput sequence projects have shown that thousands of long non-coding transcripts are actively transcribed from the human genome, as well as from other organisms. Our research goal is to identify new non-coding RNA genes and investigate their contribution to gene regulatory networks in both high eukaryotes and bacteria. Although a lot of progress has been done in elucidating the function of some RNA classes, e.g. microRNAs, several mechanisms of regulations, as well as other non-coding RNA functions remain unknown.
The Mayer Lab is focused on understanding the key regulatory mechanisms that drive chromatin-mediated nascent transcription by RNA polymerase II in mature mammalian cells and during cellular differentiation. We are also interested in how a dysregulation of these regulatory complexities causes disease. To address these questions, we are developing and applying new quantitative genome-wide approaches in combination with bioinformatics and genetics tools.
In the group "Regulatory Networks in Stem Cells", we combine quantitative measurements with mathematical modeling to investigate how gene-regulatory networks control X-chromosome inactivation and stem cell differentiation.
The Yaspo research group focuses on cancer genomics and system biology of cancer, with a translational perspective in personalized medicine. Based on NGS technologies, our interests are centered on dissecting molecular landscapes of tumors for identifying pathway components and biomarkers associated with malignancy,, and on exploring gene regulation networks operating in specific cancer entities. Onging cooperative projects address various aspects of cancer genomics in metastatic melanoma, early-onset prostate cancer, medulloblastoma, pediatric leukemia, and colorectal cancer.
Biological networks are complex and dynamic systems that enable living cells to sense and respond to changes in their immediate environment. Although the main components of biological networks have been studied in detail, it remains unclear how cells decode and integrate the signals they receive into cell fate decisions. The Cell Signaling Dynamics group combines both mathematical modeling and experimental approaches to unravel the mechanisms of molecular networks by which extrinsic and intrinsic signals control cell proliferation and differentiation at a systems level.