News in 2016

 

BIMSB topping out ceremony

BIMSB topping out ceremony


BIMSB´s future staircase

BIMSB´s future staircase

Progress of the construction

 

The concrete has been poured, ending the second phase of construction on the new BIMSB building in the center of Berlin. This was celebrated at the official dedication of the building on Dec 15, 2016, with the architects and representatives of the MDC, partner institutes, and the City of Berlin on hand. As the cement works are finished, currently the facade is mounted even during winter conditions. The rooftop and the roof terrace already offer great views over Berlin and the neighboring research landscape.

Now the impressive dimensions of the Atrium becomes visible, as the oval shaped open floors in the Atrium are released. If the work continues to run on plan, the building will be ready for the research groups to move in June 2018.

more information about the new location

December 2016


 

logo circTRain

STUDENT UPDATE: New circRTrain network offers PhD training for researchers studying circular RNAs

 

Venturing into one of the new big topics in RNA biology, the circRTrain network of eight scientific experts from Europe and Israel will be coordinated by Nikolaus Rajewsky, MDC, BIMSB. 15 PhD candidates will be trained in prestigious academic institutions and biotech companies, collecting experiences in a broad variety of methodological approaches and working environments.

more

November 2016


 

picture of Roland Schwarz

Roland Schwarz (Photo: Keith Happell)

AWARD: MDC cancer researcher Roland Schwarz awarded BBAW prize

 

Roland F. Schwarz of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) conducts research on tumors using bioinformatics. He has just been awarded the Prize of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation for the Advancement of Cancer Research, for his outstanding work.

more

November 2016


 

picture Translational Dialogue 2016

f.l.t.r. Thomas Schwarz-Romond, Markus Landthaler, Frank Slack, Gunter Meister, Nils Walter, Maria Carmo-Fonseca, Helen Habernickel, Jörg Vogel, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Katalin Karikó, Mariola Fotin-Mleczek, Werner Müller-Esterl, Lilo Berg

Berlin Translational Dialogue

 

On November 8, "RNA-Medicine: From RNA Discoveries to Future Therapies" was embedded in the Berlin Science Week as Elsevier’s second Berlin Translational Dialogue.

Markus Landthaler, BIMSB/MDC, and Gunter Meister, University of Regensburg, invited outstanding and international experts in the field to present basic and translational findings as well as emerging and established technologies and their way toward clinical trials and medical practice. The Open Panel discussion revealed the importance of supporting promising and recent therapeutical concepts through targeted funding of infrastructures, networks and technology transfer projects in the community; also of collaboration with small and medium biotech companies as well as big pharma to reveal the potential of RNA-medicine to the market.

Further information can be found on the websites of Elsevier and idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft.

For a short summary and video click here.

November 2016


 

picture of Meisheng Xiao

Meisheng Xiao (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Meisheng Xiao successfully defends his doctoral thesis

 

Meisheng Xiao, Chen group, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Dissecting cis-regulatory effect on alternative polyadenylation using hybrid mice" with the grade magna cum laude at the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin on October 21, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: W. Chen and M. Wahl

Doctoral commission: W. Chen, M. Wahl, S. Stricker, B. Wittig and M. Preussner

This research was funded by the China Scholrship Council and MDC.

October 2016


 

picture of Roland Schwarz

Roland Schwarz (Photo: Keith Happell)

BIMSB boosts cancer research with new research group on “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” headed by Roland Schwarz

 

How do certain genetic predispositions cause diseases – and how can they be identified at the molecular level? “The relationship between genotypes and phenotypes is still one of the major topics in life sciences,” says Roland Schwarz. “Using large data sets and modern bioinformatics processes, we can now explore this relationship in detail.” The bioinformatician has been lead investigator of the new BIMSB junior research group on “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” since October 2016. Schwarz wants his work, particularly in the area of cancer research, to contribute towards ensuring that diseases are diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively.

more

October 2016


 

picture of Tobias Opialla with Simone Spuler and Stefan Kempa

Tobias Opialla with Simone Spuler
and Stefan Kempa (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Tobias Opialla successfully defends his doctoral thesis

 

Tobias Opialla, Kempa group (BIMSB) and Spuler group (Charité), has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Metabolome and Proteome Based Analysis of Muscular Dystrophies" with the grade magna cum laude at the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin on October 12, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: S. Kempa and S. Spuler

Doctoral commission: S. Spuler, S. Kempa, S. Stricker, H. Ewers and Ch. Weise

This research was jointly conducted with the laboratory of Simone Spuler at Charité Berlin.

October 2016


 

LECTURE SERIES: Scientific colleagues come together in Winter Semester 2016/17 to present lectures on the topic of Single Cell Technologies. Please note that this series will be held on Campus Buch. All are welcome to attend.

October 2016


 

picture of Oliver Hobert with MDC graduate students

(Photo/Copyright: MDC)

SEMINAR SERIES: Oliver Hobert - Distinguished Speaker in the BIMSB Seminar Series

 

On September 1, 2016, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator Oliver Hobert talked about the regulatory map of the C. elegans nervous system. His research group at the Columbia University in New York dissected how general and characteristic features of neurons are specified through distinct cis-regulatory promoter elements of neuronal genes.

MDC graduate students took the chance to meet Oliver during the student lunch for discussing their science and getting first-hand insight into the career of this renowned researcher.

September 2016


 

picture of Jan Philipp Junker

Jan Philipp Junker
(Photo: David Ausserhofer/Copyright: MDC)

AWARD: Two MDC researchers win European Research Council grants

 

An ERC double for the MDC: Jan Philipp Junker (BIMSB) and Gaetano Gargiulo have each been awarded an ERC Starting Grant worth €1.5 million. Junker will be studying cellular processes in the heart of the zebrafish, while Gargiulo will conduct research into glioblastoma, the most common form of brain tumor in humans.

more

 

September 2016


 

picture of Sascha Sauer

Sascha Sauer (Photo: private)

Sascha Sauer is new head of MDC’s Genomics technology platform

 

Sascha Sauer has been at the helm of the scientific Genomics platform at the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) since August 2016. Among other initiatives, Sauer plans to further develop methods for single-cell analysis and make them available for collaborative projects, as well as overseeing various independent research projects, including in the field of nutrigenomics.

more

August 2016


 

picture

Planarians possess remarkable ability to regenerate any lost body part. Here, a planarian (top) cut into several pieces (middle) regenerates new worms from every piece in a process depicted at the bottom. (Photo: Jordi Solana/Copyright: MDC)

PUBLICATION: Stem cells of worms and humans more similar than expected

 

The same regulatory mechanisms are active in the stem cells of flatworms and humans. The transient form of genetic information, the RNA, is processed in a similar manner in the cells of both organisms. These mechanisms seem to be at work throughout the whole animal kingdom. Scientists from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) and their international partners showed this in a genome-wide study on flatworms whose results have now been published in the scientific journal eLife.

more

August 2016


 

picture of Wei Chen

Wei Chen
(Photo: David Ausserhofer/Copyright: MDC)

Sequencing on the move

 

After 7 years of service and research as head of the Genomics Platform of the Berlin Institute of Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) at the MDC, Wei Chen sets off for a new challenge.

In July Wei Chen will leave the Max Delbrück Center (MDC) to take up a professorship at the new South University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. This brings to a close seven years of work devoted to crucial services for scientists at the MDC and international collaborators, as well as important contributions that his lab has made to the institute’s research. Now, as he prepares to leave, Wei Chen reflects on the state of sequencing and what we can anticipate over the next few years.

more

July 2016


 

picture of Tao Chen with the members of his doctoral commission

Tao Chen with the members of his
doctoral commission (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Tao Chen successfully defends his doctoral thesis

 

Tao Chen, Chen group, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Identification and functional characterization of a de novo point mutation identified in a patient with non-syndromal microcephaly and intellectual disability" at the Institute of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin on July 14, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: W. Chen and C. Scharff

Doctoral commission: W. Chen, C. Scharff, S. Sigrist, W. Schuster and M. Ezequiel

This research was funded by the China Scholrship Council and MDC.

July 2016


 

picture of Jan Philipp Junker

Jan Philipp Junker
(Photo: David Ausserhofer/Copyright: MDC)

AWARD: ARCHES award for MDC researcher - High-resolution maps of genetic modifications

 

This year’s ARCHES prize, issued by the Minerva Stiftung, goes to systems biologist Jan Philipp Junker of the MDC and Erez Levanon of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Junker is a group leader at the MDC’s Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB). The award, conferred on June 14, 2016, will support a German-Israeli research alliance that will allow certain changes in gene transcripts to be presented in high spatial resolution for the very first time.

more

 

Information can also be found in the press release from the Federal Ministry of Education and Reseach.

June 2016


 

picture of Jingyi Hou and Wei Chen

Jingyi Hou and Wei Chen (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Jingyi Hou successfully defends her doctoral thesis

 

Jingyi Hou, Chen group, has successfully defended her doctoral thesis "Global survey of cis-regulation in mammalian translation" at the Institute of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin on June 13, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: W. Chen and M. Wahl

Doctoral commission: W. Chen, M. Wahl, F. Heyd, U. Heinemann and J. P. Fürste

This research was funded by the MDC Helmholtz Graduate School Molecular Cell Biology.

June 2016


 

STUDENT UPDATE: Sebastian Memczak successfully defends his doctoral thesis

 

Sebastian Memczak, N Rajewsky group, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Non-coding RNAs as posttranscriptional regulators" with the grade magna cum laude at the "Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin" on June 8, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: N. Rajewsky, M. Selbach and C. Schmitz-Linneweber

Doctoral commission: N. Rajewsky, M. Selbach, C. Schmitz-Linneweber, A. Pombo and A. Herrmann.

This research was funded by the MDC and the DFG.

June 2016


 

picture of Nikolaus Rajewsky at the celebration

Photo: David Ausserhofer

MDC celebrates construction of new BIMSB building in the heart of Berlin

 

On May 25, 2016, guests and employees of the MDC and the BIMSB celebrated the start and the progress of construction on the future BIMSB building on Humboldt-Universität’s Campus Nord in Berlin-Mitte. The research building is set to create space for at least 300 people – and foster scientific exchange in a very special way.

more

May 2016


 

picture of Qingsong Gao with the members of his doctoral commission

Qingsong Gao with members of his
doctoral commission (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Qingsong Gao successfully defends his doctoral thesis

 

Qingsong Gao, Chen group, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Predominant contribution of cis-regulatory divergence in the evolution of mouse alternative splicing" with the grade magna cum laude at the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin on May 10, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: W. Chen, F. Heyd

Doctoral commission: F. Heyd, M. Wahl, W. Chen, U. Heinemann, T. Stauber

This research was funded by the China Scholarship Council and MDC.

May 2016


 

picture of Andrew Woehler

Andrew Woehler
(Photo: David Ausserhofer/Copyright: MDC)

Andrew Woehler new leader of BIMSB Technology Platform Microscopy

 

The MDC welcomes Andrew Woehler, who will establish the new Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) Technology Platform Microscopy from May 1. Andrew will have own research projects and cooperations, but also develop new methods, instrumentation and services for current microscopic technologies (e.g. high-throughput and single-molecule imaging microscopy).

more

May 2016


 

picture of symposium speakers

f.l.t.r Christin Mieth (Huebner lab), Ana Pombo,
John Marioni, Elena Torlai-Triglia (Pombo lab),
Eleonora Adami (Huebner lab), Stefanie Seelk
(Tursun lab) (Photo/Copyright: MDC)

STUDENT UPDATE: 1st Student Symposium in Systems Biology

 

BIMSB launched a new opportunity for graduate students to share their research with the scientific community. In this student-organized Symposium, BIMSB graduate students welcomed keynote speaker John Marioni from EMBL-EBI to share his recent work which uses computational and statistical tools to understand single-cell transcriptomics data. His talk was followed by outstanding presentations from advanced BIMSB PhD students who are about to graduate soon. Projects, ideas and technologies could be discussed after the presentation or during the networking lunch. We are looking forward to hear about the fantastic research from BIMSB graduate students at future Student Symposia in Systems Biology!

April 2016


 

picture of Wei Sun with Wei Chen

Wei Sun and Wei Chen (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Wei Sun successfully defends his doctoral thesis

 

Wei Sun, Chen group, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis "RNA isoform analyses of Drosophila Dscam gene and Xenopus tropicalis clustered Protocadherin genes provide insights for neuronal self-avoidance" with the grade magna cum laude at the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of Freie Universität Berlin on April 11, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: W. Chen, S. Sigrist

Doctoral commission: S. Sigrist, P. R. Hiesinger, W. Chen, R. Mutzel, A. Hofmann

This research was funded by the China Scholarship Council and MDC.

April 2016


 

picture of Markus Landthaler

Markus Landthaler
(Photo: David Ausserhofer/Copyright: MDC)

AWARD: MDC researcher Markus Landthaler receives science prize

 

The cell regulates the activity of its genes in various ways. The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation awards Markus Landthaler of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) for his innovative research about gene regulation. The systems biologist Landthaler wants to understand how proteins bind to and influence the function of the messenger RNA (mRNA), the transient carrier of genetic information after transcription of DNA. The characterization of RNA-binding proteins may help correct disturbed gene regulation in the future.

more

March 2016


 

picture of Alexandra Vasile

Alexandra Vasile (Photo: private)

STUDENT UPDATE: Alexandra Vasile successfully defends her doctoral thesis

 

Alexandra Vasile, Landthaler group, has successfully defended her doctoral thesis "Functional Characterization of Pseudouridine synthase I and Y-box-binding protein 3" at the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry of Freie Universität Berlin on March 18, 2016.

 

Thesis reviewers: U. Heinemann and M. Landthaler

Doctoral commission: U. Heinemann, M. Landthaler, M. Wahl, S. Chakrabarti, J. P. Fürste

This research was funded by the MDC Helmholtz Graduate School Molecular Cell Biology.

March 2016


 

picture of the committee members

Participants of the committee meeting
(Photo/Copyright: Sroka Architekten Berlin)

Art for the new BIMSB building integrates visualization of statistics with the impressive staircase of the atrium

 

The MDC launched a competition for art work for the inside and outside of the new BIMSB building in Mitte. The consultation, selection and decision was recently undertaken by a committee of professionals of the Arts in Germany, renown artists as well as architects and scientists. The aim of the competition was to contribute creative work to the elegant, yet functional architecture of the new building as well as to the interdisciplinary and internationally open environment of this dynamic scene of science. We were looking for an interaction with the new location of the BIMSB, an inspiration for the scientists and visitors, an increase of quality of the work and meeting space, and an expression of "working across borders" with respect to scientific topics dimensions, international and cultural borders.

For the inside the committee selected the artwork of "Studio Gründer Kirfel" with their installation "THESE LITTLE THINGS ARE EVERYWHERE BUT ONLY FEW ARE EXAMINED BY AN ARTIST", demonstrating over all levels of the building the Gaussian distribution, with calculation and coincidence of free falling illuminated balls. This project is recommended for implementation. The second and third price of the competition presented a light installation "Cycle" to enhance the graphical and architectural composition of the central staircase (2.) and a moving and twisting rope installation in the center of the staircase "Linksrum und Rechtsrum" (3.)

For the outside, the committee did not recommend any project for implementation. Three proposals were selected and ranked evenly as 3rd price and the next steps for the outside art works will be discussed with the committee.

Information in German can be found here.

March 2016


 

LECTURE SERIES: Scientific colleagues come together in Summer Semester 2016 to present lectures on the topic of Imaging Biological Systems. Please note that this series will be held on Campus Buch. All are welcome to attend.

March 2016


 

picture of Irmtraud Meyer

Irmtraud Meyer
(Photo: David Ausserhofer/Copyright: MDC)

From Vancouver to Berlin: Irmtraud Meyer joined the BIMSB

 

The bioinformatician Irmtraud Meyer of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has started as of January 2016 as a new BIMSB faculty member, after accepting her appointment to a W3 professorship for “Bioinformatics of the RNA Structure and Transcriptome Regulation” at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU).

The main research interest of Professor Meyer is the transcriptome, the set of all RNA molecules that are formed during the transcription of genes - the translation of DNA into RNA - and consist of protein-coding and non-coding RNA molecules. Protein-coding RNAs are translated into proteins; non-coding RNAs are important regulators of the cell machinery. Only the cell-type-specific regulation of these individual molecules leads to the correct formation of a healthy cell or a healthy organism.

The role played by the so-called RNA structure in regulating the protein-coding and non-coding gene transcripts is of particular interest to Professor Meyer because through this RNA structure, potentially many types of regulatory mechanisms can be controlled robustly, i.e. without the major influence of many external molecules. Her research group has developed several computer programs and conducted computational analyses to predict RNA structures and their functions.

Another research focus of Professor Meyer is the decryption of the network of RNA-RNA interactions and other transcriptome interactions. In contrast to protein-protein networks, these types of interactions have not yet been explored as comprehensively. Specific classes of RNA-RNA interactions, such as interactions between messenger RNA (mRNA) with microRNA (miRNA), have already proven to be functionally extremely important. Therefore, there is reason to hope that new classes of interactions remain to be discovered.

Further information can be found in the MDC's press release or at the homepage of Irmtraud Meyer's lab.

January 2016