Professor of "Biochemistry and Genetics" at the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies
Associated Investigators at the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies
Group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
My research in focused on two basic themes: 1) the elucidation of molecular mechanisms that govern the differentiation of mesenchymal progenitors in the vertebrate embryo and 2) the pathogenesis of human skeletal syndromes in mouse models. The main interest hereby lies on the emergence of tissue types that will form the future musculoskeletal system, namely cartilage, bone, irregular connective tissue and muscle and the aberration of these processes in disease. A further research direction is the communication between the different cell types allowing the coordinated differentiation of these tissues. These issues are analyzed on the background of human genetic diseases that feature malformations caused by impaired differentiation, expansion or maintenance of individual tissue types. This is accomplished by in vivo approaches such as the analysis of mouse models for human disease or the chicken embryo as a model as well as via in vitro systems.