epigenetics@HMGU community

The epigenetics@HMGU community was launched in 2016 to explore the role of Epigenetics for Health and Environment from multiple angles. Currently, 32 outstanding teams join their forces and research expertise with basic research being the main driver. United as a community, the teams tackle challenges in the research areas of cellular plasticity and reprogramming, metabolic diseases, artificial intelligence, plant and environmental research, systems biology, development, immunology and epidemiology.


Comparative Medicine (AVM)

Research Topic: Central service platform for state-of-the-art breeding and husbandry of laboratory animals

Head of Institute:



Developmental Genetics (IDG)

Research Topic: Investigate genetically determined diseases of the central nervous systems, the eye, and the skeletal system, and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that control embryonal development

Head of institute: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wurst


Institute: IDG Institute of Developmental Genetics

Experimental Genetics (IEG)

Research Topic: Mechanisms and etiology of metabolic diseases with focus on diabetes and pancreatic islet homeostasis. Identify and characterize environmental and epigenetic factors and the mechanisms by which these act on the etiology of diseases. Employ mouse as pre-clinical model organism.

Head of institute: Prof. Dr. Martin Hrabě de Angelis

Group: Functional Genetics

Institute: IEG Institute of Experimental Genetics


Research Topic: Mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance of the predisposition to develop obesity and diabetes over generations. Embryogenic approach to understand which epigenomic changes in gametes are responsible for the enhanced phenotype in the offspring. Studies the reversibility of the epigenetic inheritance of the metabolic syndrome.

Group: Gene Regulation and Epigenetics

Head of group: Prof. Dr. Johannes Beckers Executive MBA

Institute: IEG Institute of Experimental Genetics


Research Topic: Establishment of epigenetic memory induced by environmental exposure. How is heritable information in parents transmitted through gamets? Use mouse genetics, in-depth metabolic phenotyping and (epi)genomics to address these questions.

Group: Environmental Epigenetics

Head of group: Dr. Raffaele Teperino

Institute: IEG Institute of Experimental Genetics



Neurogenomics (ING)

Research topic: Understanding the genetic and epigenetic architecture of complex genetic disorders such as Restless legs syndrome of Dystonia. Analysing the neuronal circuits that are essential to develop more effective therapies. Mouse genetics, high-throughput transctiptomics, proteomics, and metablomics. Member of the European restless leg syndrome consortium.

Head of institute: Prof. Dr. Juliane Winkelmann

Research group: Genomics

Institute: ING Institute of Neurogenomics



Translational Genomics (ITG)

Research Topic: Develops computational genomics toolkits to analyse information form molecular, all kinds of big data from – omics and epidemiological approaches to understand the architecture of complex diseases. Thus they aim to generate insights into the biological mechanisms underpinning chronic disease development and progression and to catalyse pathways to translation for disease prognosis, management and treatment.

Head of institute: Prof. Dr. Eleftheria Zeggini

Group: Zeggini Team

Institute: ITG Institute of Translational Genomics


Institute of Metabolism and Cell Death (MCD)

Research Topic: Discovered a novel cell, ferroptosis, that is driven by iron-dependent phospholipid peroxidation and is regulated by multiple cellular metabolic pathways, including redox homeostasis, iron handling, mitochondrial activity and metabolism of amino acids, lipids and sugars, in addition to various signalling pathways relevant to disease. it is becoming increasingly clear that numerous organ injuries and degenerative pathologies are driven by ferroptosis.

Head of institute: Dr. Marcus Conrad

Group: Research

Institute: MCD Institute of Metabolism and Cell Death


Diabetes and Cancer (IDC)

Research topic:  Molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by GR-receptors by analyzing transcriptional complexes assembled on inflammatory enhancers.  Investigates the influence of selected nuclear receptor family members in glucose homeostasis. Various – omics technologies, functional relevance in knock out mice

Head of group: Dr. Nina Henriette Uhlenhaut

Research group:  IDC Molecular Endocrinology

Institute: Institute for Diabetes and Cancer


Molecular Epidemiology (AME)

Research Topic: Decipher molecular mechanisms of complex diseases like type 2 diabetes or obesity using genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and functional analyses. Access to large population cohorts.

Supervisor: Dr. Christian Gieger

Group: Research

Institute: Research Unit Molecular Epidemiology (AME)

Lung Biology and Disease (ILBD)/ Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC)

Research Topic: Research focus COPD with a specific focus on PRMTs and their role in the pathogenesis COPD. Study the implications of PRMT dysregulation . As PRMT activity appears to be dysregulated in numerous human diseases, including heart disease and cancer, these enzymes may be potential novel therapeutic targets against COPD. Study the expression and localization of PRMT isoforms in adult mice and the human lung.

Head od institute: Dr. Ali Önder Yildirim

Group: Comprehensive Pneumology Center

Institute: Institute of Lung Health and Immunity (LHI)




Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES)

Research topic: Molecular mechanisms behind epigenetic reprogramming, totipotency and cell fate decisions, during the earliest stages of mammalian development. Employ state-of-the-art live imaging and super-resolution microscopy, cell biology, in vivo mouse embryological approaches and - omics analyses. 

Head of institute Prof. Dr. Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla

Group: Epigenetics and cell-fate in early mammalian development

Institute: Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells


Research topic: DNA Replication and genetic stability, Mechanisms avoiding replication – transcription collision events; Cell biological, genetic and proteomic approaches in yeast and human cells as model organism.

Groupleader: Dr. rer. nat. Stephan Hamperl

Group: Chromosome dynamics and genome stability

Institute: Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells


Research topic: Epigenetic mechanisms stabilising differentiated cell fates and inhibiting reprogramming of cell fates in nuclear transfer embryos? Molecular processes during reprogramming to totipotency in vertebrate eggs.

Groupleader: Dr. Eva Hörmanseder

Group: Maintaining and Reprogramming Cell Fates

Institute: Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells


Institute of Stem Cell Research

Research topic: Basic molecular and cellular mechanisms for stem cell maintenance and stem cell differentiation. Key mechanisms of neurogenesis in the developing and adult brain to use them for repair purpose and to identify ways of reactivating them following brain injury. Focus on neurogenesis during development, at postnatal stages and in particular areas of the adult forebrain where neurogenesis. Employ zebrafish, mice and human in vivo and in vitro approaches.

Head of intitute: Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz

Group: Neural Stem Cells

Institute: Institute of Stem Cell Research


Research topic: Basic and translational research in the field of the central nervous system (CNS) repair and regeneration by modulating the function of glial cells. Understanding and inhibition of glial scar formation in the vertebrate brain; Recovery of functional neuronal circuits after brain injury. Use mouse and zebrafish as model systems; Combine in vivo imaging with cell type-specific -omics approaches to understand multi-gene interactions in vivo and in real-time in the regenerating adult zebrafish brain.

Groupleader: Dr. Jovica Ninkovic

Group: Neurogenesis and Regeneration Group

Institute: Institute of Stem Cell Research


Research topic: Functional role of epigenetic marks in mediating stem cell or disease phenotypes. Location and depositioning of these marks. Use iPSC technology a cellular model to assess the functional contribution of both cancer-specific and lineage-associated epigenetic changes in maintaining the malignant cellular state.

Groupleader: Dr. Stefan Stricker

Group: Epigenetic Engineering

Institute: Institute of Stem Cell Research



Institute of Lung Health and Immunity

Research topic: Redox-stress alters global histone modification. Impact of altered climate atmosphere (enhanced NOx, CO2, O3, temperature) on plant redox systems and the plant epigenomes s over multiple generations. Analyse the role of redox signalling in epigenetic regulation and its implications in plant fitness and development. Aim to reveal how this responses affect plant performance and if the redox system is a key player at the interface between environment and plant epigenomes and phenotypes.

Groupleader: Dr. Lindermayr Christian

Group: Redox-Signaling and Chromatin Modulation

Institute: Institute of Lung Health and Immunity



Helmholtz Pioneer Campus

Research topic: Deciphers genetic and epigenetic blueprints of cortical brain development and evolution. Special focus on the interplay between transcription factors, 3D nuclear organization and gene expression in vivo; use cerebral organoids. Employ single cell –omics, mouse genetics, genome engineering and computational biology.

Groupleader: Dr. Boyan Bonev

Group: 3D Genome and Molecular Neurobiology

Institute: Helmholtz Pioneer Campus


Research topic: Study genetic or epigenetic molecular markers of ageing and molecular mechanisms between healthy ageing and chronic disease. Study epigenetic markers such as DNA methylation and their importance as a predictor of “molecular age Single-cell genomic approaches (transcriptomics, epigenomics and metabolomics). 

Groupleader: Dr. Celia P. Martinez-Jimenez

Group: Molecular Ageing

Institute: Helmholtz Pioneer Campus


Research topic: Aims to develop and use pancreatic and adipose tissue models outside organisms in sizes of micrometers for studying the differentiation of human inducible pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into functional tissue.

Groupleader: Dr. Meier Matthias

Group: Bioengineering and Microfluidics

Institute: Helmholtz Pioneer Campus