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Vertebrate Development and Regeneration


Based on our former work on the different roles of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling during dorsoventral patterning of the gastrulating zebrafish embryo, our group now studies later processes of zebrafish development and disease with potential biomedical relevance: 1) Skin development, homeostasis, carcinogenesis and regeneration; 2) Bone development and disease; 3) Neuroendocrine control of energy homeostasis and somatic growth. 4) Extracellular Matrix and musculoskeletal systems. With some of these projects, we have for many years been part of the Cologne Excellence Cluster for Ageing-related Diseases (CECAD) and the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC).

Numerous systematic approaches are used to identify essential regulators of the different development and disease processes and to elucidate their functional mechanisms, such as phenotype-based forward genetic screens after chemical or insertional mutagenesis and identification of the causative DNA lesions via whole genome sequencing, transcriptomics (including single cell RNA sequencing) and proteomics, followed by reverse genetics (TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 technology) to generate mutants in the identified candidates, as well as transgenesis for temporally and spatially controlled overexpression and cell ablation studies.