Professor Robert Schneider - Institute of Functional Epigenetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Image: Helmholtz Zentrum München Professor Robert Schneider

Novel players in chromatin.

 

Hosted by: Professor David Tremethick

 

Abstract

Post-translational modifications of histones and DNA define distinct chromatin or “epigenetic” states. The set of characterised histone modifications is far from complete and many modifications are awaiting identification and functional characterisation. Additionally, for many modifications it is still unclear how they act and how distinct “epigenetic” (or transcriptional) states are inherited through cellular divisions.

We are aiming i) to identify novel players in chromatin  (in particular histone and RNA modifications) and to crack how they (mechanistically) regulate chromatin function,  ii) to unravel how chromatin states can mediate “epigenetic” (or transcriptional) memory through cell divisions as well as iii)  to understand how cellular metabolism impacts on chromatin architecture and hence transcription. For this we are applying a combination of chromatin biochemistry, different “omics” techniques, and single cell approaches as well as mathematical modelling in mouse models, mESCs and also yeast cells.

 

Biography

Professor Robert Schneider is the Director of the Institute of Functional Epigenetics and Spokesperson of the International Helmholtz-Edinburgh Research School for Epigenetics “EpiCrossBorders”. Throughout his scientific career, Robert Schneider has been fascinated by the packing of DNA and how different degrees of DNA compaction regulate gene expression programs and cellular function. Over the years, he has worked on decoding the function of chromatin modifications and unraveling their role in chromatin dynamics, epigenetic reprogramming, and environmentally triggered diseases. His long-term mission is to harness the power of epigenetics to tackle disease processes.