Prof. Dr. Martin Zenke
The institute studies adult stem cells, such as hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, and embryonic stem cells (ES cells). We also study engineered stem cells, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), and use precision genome engineering with CRISPR/Cas to generate cells with desired properties.
Stem cells are differentiated into a large array of terminally differentiated cell types and we have a particular focus on antigen presenting dendritic cells. Additionally, iPS cells are also differentiated into mesenchymal cells, endothelial cells, mast cells and megakaryocytes, which are used for disease modeling and compound screening.
In cells a specific grammar of DNA and chromatin modifications determines gene expression and thus cell identity and function. We study how gene networks direct stem cell fate by employing genome wide approaches and next generation sequencing. We also study the influence of biomaterials and surface topology on stem cell growth and behavior.