Prof. Dr. Geraldine Zimmer-Bensch
Division of Neuroepigenetics
RWTH Aachen University
Epigenetic regulation of neuronal physiology in the developing and adult brain
The research of the department focusses on epigenetic gene regulation that determines cell fate determination and discrete neurophysiological processes underlying brain development and adult neuronal function in disease-related contexts.
Epigenetic control emerges as a highly dynamic process on top of transcriptional networks governing diverse biological functions in development, aging and disease. We aim to decipher cell type-, stage- and context-specific actions of DNA methyltransferases executing DNA methylation, as well as their crosstalk with histone modifying mechanisms in the brain, to approach disease- and age-related questions, with the ultimate goal to open new avenues for the establishment of epigenetic-based therapies. To this end, we apply highly innovative techniques such as sequencing-based single cell and global transcriptome analysis, as well as global and site-specific methylation analysis in addition to chromatin-immunoprecipitation. For translational research we work with animal models in addition to cell and primary cultures, neuronal stem cells and neurons differentiation from iPSCs. We are specialized on diverse in vivo and in vitro transfection techniques, and make use of sophisticated microscopic systems and Life Cell Imaging.