Molecular Developmental Biology

The Molecular Developmental Biology research group focuses on developmental gene regulation, with emphasis on (epi)genomics, transcription and bioinformatics. It is part of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences.



The research of the Molecular Development Biology department is divided into 5 different teams:


Genetic diversity and developmental mechanisms

The team of Gert Jan Veenstra studies the complex relationships between genetic diversity, physical characteristics, and cellular function during embryonic development. By studying chromatin state and gene regulation in human and mouse stem cells and Xenopus embryos, we hope to uncover fundamental biological principles and discover new avenues for treating diseases and advancing regenerative medicine. 

Computational approaches to understand transcription regulation

The team of Simon van Heeringen combines computational approaches with experimental data to unravel the intricate mechanisms that govern gene regulation and aims to shed light on the underlying processes that drive development, differentiation, and diseases. The research covers the interplay between primary DNA sequence and epigenetic mechanisms and their control of gene expression in two major themes: regulatory sequence analysis, and computational epigenetics.

Epidermal stem cell fate decisions 

The team of Klaas Mulder is dedicated to investigating the mechanisms underlying human skin stem cells renewal & differentiation. They focus on studying the epigenetic machinery, which involves chemical modifications of DNA and the role of non-coding RNA molecules. By exploring how different genes and cellular processes work together, they aim to uncover the secrets behind the robustness and precision of biological systems.

Comprehensive model of cell behavior

The team of Rosemary Yu focuses on developing tools and mathematical models to understand the connections between gene expression, metabolism, and how cells function in both healthy and diseased states. We take a "vertical" approach, which means we aim to build a comprehensive model of cell behavior at the molecular level. This model would allow us to simulate different cellular states and predict new strategies for treating diseases that may not have been obvious before. These predictions can then be tested in experiments.

Cell fate decisions during development

The team of Jo Zou focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control cell fate decisions during development and how these mechanisms are related to diseases. We use a systems biology approach, which means we study how different components and processes work together as a system. By gaining molecular insights into cell fate decisions, we aim to apply this knowledge to areas such as stem cell manipulation, tissue regeneration, understanding disease genetics, and developing potential therapies.


All of our publications can be found in the Radboud Repository

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