The Molecular Developmental Biology department of Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences focusses on developmental gene regulation, with emphasis on (epi)genomics, transcription and bioinformatics. The research of the department is divided into different teams.
Molecular Developmental Biology
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.
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.
Cell fate decisions during development
The team of Jo Zhou focuses on elucidating the fundamental mechanisms underlying stem cell fate determination, proliferation and differentiation, which are pivotal to human development and diseases pathology. Leveraging systems biology methodologies, including (single-cell) multi-omics and computational integrative analyses, we investigate gene regulation in human stem cells and derived organotypic models, in both healthy and diseased states. Through these studies, we uncover fundamental insights into the regulatory circuitry and mechanisms in stem cells, and offer powerful and effective tools for tissue regeneration and therapeutic intervention.
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.
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.