Institute for Molecular Medicine,
Goethe University Frankfurt
Our laboratory is primarily interested in understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the formation of T cells in the thymus. Our primary interest is in studying the dynamics of T cell development, which results in continual and balanced output of diverse T cell subsets. A better understanding of T cell development is critical both to develop improved strategies for immune regeneration after stem cell transplantation and to understand immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases.
Specifically, we are working on two aspects of T cell development:
- A quantitative spatio-temporal model of T cell development: We have developed viral and non-viral barcoding techniques in combination with mathematical modeling to quantitate thymus colonization by bone-marrow derived progenitor cells. Currently, we are investigating the molecular and cellular control of thymus tissue homeostasis.
- Post-transcriptional control of lymphocyte development by non-coding RNA: We are studying the role of microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs in controlling key developmental checkpoints including selection and lineage commitment.
Our experiments are predominantly based on mouse models. These models comprise conventionally and CRISPR/Cas9-generated genetically modified mice, retrogenics and advanced transfer models. We employ multi-color flow cytometry as well as various RNA biology techniques including RNA FISH, (sc)RNAseq and Ribo-profiling.