Lab Profile

Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements

We study how RNA regulates gene expression. A past focus of the group was on mechanisms and functions of microRNAs. More recently, we have started to study the function of RNA binding proteins and long noncoding RNAs, including circular RNAs (circRNAs). We are using various model systems. For understanding the role of noncoding RNA in (a) early development (b) stem cell biology and regeneration (c) function of neurons we use C. elegans, planaria, and mice, respectively. In collaboration with colleagues at the Charité, we are also analyzing human brain samples. Recently, we have established human brain organoids in the lab. We integrate experimental (biochemistry, molecular biology) and computational (bioinformatics, physics, statistics) methods. A few years ago we implemented and optimized “drop-seq” and are using it in many projects to sequence RNA from single cells in high throughput.

  • RNA and mechanisms of gene regulation
  • droplet based single cell RNA sequencing
  • spatial reconstruction of tissues from single cell data
  • human brain organoids in neurodegenerative diseases
  • Merging Molecular and Computational Biology

Institution Name

Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association

Institution Short Name


Institution Address

Robert-Rössle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany

Institution Website


Principal Investigator

Nikolaus Rajewsky

Scientific Head of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, MDC

Team Members

Jonathan Alles
PhD candidate

Nikolaos Karaiskos

Aristotelis Misios
PhD candidate

Samantha Praktiknjo

Christin Sünkel
Phd candidate