Research Groups


Computational RNA Biology

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are critical players in the posttranscriptional control of gene expression. Their functional impact ranges from the alternative splicing and polyadenylation of pre-mRNAs in the nucleus to the subcellular localisation and translation of mRNAs in the cytoplasm. Numerous diseases are characterised by dysregulated RBPs and massively altered transcriptome patterns, particularly prominent in neurodegeneration and cancer. In the era of functional genomics and high-throughput sequencing, we are now able to address these processes at an unprecedented resolution and scale.

Bioinformatics and machine learning open new routes to dissect the complexity of RBP function and posttranscriptional regulation in human physiology and disease. A main pillar of our work is the computational integration of multi-omics data to resolve the regulatory principles of RBP function in alternative splicing, translation and RNA localisation, with a particular interest in clinically relevant scenarios. To achieve this, we constantly expand our toolbox that can be applied to a wide range of questions in RNA biology. For details on projects, collaborators and funding, please refer to the following Projects.


Figure 1: The complex life of a eukaryotic mRNA. A plethora of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) guide the mRNA through nuclear and cytoplasmic processing steps, which ultimately determine its fate and function in the cell. Our group develops and applies computational approaches to tackle this complex posttranscriptional regulatory network on a transcriptomic scale. [Image provided by Dr. Julian König, modified from McKee & Silver, Cell Research, 2007]