Plasticity of Cell Programs
Research at the Biomedical Center concerns the diversity, individuality and adaptability of cells, the smallest carriers of life and elementary units of complex organisms.
We wish to understand how genetic and epigenetic cellular programs orchestrate the development from stem cells to different organizational levels exhibiting a multitude of structures and functions. This requires investigation of the elaborate systems of gene expression activity that define a cell’s specialized functions and of cellular communication within a tissue that allows response to signals over space and time. At the BMC we focus on deciphering the principles and mechanisms that allow cells to dynamically adapt their programs to the changing metabolic, physiological and physical environment.
Pathological conditions may be triggered through genetic mutation, infection, physical damage, stress or malnutrition. Many serious diseases, such has the uncontrolled proliferation of tumor cells or cell death during neurodegenerative diseases, are explained by perturbation of gene expression programs and inappropriate communication. Other types of faulty programming may lead to metabolic diseases, autoimmunity (such as multiple sclerosis) or allergies. Our fundamental research on the principles and mechanisms of cellular adaptability, its potential and limitations, contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
'Biomorphes Netzwerk' - Peter Kogler (Architectural Art in front of the audimax)