Molecular Epidemiology

Interests:

Genome-wide association studies have in the last years identified hundreds of genetic variants that are associated with complex diseases such as allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. The disease-causing mechanisms and causal variants have in most cases not been identified until now, which is however highly required to understand the involved mechanisms that lead to disease onset. We are therefore interested in the identification of the functional relevant genetic variants and genomic regions that are responsible for the observed associations. Specifically, we work on the characterization of regulatory SNPs and gene regions that contribute to the development of allergic diseases and lipid-associated disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. 

  

Expertise:

Our expertise lies in the field of molecular cloning, cell line transfection, luciferase reporter gene assays, preparation of nuclear extracts, electrophoretic mobility shift assays with Cy5-labelled probes, supershift assays, DNA-affinity purification of nuclear proteins using magnetic bead separation, mRNA expression studies by qPCR, and allelic expression analysis. Furthermore, we are able to generate EBV-immortalized cell lines for functional studies.

  

Instrumentation:

 

  •  completely equipped cell culture laboratory (S1 and EBV-immortalized cell lines) including two laminar flows and three CO2-incubators
  •  GloMax 96 Microplate Luminometer for luciferase reporter gene assays
  •  Maxigel Gel Electrophoresis System for mobility shift assays