Respiratory

Team EAC: Epigenetics and COPD

The EAC research team is exploring the role of epigenetic regulation in the development and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is caused by persistent inhalation of toxic gases (in particular, cigarette smoke) that lead to chronic inflammation and irreversible remodeling of the lung tissues. COPD is currently one of the leading causes of death worldwide (www.who.int/respiratory/copd/en/); however, there are no curative strategies for this disease at present. Our group employs high-throughput epigenomic assays, such as whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS), ChIP-seq, and RNA-seq in combination with cutting-edge epigenetic and molecular biology tools to advance the biological understanding of the disease, identify epigenetic biomarkers for diagnosis, and devise novel therapeutic strategies.

Mentors

  • Dr. Birgit Jung
    Group Leader at Boehringer Ingelheim (Industry mentor)
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Plass
    Division Head, Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg (Academic mentor)
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Our Team Members

Dr. Renata Jurkowska

Group Leader

Discovery of novel epigenetic regulators of COPD for new therapeutic avenues

Previous work
  • 2014–2015: Group leader at Institute of Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2012–2014: Postdoc at Institute of Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2008–2011: Postdoc at Institute of Biochemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • 2004–2008: PhD with Prof. Albert Jeltsch, Institute of Biochemistry, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • 2004: Master of Sciences in Biotechnology, Warsaw University, Poland
  • Research grant and fellowship from the Carl Zeiss Foundation
  • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Short-Term Fellowship

Dr. Maria Llamazares

Postdoctoral Researcher

Characterization of primary lung cells to identify COPD-specific epigenetic alterations; epigenetic screens to revert COPD phenotypes

Previous work
  • 2013–2015: Postdoc with Prof. Angel, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2010–2012: Postdoc with Prof. Hertl, University Hospital Marburg, Germany
  • 2006–2009: Postdoc with Prof. Eilers, Institute for Molecular and Tumor Biology (IMT, Marburg) and Biozentrum (Würzburg), Germany
  • 2005–2006: Scientist, University of Oviedo, Spain
  • 2001–2005: PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Oviedo, Spain
  • 2004: Visiting PhD student, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2000: Master of Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Oviedo, Spain

Uwe Schwartz

Postdoctoral Researcher

Computational processing, mining, integration and visualisation of next-generation sequencing data

Previous work
  • 2014-2017: PhD with Prof. Dr. Gernot Längst, University of Regensburg, Germany
  • 2011-2014: Master of Science in Biochemistry, University of Regensburg, Germany
  • 2011-2013: Student IT Training, University of Regensburg, Germany

Anetta Kindsvater

Intern

Previous work
  • University of Applied Sciences in Mannheim, Germany