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Personal profile

Biography

After receiving a Diploma in Biochemistry from the University of Bayreuth, Germany in 2002, I did my PhD at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich and at the University of Dundee, working on the DNA damage response in C. elegans worms. In 2009 I moved to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK where I worked on genetic code expansion in multicellular organisms. Since 2014 I am a Chancellor's Fellow at the Centre for Integrative Physiology at the University of Edinburgh.

Research Interests

Using genetic code expansion to develop in vivo tools for neurobiology in C. elegans.

My research in a nutshell

My lab focuses on reprogramming and expanding the genetic code of multicellular organisms. We modify the cellular protein synthesis machinery, enabling a cell to produce proteins using chemically synthesized designer amino acids with properties not found in nature. Our model organism of choice is the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

We use our approach to develop advanced neurobiological tools, for example by engineering light activateable versions of proteins. In the future these tools will allow us to study, with single-cell or even subcellular precision, how the worm’s nervous system computes sensory inputs to produce behavioural outputs.

Teaching

Tools for Synthetic Biology (MSc Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology)

MSc in Biomedical Sciences (Zhejiang) - Research Seminars

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