23 December

EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship for Moritz Bauer

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Moritz Bauer, from the group of Jop Kind, has been awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship by EMBO. This fellowship is intended to support excellent postdoctoral researchers throughout Europe and the world for a period of up to two years. Bauer will use the fellowship to develop a method that can record the past epigenetic state of cells and link it to its current identity. The results of the project will have important implications for our understanding of the regulation of mammalian development.

In order to fit all the DNA of a cell in its small nucleus, it is packed in a structure known as chromatin. The tightness of the chromatin determines which parts of the DNA can be read by the cell and is therefore important in regulating which genetic programs are active at what time. During development, the chromatin needs to change, as cells become increasingly specialized. These so-called epigenetic changes are therefore crucial to support a high diversity of cell types within one organism.

Molecular memory system

Currently, studies mainly focus on the transcriptome of cells, which provides information about the set of RNA molecules present in cells. However, they do not take into account how the chromatin landscape guides this process. In this new project, Bauer and his colleagues will develop a method that can record the past epigenetic state of cells. This will allow them to read out how the chromatin landscape of a cell changed throughout development. Additionally, the method will enable them to link these past landscapes to the current identity of the cell. In other words, their new molecular memory system will help the researchers elucidate how the chromatin landscape guides the fate of cells. The results of the project will have important implications for our understanding of the regulation of mammalian development.

About the EMBO postdoctoral fellowship

EMBO awards Postdoctoral Fellowships to excellent postdoctoral researchers throughout Europe and the world. The fellowship, which includes a salary or stipend and a relocation allowance, supports the researcher for a period of up to two years.