Bothma: Dynamics of transcription

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The Bothma group investigates how noncoding regions of the genome control gene expression in development by imaging transcription with single molecule resolution in real time.

How a single embryonic cell interprets its genome to give rise to the many diverse cell types that build an animal is one of nature’s enduring mysteries. Unravelling it promises to not only yield new insights into disorders of development and cancer, but also reveal the organizing principles of life. Even though we have uncovered all the regulatory factors and noncoding regions of the genome involved in specifying cell identity, we still don’t understand how these all come together to build an animal. One of the main reasons why this knowledge gap persisted is because until now we could not visualize a key degree of freedom-time.

Key publicationsView all publications

Cell 173(7): 181-1822


eLIFE: e07956


PNAS 111(29): 10598-10603


Current Biology 21(18): 1571–1577


Device-Quality Electrically Conducting Melanin Thin Films

Bothma JP, De Boor J, [...] Schwenn PD and Meredith P

Advanced Materials 20(18): 3539–3542


Group leader

Jacques Bothma

Jacques Bothma started his scientific career in Australia, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Queensland. He then decided to switch to Biology and pursued his PhD in Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, with Mike Levine. Here he uncovered genetic mechanisms for the robust and coordinated deployment of gene expression in development. He then stayed at Berkeley for his postdoc where he pioneered new quantitative live imaging approaches to visualize transcription and gene regulatory networks in embryos in the lab of Hernan Garcia. He will start as a group leader at the Hubrecht Institute in November 2019, where he will study how noncoding parts of the genome control gene expression in development and disease using cutting edge live imaging techniques and quantitative approaches.

Group members

Jacques Bothma

Group Leader

Koen Schuddemat


Jochem Boeter

PhD Student

Emilia Cadar


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We are currently recruiting enthusiastic, motivated people who are interested in working on exciting problems as part of a multidisciplinary team. We are interested in applicants from a broad range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, Biophysics, Developmental Biology, Cell Biology and Physics. If you are interested in learning more about the available position(s) in the lab, please send an email to Jacques Bothma, including a CV (with grades), a cover letter and names and contact information of 3 references.