Welcome to the Chair of Genetics
At the chair of genetics, we study the organization and dynamics of chromosomes and microtubules during cell division.
Olaf Stemmann and Stefan Heidmann are interested in chromosome biology and investigate how chromosomes are cohesed, organized, segregated and repaired. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, the Heidmann group focusses on the roles of the condensin protein ring complex during mitosis and meiosis. The Stemmann group uses cultured human cells and extracts from frog (Xenopus laevis) eggs to learn more about the condensin-related cohesin complex and, in particular, how it is removed from chromatin to facilitate chromosome segregation. The intensive investigation of separase, a cohesin-antagonizing protease, has led the lab also in the fields of DNA damage response and apoptosis research.
Klaus Ersfeld studies the microtubule cytoskeleton of Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness. More specifically, he asks how microtubule associated proteins and posttranslational modifications regulate cytoskeleton stability. Link to Ersfeld Lab of Molecular Parasitology