Gene Regulation in Evolution and Development (GeneRED)

GeneRED (GeneRegulation in Evolution and Development) was a joint research initiative between IMB and the Faculty of Biology of Johannes Gutenberg University that ran from 2014-2018. It was funded as a Forschungsschwerpunkt (“research focus”) by Rhineland-Palatinate’s Ministry of Education, Science, Further Education and Cultural Affairs. 

With support for this initiative the Ministry recognised that research into gene regulation is a major strength in Mainz. To further expand research in this area, GeneRED awarded PhD positions for projects with a particular emphasis on how changes in gene regulation shape evolution and development. Additionally, GeneRED has provided funding to establish state-of-the-art proteomics services at IMB.

Research groups in GeneRED worked collaboratively using multidisciplinary techniques to address the following questions:

  • How does the NURF complex help maintain neural stem cell identity in Drosophila? (Berger)
  • How did division of labour evolve in social insects, and which genes are involved? (Feldmeyer/Foitzik)
  • What are the roles of regulatory elements in the modern human adaptation to an agriculturalist diet and predisposition to metabolic syndrome? (Kirsanow/Burger)
  • Which epigenetic factors are involved in body size memory creation in Drosophila? (Strauss)
  • What are the targets of the NG2 protein in glial cell development and tumours? (Trotter)
  • How do ciliary proteins affect DNA damage response and gene regulation in Usher syndrome? (Wolfrum)

GeneRED built on the success of the International PhD Programme and Summer School that are coordinated by IMB and have a complementary focus on gene regulation, epigenetics and the DNA damage response. Together, these programmes support researchers in answering some of the most important questions regarding gene regulation and its influence on evolutionary and developmental biology.

The GeneRED Chairs were Hans Zischler, Dean of the Faculty of Biology at JGU, and René Ketting, Scientific Director of IMB. The General Manager of GeneRED was Ralf Dahm (email).