Published: 16-10-2023 14:07 | Updated: 17-10-2023 10:26

Researcher Christoph Ziegenhain to MBB

Christoph Ziegenhain recently started at MBB as a research group leader for a group who is shedding light on central molecular processes in human cells.

Christopher Ziegenhain, MBB
Christopher Ziegenhain, MBB Photo: Gustav Hallén

Welcome to MBB Christoph! What have you been up to these past years?

"During the last years, I worked extensively on a new generation of single-cell sequencing methods together with my colleagues. We are very excited about this newest iteration called Smart-seq3xpress, which can be performed extremely automated and at low cost to provide full-length transcriptome information in single cells at very nice quality."

"Apart from this, I have spent a lot of time generating and analysing single cell data from 500 different donors in order to understand how differences in our genome sequence may influence patterns of gene expression. For this, we focussed particularly on a phenomenon called ‘transcriptional bursting’, which means we are trying to describe the temporal patterns of gene expression and how they can be altered by genetic variants in promoters and enhancers. This work is still ongoing and unpublished, so stay tuned!"

What has been most fun and rewarding?

"For me, it feels really exciting to brainstorm together with colleagues and try to challenge the status quo in our field with new ideas. Seeing some of those ‘crazy ideas’ come to fruition is very rewarding, especially since working with new methods can be very frustrating at times. I really enjoy working together in a team, and it is always a pleasure to see new students and group members learn, grow and succeed in their own projects."

What are your plans now starting at MBB?

"In the new lab here at MBB we will really make use of the new sequencing technologies that were developed and their particular strengths. First and foremost, we are going to examine various aspects of how cells utilize and regulate the process of alternative splicing of mRNA molecules to form different transcript variants. This is in particular exciting as it plays a role in many disease settings, such as cancer or schizophrenia, where we are just starting a nice collaboration within MBB. At the same time, we still think about innovating in methodological aspects, for instance utilizing long-read sequencing technology and multi-modal assays."

"At the moment, I really can’t wait to start all these new and fun projects and go on the journey together with my team members!"