Epigenetics team


  • Dr. Lasse Sinkkonen, Principle investigator (Research Scientist)
  • Dr. Jochen Ohnmacht (Post-doctoral researcher, jointly with LCSB)
  • Deborah Gerard (PhD student)
  • Sarah Nickels (PhD student, jointly with LCSB)
  • Yujuan Gui (PhD student)
  • Julia Becker (PhD student)
  • Marios Gavriil (PhD student)
  • Ziva Frangez (visiting PhD student from University of Bern in the framework of MEL-PLEX Marie Curie Training Network)
  • Prof. Thomas Sauter (Professor of Systems Biology)

Our research focuses on the understanding of epigenetic mechanisms and gene regulation, both at transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, that determine cell identity in differentiation and disease in mammalian cells. We use in vitro cell culture systems and primary cells (including iPS cells) from human and mice to apply genome-wide approaches like ChIP-seq and RNA-seq to study how cells differentiate and maintain their identity, especially at the chromatin level, and how this is perturbed in disease states like Parkinson’s disease and cancer. Through collaborative projects also other model organisms such as budding yeast are being studied.

Close affiliation within the Systems Biology group of Prof Thomas Sauter enables interdisciplinary research projects that combine both experimental laboratory work and computational biology approaches.

Current on-going/funded projects include:

Role of genes under high regulatory load in disease and metabolic networks
(PMIDs: 26480823, 26338775, 24198249) (Funding: FNR, Pelican Foundation)

Dynamic control of gene regulatory networks by super-enhancers and microRNAs during mesenchymal lineage commitment
(PMIDs: 24457907, 22319216) (Funding: FNR, Pelican Foundation, FNR-ANR INTER)

Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration
(PMIDs: 24948809)

Epigenetic regulation in neural stem cells and dopaminergic neurons derived from Parkinson’s disease patients
(Funding: Luxembourg Doctoral School in Systems and Molecular Biomedicine, Pelican Foundation)

Identifying novel genetic and epigenetic modulators of dopaminergic neuron structure and function
(Funding: FNR-CORE)

Deciphering the function of dynamic DNA methylation signatures for melanoma progression and metastasis
(Funding: Horizon2020-Marie Curie Initial Training Network)


Dr. Marcel Schulz (Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken, Germany)
Prof. Harald Neumann (Institute for Reconstructive Neurobiology, Bonn, Germany)
Dr. Merja Heinäniemi (University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland)
Prof. Hans-Uwe Simon (University of Bern, Switzerland)
Dr. Vladimir Benes (EMBL GeneCore, Heidelberg, Germany)

Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine
Prof Rudi Balling
Dr. Manuel Buttini
Prof Antonio del Sol
Dr. Enrico Glaab
Prof Rejko Krüger
Dr. Carole Linster
Dr. Patrick May
Prof. Jens Schwamborn