Long non-coding RNA and Infection Biology
RNA is a truly remarkable molecule with functions and activities far beyond that of an intermediate information carrier. The abundant class of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) contains highly specialized RNA with structural or regulatory functions that range from assembling large protein complexes to localizing, sequestering, or allosterically modifying proteins and other interaction partners. Our genome contains thousands of lncRNAs, many of which are specifically regulated during bacterial or viral infections. However, their contribution to launching and sustaining an effective host response remains elusive. Our group combines a cutting-edge suite of technologies from the fields of biochemistry, genomics, molecular biology, and computational biology to decode how lncRNA work mechanistically and how they contribute to host defense mechanisms. This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI).
Decoding how long non-coding RNAs work mechanistically will enable us to harness their properties for the treatment of human disease.
Jun Prof Dr Mathias Munschauer
Mathias Munschauer studied Biotechnology at the University of Applied Sciences in Mannheim, Germany. Early as an undergraduate student, he joined the lab of Thomas Tuschl at Rockefeller University in New York and started to work with RNA and RNA-binding proteins. He completed his thesis research on the RNA-binding protein FMRP under the supervision of Thomas Tuschl. He then joined an international PhD exchange program jointly operated by the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin (working with Markus Landthaler) and at New York University (working with Christine Vogel). In the Landthaler lab, Mathias Munschauer pioneered technologies to capture the mRNA-bound proteome and display its global protein occupancy pattern on protein coding transcripts for the first time.
For his postdoctoral research, he joined the lab of Eric Lander at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he dissected how long non-coding RNAs function mechanistically and identified a novel RNA-dependent topoisomerase complex. Following his tenure in the Lander lab, he was awarded a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader position and joined HIRI in July 2019 to start his independent research group.
A current overview of the team and further information about the research group can be found on the HIRI page.