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Master Student in Bioinformatics

The group of Prof. Bruno Kyewski at the DKFZ studies an essential feature of the immune system, i.e. its ability to discriminate between self and non-self. If this mechanism becomes leaky, it can result in autoimmune diseases. The naïve T cells are tolerized to self-antigens within the primary lymphoid organ, the “thymus”. A type of thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) have the unique ability to express a wide array of genes that are otherwise exclusively expressed in other body cells. This “promiscuous” gene expression (pGE) displays two prominent features: the genes are highly clustered in the genome and show a preference for tissue-restricted antigens.

We currently study the evolutionary conservation of pGE and its molecular regulation.To this end we performed (i) genome-wide arrays in mouse, rat and human cells and (ii) extensive single cell gene expression analysis yielding complex co-expression patterns. Our preliminary bioinformatic analysis proceeded from the definition of TRA clusters, gene clustering and homology mapping. Future studies will address evolutionary mechanisms responsible for selecting this gene pool and defining the boundaries of these gene clusters. Conceivably, positional cues in the genome (i.e. global regulators/insulators) could have been driving forces during the co-evolution of pGE and adaptive immunity.

To support the bioinformatic part of this project we are looking for a highly motivated, diligent and enthusiastic applicant with a strong background in programming (R and Perl) and an interest in immunology.

For further information kindly contact:

Dr. Benedikt Brors, Phone: +49 6221 42 3614, E-mail: b.brors@dkfz.de

Prof. Bruno Kyewski, Phone:+49 6221 42 3734, E-mail: b.kyewski@dkfz.de

Dr. Sheena Pinto, Phone:+ 49-6221 42 3781, E-mail: s.pinto@dkfz.de

Letzte Aktualisierung: 11.10.2013 Seitenanfang