• 1991-2001: Undergraduate studies in Protestant Theology, University of Siegen, University of Marburg, Hebrew University Jerusalem and Heidelberg University
  • 1996-2001: Diploma studies in Biology, Heidelberg University
  • 2000-2001: Diploma Thesis with Hans Schöler at the University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square (Topic: Induced Expression of Oct4 in Embryoid Bodies)
  • 2001-2005: PhD Thesis with Pierre Gönczy at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, Lausanne (Topic: Centrosome duplication in Caenorhabditis elegans: The role of sas genes)


  • 2005-2008: Postdoc with Matthias Peter, Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich (Research topic: Functional characterization of the URM1-pathway)
  • 2008-2010: Lecturer, Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich (Research topic: tRNA modification by the URM1-pathway)
  • 2010-2019: Max Planck Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Muenster, Germany (Research topics: The in-vivo function of RNA modifications in development and disease; Translational quality control)
  • since August 2018: Full Professor of RNA Biochemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry / Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (since January 2021), University of Bern

Prizes and Awards

  • 2012: ERC Starting Grant
  • 2016: James Heineman Research Award for Outstanding Research Achievements


Virtually all cellular RNA molecules carry chemical modifications of their nucleotides. We know most of the enzymes responsible for these modifications. However, we still know little about their function and regulation during development and disease. In our group, we use different model organisms from yeast to zebrafish and human cell culture in combination with advanced methods like ribosome profiling or RNA mass spectrometry to tackle this question.

  • German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (since 2016)
  • Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, University of Muenster (since 2015)
  • Muenster Graduate School of Evolution, University of Muenster (since 2014)
  • Young Academy of Europe (since 2013) - Elected Board Member and Treasurer
  • RNA Society (since 2009)
  • German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ) (since 1999)
  • European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT) (since 1999)

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