Our group studies molecular mechanisms controlling pattern formation and stem cell differentiation in the cnidarian Hydra. Cnidarians represent a key transition in the evolution of animal complexity, and are therefore critical to understand the origins of developmental mechanisms. A second important step during metazoan evolution was the development of an immune system. To gain an understanding of the evolution of host-pathogen interactions, we study (a) the innate immune system in Hydra and (b) the molecules involved in self/nonself recognition in urochordates. We also recognize evolution as a basic science for medicine. Diseases, which affect barrier organs (e.g. skin, gastrointestinal tract), often develop from the interaction between microbes and individual genetic susceptibility. Using a combined bioinformatics and high throughput genomics approach, we investigate the evolution and function of orthologues to human disease genes for barrier dysfunction in Hydra.
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Zoologisches Institut, AG Bosch
Am Botanischen Garten 1-9
Forschung & Lehre