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My actual and future research efforts will be focused on the molecular genetics and genomics of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, cells of cardiovascular system (stem cell cardiovascular genomics). Specifically, we are focusing on the following research areas: 1) the functional analysis of transcripts of unknown functions applying "gain of function" and "loss of function" molecular biology methodologies in transgenic ESCs and iPS cells as well as in transgenic zebrafish models 2) the selective differentiation of ESCs and iPS cells using different small molecules to different the cells into specific somatic cell types including neurons and cells of the cardiovascular system 3) monitoring developmental and cardiovascular toxicity gene signatures and pathways using reporter line technologies and 4) mimicking adaptation/toxicity processes in cardiovascular cell types applying "gain" and "loss" of function methodologies.

We have expertise in identifying gene signatures and transduction pathways in ESCs/iPSCs and other cell types applying large-scale microarray gene expression methodologies More than 5 years ago, we have established the stem cell genomics unit. In our server gene expression data from more than 2000 microarrays are stored. Our gene expression Affymetrix facility is located at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

(CMMC) (http://www.zmmk.uni-koeln.de/core_units/affymetrix_facility/index_eng.html).

We have participated and still participating in several large-scale European integrated projects

- Functional Genomics in Engineered ES cells, FunGenes
- Cryo-banking of human stem cells for therapeutic application; Crystal
- High Yield and Performance Stem Cell Lab; Hyperlab
- Embryonic Stem cell-based Novel Alternative Testing Strategies, ESNATS
- Detection of Endpoints and Biomarkers; DETECTIVE

Our research activities are also supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and by the German Research Foundation (DFG)