Applied Genetics

Lead: Dr. med. Tim Ripperger, PhD

 

Understanding the functional consequences of genetic variants has become a major task and is crucial for translating genomics data into clinical care. Our focus is the functional characterization of genetic variants and a better understanding of their influence regarding both the cellular context as well as microenvironmental aspects.

 

Members

  • Dr. med. Tim Ripperger, PhD (Lead)
  • Melanie Decker, M.Sc., PhD student
  • Alisa Förster, M.Sc.
  • Alena Wittstock, cand. med., StrucMed program

 

Associates

  • Dr. med. Judith Penkert, presently at MHH, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

 

 

Our Scientific Aim

As indicated by the term applied genetics, we aim to identify gene variants in hereditary diseases, elucidate the impact of individual variants in both established as well as novel disease-associated genes, and, thus, the molecular function of disease-associated proteins and their variants, seeking to translate novel findings into clinical care.

 

Our Scientific Focus

Our team is focusing on the establishment of in vitro and in vivo assays for the functional classification of gene variants in hereditary diseases. We are especially interested in RUNX1-associated familial platelet disorder (RUNX1-FPD) and foster the implementation of functional taxonomies in clinical variant classification schemes.

Regarding malignant transformation in cancer predisposition syndromes, we are characterizing cooperative effects of predisposing germline variants and somatically aqucired genetic alterations. With this knowledge, we can optimize clinical care of affected individuals in regard to surveillance and therapy.

To further characterize the consequences of germline genetic variants and potentially define future therapeutic targets or preventive measures in cancer predisposing syndromes, we are conducting metabolomic analyses to characterize and understand premalignant metabolic alterations that, in the sense of adaptive oncogenesis, co-prime malignant transformation.

Our work has been funded by intramural grants of Hannover Medical School (HiLF, clinical scientist program), the European Hematology Association (EHA), the Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation.