Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Christoph Bock


Most diseases develop through the complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences, involving signaling pathways, metabolic changes, immune deregulation, and diverse cellular phenotypes. Our research is based on the hypothesis that the “epigenetic landscape” constitutes a highly informative intermediate layer of information processing that allows cells to maintain their regulatory state and cellular identity over time, while retaining the flexibility to respond swiftly to a broad range of perturbations.

In our definition, the “epigenetic landscape” is not restricted to epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Rather, it reflects the full spectrum of transcription regulation by which cells translate various inputs into sustainable changes in their cell state. Notably, the epigenetic landscape not only reflects a cell’s current state, but also its developmental history (e.g., cell-of-origin in cancer) and its potential for future adaptation (e.g., plasticity in response to an immunological challenge).

I will present our work within and beyond the Human Cell Atlas, dissecting epigenetic cell states in immunology and cancer; and I will present methods for causal, mechanistic analysis at scale (CROP-seq and KPNNs) and for ultra-high throughput transcriptome profiling in millions of single cells (scifi-RNA-seq).

Funding: C.B. is supported by an ERC Consolidator Grant (n° 101001971) of the European Union.