Signal transduction and gene regulation determining vertebrate organ function and dysfunction (cancer)

Alfred Nordheim

Alfred Nordheim23-11-2012-22 crop3
  • PhD in Molecular Biology 1979, Free University Berlin
  • Postdoctoral training 1980-83 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Group leader 1984-89, ZMBH, University of Heidelberg and Director 1989-1996, Institute for Molecular Biology, Hannover Medical School
  • Head of the Department of Molecular Biology, University of Tübingen since 1996

Research Interest

We are studying the roles of intracellular signalling cascades (MAPK, actin dynamics) in determining transcription factor activity. We characterize the roles of the transcription factor SRF and its associated partner proteins (TCF, MRTF) in determining cell proliferation and cell motility. These cellular activities are studied regarding their contributions to adult neurogenesis, tumor cell proliferation, tumor metastasis, and angiogenesis.

We use the mouse as a genetic model organism for these studies, employing conditional knock-in and knock-out mutagenesis of specific genes of interest. We recently developed a genetic mouse model for liver cancer formation. This mouse line is called SRF-VP16iHep. The molecular mechanisms of liver cancer (HCC) formation are being studied in this mouse model.

Available PhD Projects

No projects offered in the 2019 selection.

Selected Reading

1) Olson EN, Nordheim A. Linking actin dynamics and gene transcription to drive cellular motile functions. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2010;11:11353-365.

2) Wang Z, Wang DZ, Hockemeyer D, McAnally J, Nordheim A, Olson EN. Myocardin and ternary complex factors compete for SRF to control smooth muscle gene expression. Nature 2004;428:185-89.

3) Ohrnberger S1, Thavamani A, Braeuning A, Lipka DB, Kirilov M, et al. Dysregulated serum response factor triggers formation of hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology 2015;61:979-89