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Helmholtz Munich | Amelie J. Kraus

Prof. Dr. Robert Schneider

Director of the Institute of Functional Epigenetics, Spokesperson of the International Helmholtz-Edinburgh Research School for Epigenetics “EpiCrossBorders”

"Success in research can be easy – you just have to hire colleagues that are better than yourself.”

"Success in research can be easy – you just have to hire colleagues that are better than yourself.”

Academic Career

Throughout his scientific career, Robert Schneider has been fascinated by the packing of DNA and how different degrees of DNA compaction regulate gene expression programs and cellular function. Over the years, he has worked on decoding the function of chromatin modifications and unraveling their role in chromatin dynamics, epigenetic reprogramming, and environmentally triggered diseases. His long-term mission is to harness the power of epigenetics to tackle disease processes.

 

The Curiosity-Driven Scientist

After obtaining his Ph.D. at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Robert joined the laboratory of Tony Kouzarides at the Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge, UK) as a Postdoctoral researcher. There, he started to study epigenetic mechanisms with a focus on histone methylation and how this small chemical modification – novel at that time- regulates transcription. From Cambridge, Robert moved to the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg (Germany) where he set up his own independent Research Group (2005) as Max Planck Research Group Leader. During this time he broadened his interest in novel sites and types of histone modifications (on linker histone H1 and within the central region of core histones) and their role in chromatin dynamics as well as in epigenetic reprogramming. In 2006, he co-founded the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS-MCB) in Freiburg, which trains young, curiosity-driven doctoral researchers in cutting-edge research strategies in an international environment. In 2012, Robert was recruited as “Directeur de Rechérché” to the IGBMC in Strasbourg (France), where he was one of the founders of the “Nuclear Dynamics and Signalling Programme” and awarded the “Chaire Gutenberg”. Since his time in Strasbourg, his team has contributed majorly to the understanding of how histone modifications regulate chromatin function in healthy and diseased cells.

Since 2016, Robert is Director of the Institute of Functional Epigenetics (IFE) at Helmholtz Munich (HMGU) and Professor at the Faculty of Biology at the LMU Munich. His research group continues to investigate the function of histone modifications, with a new angle focusing on the interplay between cellular metabolism and histone modifications. Since his move to Munich Robert has also extended his research towards understanding epigenetic memory and reprogramming in single cells. Recently his group became fascinated by the emerging field of epitranscriptomics and now leverages their expertise on methylation towards methylation of RNA. Roberts’ mission is to use epigenetics to predict, observe and manipulate the links between health, disease, and the environment and by doing this to identify novel targets for future therapeutic interventions.

Over the past years, Robert has been fully committed to promoting the next generation of scientific leaders through diverse mentorship activities. He is currently the Scientific Spokesperson of the International Helmholtz-Edinburgh Research School for Epigenetics “EpiCrossBorders”, training the future leaders in epigenetics, and is co-founder of epigenetics@HelmholtzMunich.

 

Professional Career

Since 2021: Elected Member of Academia Europeae

… as an honorable recognition of his scientific contributions in our understanding of life, primarily in cell biology.

Since 2019: Spokesperson of the International Helmholtz-Edinburgh Research School for Epigenetics “EpiCrossBorders”

Mission: Training the future leaders in epigenetics

Since 2016: Director of the Institute of Functional Epigenetics at Helmholtz Munich and Professor at the Faculty of Biology of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Mission: Decoding and Harnessing the Power of Epigenetics

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