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Helmholtz Munich | © Dr. Joel Schick

Research Group Genetics and Cellular Engineering

Schick Group

Our focus is on using genetics for pathway investigation and engineering synthetic cellular systems for drug discovery. In particular, we are interested in the capabilities presented by the powerful CRISPR/Cas9 system, both from a target discovery perspective as well as for application in cell engineering for medical therapeutics.

Our focus is on using genetics for pathway investigation and engineering synthetic cellular systems for drug discovery. In particular, we are interested in the capabilities presented by the powerful CRISPR/Cas9 system, both from a target discovery perspective as well as for application in cell engineering for medical therapeutics.

Research Group/Lab: About our … | Option A

Our focus is on using genetics for pathway investigation and engineering synthetic cellular systems for drug discovery. In particular, we are interested in the new capabilities presented by the CRISPR/Cas9 system, both from a target discovery perspective as well as for application in cell engineering for medical therapeutics.

About our Research

Multitudinous aspects of human health and disease are influenced by cell death. On one hand, too little cell death can lead to tumor formation, or can block cancer therapeutics from working properly. We would like to understand these resistance mechanisms so that we can overcome them for the better prevention and treatment of cancer. On the other hand, too much cell death is responsible for degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), diabetes, or in course of infections and aging. Similarly here, we endeavor to learn the mechanism of why cells die due to these diseases and how to prevent it.

We apply the technologies described below for targeting novel pathways with engineered therapeutics.

We use forward genetics to identify novel cell death pathways in somatic cells. The CRISPR toolbox has powerful new toys which we employ to investigate new players in apoptotic and programmed non-apoptotic cell death pathways. To support these efforts we have developed in-house software to rapidly identify significant new proteins that accelerate the usage of CRISPR-based screening in novel applications. Newly discovered members serve as a basis for pharmacological intervention as well as to elucidate control mechanisms in cell physiology.

We have developed a wholistic genetics platform for discovery of novel cell death networks and pharmacologicals using CRISPR knockouts, knockdown (CRISPRi), and overexpression (CRISPRa). Paired with modern -omics techniques, we not only identify linear cell death pathways, but also interrogate larger cell death networks. Together with pharmacological tools, these methods have the potential to reveal combinational therapies for cancer and degenerative diseases.

 

 

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), small membrane bound entities of approximately 30-1000nm size, are released by all cell types and contain protein, lipids or ribonucleotides. EVs, and in particular a subclass called exosomes, can cross the blood brain barrier and therefore constitute an exciting new method to deliver small molecules cargoes to the brain.

We use our CRISPR genetic toolkit to identify factors that promote EV production and release. We moreover are performing screens to identify factors enhancing EV uptake. This should allow us to specifically deliver EVs to specific cell types, or transiently express receptors for EVs in target cell types to facilitate uptake.

 

Multitudinous aspects of human health and disease are influenced by cell death. On one hand, too little cell death can lead to tumor formation, or can block cancer therapeutics from working properly. We would like to understand these resistance mechanisms so that we can overcome them for the better prevention and treatment of cancer. On the other hand, too much cell death is responsible for degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), diabetes, or in course of infections and aging. Similarly here, we endeavor to learn the mechanism of why cells die due to these diseases and how to prevent it.

We apply the technologies described below for targeting novel pathways with engineered therapeutics.

We use forward genetics to identify novel cell death pathways in somatic cells. The CRISPR toolbox has powerful new toys which we employ to investigate new players in apoptotic and programmed non-apoptotic cell death pathways. To support these efforts we have developed in-house software to rapidly identify significant new proteins that accelerate the usage of CRISPR-based screening in novel applications. Newly discovered members serve as a basis for pharmacological intervention as well as to elucidate control mechanisms in cell physiology.

We have developed a wholistic genetics platform for discovery of novel cell death networks and pharmacologicals using CRISPR knockouts, knockdown (CRISPRi), and overexpression (CRISPRa). Paired with modern -omics techniques, we not only identify linear cell death pathways, but also interrogate larger cell death networks. Together with pharmacological tools, these methods have the potential to reveal combinational therapies for cancer and degenerative diseases.

 

 

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), small membrane bound entities of approximately 30-1000nm size, are released by all cell types and contain protein, lipids or ribonucleotides. EVs, and in particular a subclass called exosomes, can cross the blood brain barrier and therefore constitute an exciting new method to deliver small molecules cargoes to the brain.

We use our CRISPR genetic toolkit to identify factors that promote EV production and release. We moreover are performing screens to identify factors enhancing EV uptake. This should allow us to specifically deliver EVs to specific cell types, or transiently express receptors for EVs in target cell types to facilitate uptake.

 

Our Scientists

Dr. Joel Schick

Group Leader Genetics and Cellular Engineering

Susanne Pfeiffer

Technical Assistant Schick Lab

Srinark Chanikarn

Doctoral Researcher AG Schick

Hao Peng

Doctoral Researcher Schick Lab

Xin Yang

Doctoral Researcher Schick Lab

Our Publications

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2021 Scientific Article in Neuro-Oncology

Volmar, M.N.M. ; Cheng, J. ; Alenezi, H. ; Richter, S. ; Haug, A. ; Hassan, Z. ; Goldberg, M. ; Li, Y. ; Hou, M. ; Herold-Mende, C. ; Maire, C.L. ; Lamszus, K. ; Flüh, C. ; Held-Feindt, J. ; Gargiulo, G. ; Topping, G.J. ; Schilling, F. ; Saur, D. ; Schneider, G. ; Synowitz, M. ; Schick, J. ; Kälin, R.E. ; Glass, R.

Cannabidiol converts NFκB into a tumor suppressor in glioblastoma with defined antioxidative properties.

2021 Review in Nature Genetics

Birling, M.C. ; Yoshiki, A. ; Adams, D.J. ; Ayabe, S. ; Beaudet, A.L. ; Bottomley, J. ; Bradley, A. ; Brown, S.D.M. ; Bürger, A. ; Bushell, W. ; Chiani, F. ; Chin, H.G. ; Christou, S. ; Codner, G.F. ; DeMayo, F.J. ; Dickinson, M.E. ; Doe, B. ; Donahue, L.R. ; Fray, M.D. ; Gambadoro, A. ; Gao, X. ; Gertsenstein, M. ; Gomez-Segura, A. ; Goodwin, L.O. ; Heaney, J.D. ; Hérault, Y. ; Hrabě de Angelis, M. ; Jiang, S.T. ; Justice, M.J. ; Kasparek, P. ; King, R.E. ; Kühn, R. ; Lee, H. ; Lee, Y.J. ; Liu, Z. ; Lloyd, K.C.K. ; Lorenzo, I. ; Mallon, A.M. ; McKerlie, C. ; Meehan, T.F. ; Fuentes, V.M. ; Newman, S. ; Nutter, L.M.J. ; Oh, G.T. ; Pavlovic, G. ; Ramirez-Solis, R. ; Rosen, B. ; Ryder, E.J. ; Santos, L.A. ; Schick, J. ; Seavitt, J.R. ; Sedlacek, R. ; Seisenberger, C. ; Seong, J.K. ; Skarnes, W.C. ; Sorg, T. ; Steel, K.P. ; Tamura, M. ; Tocchini-Valentini, G.P. ; Wang, C.L. ; Wardle-Jones, H. ; Wattenhofer-Donzé, M. ; Wells, S. ; Wiles, M.V. ; Willis, B.J. ; Wood, J.A. ; Wurst, W. ; Xu, Y. ; Teboul, L. ; Murray, S.A. ; IMPC Consortium (Gailus-Durner, V. ; Fuchs, H. ; Marschall, S.)

A resource of targeted mutant mouse lines for 5,061 genes.

Contact

Dr. Joel Schick

Group Leader Genetics and Cellular Engineering