Personal Details

Dr. Silvia Schirge
Group Leader Transgenic Unit

Phone: +49 89-187-4733
Building/Room: Campus Neuherberg, building 3620, room 034b


Mouse model generation

The IDR is using various mouse models to address questions in the field of endoderm and pancreas development, endocrine lineage formation in gut and pancreas as well as beta-cell maturation and regeneration. Therefore, we use knockout and conditional knockout approaches, cell lineage tracings and reporters for expression analysis. Our different mouse models are generated by manipulation of mouse embryonic stem cells using the CRISPR homology-directed repair (Dr. Ingo Burtscher) and diploid aggregation with wildtype embryos.

Furthermore, we use the tetraploid complementation system to directly generate mutant embryos from modified embryonic stem cells for early embryonic analysis.

Endoderm formation

The endoderm germ layer is giving rise to the epithelial lining of the respiratory and the gastrointestinal tract and can be therefore seen as stem cells of endoderm-derived organs such as liver, lung and pancreas. We aim to understand how the lineage decision of pluripotent cells towards the endoderm is taken, how theses precursor cells form the actual germ layer and how they differentiate towards different subpopulations of the endoderm giving rise to various organs along the body axis. Investigating endoderm specification and formation in vivo will help to translate the findings to the cell culture dish to successfully generate endoderm derived cell types in vitro.

Academic and Research activities

Oct. 2003 – Mar. 2009

Studies of Biology at Ludwigs-Maximilians- Universtität Würzburg
Developmental and Cell biology, Physiological chemistry and Genetics

May. 2008 – Mar. 2009

HelmholtzZentrum München
Institute of stem cell research, Dr. Heiko Lickert
Diploma Thesis: “Characterization of the Sox17-2A-iCre mouse line”

Apr 2009- Sep. 2014

HelmholtzZentrum München
Institute of stem cell research/ Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research, Neuherberg, Germany Dr. Heiko Lickert
Phd Thesis: “Epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of early mouse development” Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Heiko Lickert

Sep. 2014-Jan 2016

Postdoc, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research, Neuherberg, Germany

since 2016             Group leader transgenic unit IDR



1.     Engert, S., et al., Sox17-2A-iCre: a knock-in mouse line expressing Cre recombinase in endoderm and vascular endothelial cells. Genesis, 2009. 47(9): p. 603-10.

2.    Engert S, Burtscher I, Liao WP, Dulev S, Schotta G, Lickert H. Wnt/β-catenin signalling regulates Sox17 expression and is essential for organizer and endoderm formation in the mouse. Development. 2013 Aug;140(15):3128-38.

3.    Engert S, Burtscher I, Kalali B, Gerhard M, Lickert H. The Sox17CreERT2 knock-in mouse line displays spatiotemporal activation of Cre recombinase in distinct Sox17 lineage progenitors. Genesis. 2013 Nov;51(11):793-802.

4.    Willmann SJ, Mueller NS, Engert S, Sterr M, Burtscher I, Raducanu A, Irmler M, Beckers J, Sass S, Theis FJ, Lickert H. The global gene expression profile of the secondary transiion during pancreatic development. Mech Dev. 2016 Feb;139:51-64.

5.    Brokhman I, Xu J, Coles BLK, Razavi R, Engert S, Lickert H, Babona-Pilipos R, Morshead CM, Sibley E, Chen C, van der Kooy D. Dual embryonic origin of the mammalian enteric nervous system. Dev Biol. 2019 Jan 15;445(2):256-270.

6.    Modic M, Grosch M, Rot G, Schirge S, Lepko T, Yamazaki T, Lee FCY, Rusha E, Shaposhnikov D, Palo M, Merl-Pham J, Cacchiarelli D, Rogelj B, Hauck SM, von Mering C, Meissner A, Lickert H, Hirose T, Ule J, Drukker M. Cross-Regulation between TDP-43 and Paraspeckles Promotes Pluripotency-Differentiation Transition. Mol Cell. 2019 Jun 6;74(5):951-965.e13.

7.     Bastidas-Ponce A, Tritschler S, Dony L, Scheibner K, Tarquis-Medina M, Salinno C, Schirge S, Burtscher I, Böttcher A, Theis FJ, Lickert H, Bakhti M. Comprehensive single cell mRNA profiling reveals a detailed roadmap for pancreatic endocrinogenesis. Development. 2019 Jun 17;146(12). pii: dev173849.

8.    Saba R, Kitajima K, Rainbow L, Engert S, Uemura M, Ishida H, Kokkinopoulos I, Shintani Y, Miyagawa S, Kanai Y, Kanai-Azuma M, Koopman P, Meno C, Kenny J, Lickert H, Saga Y, Suzuki K, Sawa Y, Yashiro K. Endocardium differentiation through Sox17 expression in endocardium precursor cells regulates heart development in mice. Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 16;9(1):11953.