The network - Repro.MS

Basic and clinical reproductive research has a long tradition in Münster. Within the framework of the 2017-funded DFG Clinical Research Group (CRU) 326 ‘Male Germ Cells: from Genes to Function’, the local network of researchers has strategically been augmented, bringing together groups and projects for conceiving our CRC.

Fostered by an open, WWU-wide call in summer 2021, researchers form the fields of reproductive biology, medicine, and genetics as well as andrology, physics, informatics, pharmacy, chemistry, mathematics, and evolutionary research joined their forces to form the flagship initiative: REPRODUCTION.MS

We introduce ourselves:

Busch A_verlauf

Alexander Busch

DFG Emmy Noether Research Group Leader and Resident Physician, Paediatrics, Department of General Paediatrics

As a clinician scientist, Alexander is both an Emmy Noether Research Group Leader as well as a Resident Physician in Paediatrics. Linking paediatric endocrinology and reproductive function and health, his group investigates early determinants of reproductive potential including the mechanisms of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis dynamics in early life.
Risse_verlauf

Benjamin Risse

Head of the Computer Vision and Machine Learning Systems Group, Department of Computer Science

Benjamin (computer scientist) and his group investigate computer vision and machine learning algorithms with a focus on biomedical applications. Their group is particularly interested in identifying limitations of existing approaches (esp. in tracking, reconstruction and explainable AI algorithms) in order to develop novel quantification techniques which aim to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Stallmeyer_verlauf

Birgit Stallmeyer

Equal Opportunity Representative CRU326

Birgit is a molecular biologist working as senior scientist at the Institute of Reproductive Genetics. Since 2021, she is the elected Equal Opportunity Representative of the CRU326 ‘Male Germ Cells’ and is responsible for coordinating and improving the equal opportunity measures. Her aim is to help provide framework conditions that above all support the scientific profiling of women.
Brenker_verlauf

Christoph Brenker

Senior Researcher, CeRA

Christoph is a biophysicist who is interested in ion channels and transporters in sperm cells. He employs electrophysiological recordings, kinetic stopped-flow fluorometry, and imaging techniques to study the biophysics of ion channels. The aim is to unravel how the interplay of ion channels and transporters shapes sensory signal transduction in sperm cells.
Friedrich_verlauf

Corinna Friedrich

Group leader at the Institute of Reproductive Genetics, IRG

Corinna is a biologist and expert in the field of reproductive genetics. She and her group focus on male meiosis and infertility due to aberrant gene expression. Their aim is to identify and elucidate the molecular pathomechanisms of meiotic arrest in patients with azoo- or cryptozoospermia. On a long-term, her research highly contributes to a better understanding of male meiosis itself and improves couples’ counselling.
Cristin Beumer_verlauf_final_2

Cristin Beumer

Project Manager, CRU326

Cristin is a biologist by training and has specialized in scientific project management. She has been project manager of the CRU326 since its start in 2017 and has thus already gained substantial experience in managing a research unit. In addition, she is of great support (administratively as well as content-wise) to the equal opportunities representative.
Raz_verlauf

Erez Raz

Director of the Institute of Cell Biology, ZMBE

Erez is a Cell Biologist and his group studies early stages of germ-cell development using the Zebrafish as a vertebrate model organism. The group’s research focuses on understanding the processes allowing germ cells to populate the gonad and on defining the mechanisms germ cells employ to maintain their pluripotency, avoid differentiation into somatic cells and thus to ensure gamete formation and fertility.
Bornberg-Bauer_verlauf

Erich Bornberg-Bauer

Head of Molecular Evolution and Genome Informatics, IEB

Erich has a background in biochemistry and mathematics and has been studying the evolution of RNA, proteins and genomes computationally already since the early 1990ies as well as experimentally for over a decade. Aim of his group is to understand the biophysical constraints on molecular evolution and disentangle their effects from adaptation, purifying selection and neutral drift. Recent reproduction-related work involved modular protein evolution and their de novo creation from non-coding DNA.
Frank Tüttelmann_verlauf_final

Frank Tüttelmann

Director of the Institute of Reproductive Genetics, IRG

Frank is a geneticist and andrologist, coordinating the DFG Clinical Research Unit ‘Male Germ Cell’. Frank and his team identify and functionally characterize the genes orchestrating our reproductive functions. Their aim is to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of (in)infertility and reproduction and to translate the findings into the clinical setting, e.g., to promote (in)fertility diagnostics, genetic counselling, and evidence-based treatment decisions.
Seebohm_verlauf

Guiscard Seebohm

Head of the Cellular Electrophysiology and Molecular Biology Group, IfGH

Gisi (pysiologist) and his group investigate the molecular pharmacology, structure, physiology, and biophysics of ion channels and transporters in different organs. The group analyses ion channels and transporter functions in physiological context and aberrations in acquired and inherited forms of human disease. Detailed molecular pharmacology is used to generate early concepts for targeted pharmatherapy.
Behre_verlauf

Hermann Behre

Acting Head of the UKM Fertility Centre

Hermann is a specialist in Reproductive Medicine, Andrology and Gynaecological Endocrinology. He is currently also Director and Chief Physician of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology of the University Hospital Halle. Together with his colleague Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Greither, he is currently working on the role of non-coding RNA for fertilization (human IVF) and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Omran_verlauf

Heymut Omran

Director of the Department of General Pediatrics, ERN-LUNG PCD Core Coordinator, Speaker of the Center for Rare Diseases (CSE) Münster

Heymut (clinician and scientist) and his group investigate the genetic and molecular defects of rare diseases, especially ciliopathies. He identified and functionally characterized the majority of currently more than 50 genes associated with motile ciliopathies, especially Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD). His aim is to eludicate the genetics and pathomechanism of motile ciliopathies and to translate the findings into the clinics, e.g. to promote and develop diagnostics and evidence based therapeutic options.
Bedzhov_verlauf

Ivan Bedzhov

Head of Embryonic Self-Organisation Research Group, MPI

Ivan (cell and developmental biologist) and his group investigate the mammalian embryonic development at the time of implantation. Their aim is to understand the regulatory principles interconnecting the changes in cell shape and fate in the developing embryo, as well as the mechanisms mediating the crosstalk between the implanting embryo and the mother, including the enigmatic state of embryo dormancy (diapause).
Jose_verlauf

Joachim Jose

Chair in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, IPMC

Joachim has a background in microbiology and pharmaceutical chemistry and was mainly involved in the development of an expression platform for the surface display of recombinant proteins in gram-negative bacteria named autodisplay. He and his group are applying autodisplay for drug discovery purposes, in particular for studying protein-protein interactions as a novel target for therapeutic intervention.
Kurtz_verlauf

Joachim Kurtz

Head of Animal Evolutionary Ecology, IEB

Joachim is an evolutionary biologist interested in host-parasite coevolution and eco-evolutionary aspects of immunity. Current research e.g. addresses the microevolution of forms of immune memory, or priming, in insects. He and his group are also interested in the MHC as a link between mate choice and immunity in sticklebacks, and recently also the Mexican cave fish. The contribution to Reproduction.MS will include the role of MHC for fertility, egg-sperm interactions and its fitness consequences.
Raidt_verlauf

Johanna Raidt

Senior Physician at the Department of General Pediatrics, Deputy Director of the Clinical Trial Network for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD-CTN)

Johanna is a pediatric pulmonologist and clinical scientist. Her research focuses on motile ciliopathies with special interest in male and female fertility. She was involved in the detection of several genetic and molecular defects resulting in motile ciliopathies and associated infertility. She is especially experienced in functional assessment of motile cilia of different tissues and sperm flagella and clinical characterization of phenotypes. As clinical scientist, she aims to translate her research findings into patient care.
Eble_verlauf

Johannes Eble

Head of the Institute of Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry

His major research focuses are the extracellular matrix, collagen- and laminin-binding integrins, their redox-regulation and their inhibition by snake toxins. His group isolates these proteins from recombinant or natural sources, modify them, and generate antibodies against them to investigate the role of cell-matrix interactions in cell adhesion, migration, and differentiation.
Metag_verlauf

Julia Metag

Professor of Communication Science, Department of Communication

Julia holds the chair ‘Forms and processes of public communication’. The group studies interdependencies between public communication and the scientific and political system – conducting research on political communication and science communication. This includes how media report on science, how scientific topics are perceived and how different segments of the public vary in their scientific attitude as well as their information usage and what role digital media plays for science communication.
Varghese_verlauf

Julian Varghese

Acting Director of the Institute of Medical Informatics, IMI

Julian is a Computer Scientist and Physician, leading the working group Digital Health at the IMI. His research focuses on clinical AI and smart devices. These include smartwatches and tablets to identify mobile health biomarkers in a broad area of different clinical specialities. He supervises the Medical Data Integration Centre of Münster, which coordinates data integration from clinical systems at the University Hospital of Münster into sustainable research databases.
Busch K_verlauf

Karin Busch

Head of the Bioenergetics and Mitochondrial Dynamics Group WWU Faculty of Biology

Karin is Full Professor of Mitochondiral Dynamics and Bioenergetics. She and her team study how mitochondrial bioenergetics, dynamics and architecture respond to different metabolic demands of cells during differentiation, maturation and cellular polarization. By deciphering these plastic relations we better understand how mitochondria contribute to diseases development, degeneration processes and reactions to stress and adaptation.
Kerl_verlauf

Kornelius Kerl

Head of Paediatric Neurooncology Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology

Kornelius is a pediatric neurooncologist and the leader of the research group Pediatric Neurooncology at the UKM. The Kerl group deciphers mechanisms of pediatric tumor development and mechanisms of relapse occurence. Their aim is to characterize the influence of the tumor microenvironment on the tumor cell transcriptome and on tumor cell functions by using single cell techniques in distinct in vitro and in vivo models systems.
Spehr_verlauf

Marc Spehr

Director of the Institute of Biology II & Head of the Chemosensation Laboratory, RWTH Aachen

Marc is a physiologist and his group pursues two different avenues of research. A major focus is to understand the neurobiological basis of sensory information processing. The second emerging research focus is the molecular and cellular basis of seminiferous tubule physiology and, consequently, spermatogenesis. The group develops and employs electrophysiological, tissue clearing, and imaging techniques in wildtype and genetically modified mouse models – both in vitro and in vivo.
Hippler_verlauf

Michael Hippler

Head of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology

The Hippler laboratory works in the area of plant biochemistry and biophysics. A focus is how N- and O-glycosylated proteins control the structure and function of the cilia glycocalyx and thereby adhesion and gliding of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The laboratory is also interested in understanding the regulation of photosynthetic electron transfer, the regulation of excitation energy transfer and function of photosynthetic membrane multiprotein complexes.
Ziller_verlauf

Michael Ziller

Head of the Functional Genomics in Psychiatry Group, Department of Psychiatry

Michael (physicist and bioinformatician) is an expert in functional genomics and induced pluripotent stem cell technology. He leads a mixed lab of wet and dry lab researches that work together to understand the molecular genetic pathomechanisms contributing to complex disorders such as schizophrenia, coronary artery disease or diabetes. His lab utilizes iPSC based in vitro models from patients, high throughput genetic screening, an array of functional genomics assays and develops new computational methods to integrate multi-omic datasets to decipher polygenic diseases.
Stoll_verlauf

Monika Stoll

Director Department of Genetic Epidemiology, Institute of Human Genetics, Scientific Director of the Core Facility Genomics of the Medical Faculty Münster

Monika’s research focuses on the genetics of multifactorial diseases, particularly of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Her group is interested in the analysis of GWAS and next generation sequencing applications with a focus on genomic systems biology and non-coding RNA species. We run the genomics core facility of the medical faculty (CFG), which supports next generation sequencing and a (bio)informatics infrastructure for management of large data sets.
Neuhaus_verlauf

Nina Neuhaus

Head of the Germline Stem Cell Group, CeRA

Nina (biologist) and her group seek to unveil the molecular and cellular properties of the human spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) compartment during development and in male infertility. Applying high-resolution analyses (i.e. single cell RNA sequencing); we aim to improve strategies for male fertility preservation in boys and to unravel the molecular alterations associated with male infertility.
Vogl_verlauf

Raimund Vogl

Head of WWU IT and CIO of WWU, WWU IT

Raimund is head of IT at WWU Münster and a researcher in information systems with a research focus on the management of complex information systems and infrastructures. With a background in physics and medical informatics, he is aware of the motivations and needs of researchers. He sees the key mission of WWU IT in being a key facilitator for excellent research by proactively putting leading-edge, game-changing IT infrastructures into the service of researchers – following the maxim that a lack of information systems resources must never be an inhibitor to research.
Peuß_verlauf

Robert Peuß

Senior Lecturer in the Animal Evolutionary Ecology Group, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity

Robert is an evolutionary physiologist and immunologist. He and his group investigate how parasite diversity shapes the evolution of the host with a particular focus on the evolutionary trajectory of cellular immune phenotypes, their underlying genetics and the subsequent consequences for host reproductive fitness using the Mexican cavefish.
Kliesch_verlauf

Sabine Kliesch

Head of Department of Clinical and Surgical Andrology, CeRA

Sabine is a urologist with specialisation in andrology and medical tumour therapy. Since 2020, she has been President of the German Society of Andrology. Her research focuses on clinical and translational aspects, which also form the central basis of the ongoing DFG CRU326. She and her team concentrate on male fertility and fertility preservation with the aim of transferring research outcomes in evidence-based medical care to optimise and restore male reproductive health.
Laurentino_verlauf

Sandra Laurentino

Research Group Leader, CeRA

Sandra is a biochemist with a PhD on Biomedicine. She has a long-standing fascination with mammalian spermatogenesis. Her research focuses on epigenetics and gene regulation in the male germline. She uses methods such as DNA methylation analysis and (single cell) RNA-seq to study changes in gene expression and regulation associated with infertility, development, and ageing, in order to understand their role in male fertility.
Sandmann_verlauf

Sarah Sandmann

Head of the Biomedical Informatics Group, IMI

Sarah (bioinformatician) and her group analyse OMICS-data, including genomics, transcriptomics and epigenomics. Applying established and developing new algorithms for bulk and single-cell data, their aim is to improve the understanding of cellular processes and disease development. This includes, but is not limited to the evolution of cancer.
Schlatt_verlauf

Stefan Schlatt

Director of the Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, CeRA

Stefan is Director of the CeRA and head of the Institute of Reproductive and Regenerative Biology. He obtained training in reproductive biology at the WWU, Monash University, AU and UPenn, USA. He was Professor at PITT, USA. His team performs basic science research using animal models including monkeys. Alternative strategies (Microfluidic chips, organoid systems) are also applied to better understand spermatogonial biology and to develop strategies for stem cell based fertility treatments.
Timo Strünker_verlauf_final

Timo Strünker

Head of the Molecular Reproductive Physiology Group, CeRA

Timo (biochemist) and his group investigate the molecular and cellular pharmacology, physiology, and biophysics of ion channels and transporters employed by sperm to translate changes in the microenvironment into a behavioural response. Their aim is to elucidate the molecular components and basic principles of sensory signal transduction in sperm and, thereby, the molecular pathomechanisms underlying male infertility.