Albert-Ludwigs- Universitaet Freiburg (UF)

18 uf


The University of Freiburg is one of the top research universities in Germany and the Faculty of Biology has been ranked consistently among the 3 top national university’s research centers in the field of experimental biology. Work in the Hess’ group “Genetics and Experimental Bioinformatics” is centred around whole genomebased gene predictions, functional annotations and gene mining with a strong focus on marine bacteria, in particular marine cyanobacteria. This group has been spearheading the annotation of cyanobacterial genomes and their analyses for regulatory factors. The vast majority of genes outside the core genome frequently encode enzymatic activities through which bioactive secondary metabolites are generated. The research unit has a state-of-theart computer network and access to the Black Forest Grid for parallel computing. All equipment necessary for molecular and biochemical work and growing phytoplankton strains is present in the applicant’s lab. This includes centrifuges, ultracentrifuges, fluorescence microscopes, real-time and standard PCR machines, flow cytometer, extensive facilities for the growth of marine bacteria and phytoplankton strains, a dedicated laboratory for work with radioactive isotopes, phosphor imager and fluorescence imager, as well as a multi-task plate reader for automated fluorescence, luminescence, and absorbance measurements. The research unit has extensive experience in the analysis of bacterial transcriptomes and metatranscriptomes including the recently developed dRNA-seq methodology.



Contact person: Wolfgang Hess ( )



Role of UF in MaCuMBA:

UF provides computational biology and functional genomics support and participates in work packages #4 and #6. Based on an existing in –house collection of marine bacteria and those of other partners, functional studies will be performed to verify and extend in silico predictions by experimental data and in addition the partner will contribute to the development of a systems biology perspective. This partner will focus on the transcriptome and metatranscriptome analysis in work package 6.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:

Wolfgang R Hess2

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang R. Hess is head of the group “Genetics & Experimental Bioinformatics” at the University of Freiburg. MSc in biology in 1987 and PhD in genetics in 1990, both from Humboldt-University (HU) Berlin, Germany. Following a post-doc at the CNRS institute for Marine Biology in Roscoff, France, he was assistant and associate professor for Genetics at HU Berlin. EMBO fellow at the Friedrich-Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland (1990) and HFSP visiting research fellow at the MIT in Cambridge, U.S. (2000). In 2003 he launched the program of the Ocean Genome Legacy Foundation at New England Biolabs as founding director. In 2004 he became appointed Professor for Experimental Bioinformatics at the University of Freiburg and in 2008 Professor in Genetics. Wolfgang Hess is a specialist for bacterial genome analyses and a focus on gene regulation. He is currently speaker for the Freiburg Initiative for Systems Biology and is or has been leading several national and international research projects. 


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