The University of Birmingham (UOB) United Kingdom

Leader: Ferenc Müller

Brief Description of the Organization:
The University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top ten UK universities and is particularly strong in research. The School of Medicine houses the Institute of Biomedical Research (A a30m JIF-funded facility), including state of the art facilities. Within the IBR research focuses on molecular genetics, cell biology and animal models of human disease. A wide-ranging research program is supported by over 2 million in external research grants (EU, DFG, Cancer Research Campaign, British Heart Foundation, MRC, Wellcome Trust) and grant funded research staff of over 30.

Main tasks attributed to the project:
Functional screening of cis-regulatory elements and non-coding RNAs in zebrafish dopaminergic neurons.

Previous experience relevant to the tasks
Dr Ferenc Müller (M) is a newly appointed senior lecturer in the DMMG. He has obtained his PhD in Biological Science (PhD Programme of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1997). He was post doc (EMBO) in the IGBMC, Strasbourg and at the Uni. Southampton. FM was a junior group leader in the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (FZK) for 6 years. His research group studies gene regulation during vertebrate embryo. His laboratory has developed medium throughput functional analysis of cis-regulatory elements in transient transgenic zebrafish. His research group has currently 8 members. His research is funded the EU and the DFG and he is editorial board member of the journal Zebrafish. He has over 30 peer reviewed publications and organiser of regional zebrafish genetics conferences.
Professor Eamonn Maher (M) is the Head of Department (DMMG) and reknowned human geneticist experienced in the identification of autosomal recessive disease genes by autozygosity mapping. EM is editor of the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Selected recent publications:

  • Ferg M., Sanges R., Gehrig J., Lovas A., Bauer M., Kiss J., Szabo M., Olasz F., Pankratz M., Stupka E., and Müller F. (2007) The TATA binding protein (TBP) regulates maternal mRNA degradation and differential zygotic gene activation in the zebrafish embryo. EMBO J. 26(17):3945-56.

  • Hadzhiev Y., Lang M., Ertzer R., Meyer A., Straehle U. and Müller F. (2007) Functional diversification of sonic hedgehog paralog enhancers identified by phylogenomic reconstruction. Genome Biol 8(6):R106.

  • Sanges R., Kalmar E., Claudiani P., D'Amato M., Müller F#. and Stupka E. (2006) Shuffling of cis-regulatory elements is a pervasive feature of the vertebrate lineage. Genome Biol, 7(7), R56.

  • Bártfai R., Balduf C., Hilton T., Rathmann Y., Hadzhiev Y., Tora L., Orbán L. and Müller F. (2004) TBP2, a vertebrate-specific member of the TBP family is required in embryonic development of zebrafish. Curr Biol, 14, 593-598.

  • Aligianis IA, Johnson CA, Gissen P, et al., and Maher ER (2005) Mutations of the catalytic subunit of RAB3GAP cause Warburg Micro syndrome. Nature Genetics 37:221-224

  • Morgan NV, Westaway SK, Morton et al.,Maher ER, Hayflick SJ (2006). PLA2G6, encoding a phospholipase A2, is mutated in neurodegenerative disorders with high brain iron. Nature Genetics 38:752-4.