I started my independent lab at Caltech in 2010. The focus of our research is at the intersection of chromatin and RNA biology. We are using an interdisciplinary approach combining biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, genetics and computational biology to understand how chromatin influences gene expression and how ribonucleoprotein complexes regulate transcription and chromatin structure.
I obtained my medical degree at the Semmelweis University in Budapest Hungary in 2001. Subsequently I obtained a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany in 2004 in the lab of Karsten Rippe.
The focus of my PhD was the analysis of higher order chromatin structure and the role of histone chaperons, chromatin remodelers and histone modifiers in regulating chromatin and nuclear architecture. During my PhD I obtained training in various single molecule and fluorescent imaging techniques (such as AFM/SFM, AUC, in vivo LSM, FCS/FCCS, ICS) as well as a strong background in biochemistry and chromatin biology.
I conducted my postdoctoral training with Gregory Hannon at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. My work focused on the role of diverse small non-coding RNAs in regulation of gene expression. We described a new class of small non-coding RNAs in mammals that map to the promoters and the bodies of protein coding genes and might be involved in regulation of gene expression. Our discoveries led to the description of an alternative RNA capping process, which leads to 7mG capping of cleaved transcripts independently of transcription. I have also developed a number of different RNA cloning strategies that allowed the biochemical analysis of short cellular transcripts. My postdoctoral education provided me with an exceptional training in RNA biology, genomics and fly genetics.
1/2014–present Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Biology and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology
1/2010–12/2013 T.H. Morgan Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Biology and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology
1/2006–12/2009 Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Greg Hannon at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
9/2005–12/2005 Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Thomas Tuschl at the Rockefeller University, New York, NY
11/2004–8/2005 Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. K. Rippe, Molekulare Biophysik, at the Kirchhoff-Institut für Physik, University of Heidelberg
9/2001–11/2005 PhD student in the lab of Dr. K. Rippe, Molekulare Biophysik, Kirchhoff-Institut für Physik, University of Heidelberg
Awards and Honors:
2010–2014 The Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award
2010–2011 Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation Award
2005–2007 Ernst Schering Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
1999–2000 University of Heidelberg Research Fellowship