Dr. Sven Hennig

Current Position: Independent group leader at the Chemical Genomics Centre (CGC) of the Max Planck Society
Chemical Genomics Centre - CGC (Prof. Cr. Christian Ottmann), Western Australian Insitute for Medical Research – WAIMR (Dr. A. H. Fox)

PhD: Max-Planck Insitute Dortmund, Germany (Dep. Prof. Dr. A. Wittinghofer, group: Prof Dr. Eva Wolf)

Research Interest
The 'Transcriptome' is the total sum of all transcriptional products within a cell. As Transcription is a tightly regulated process, misregulation usually causes a broad variety of diseases. Fixing these misregulated states for the good of mankind is what we mean by 'Therapeutic'. This implies that at the end of the day we want to develop drugs. These will be small molecules as therapeutics or at least therapeutical precursors specific for each of those diseases. Finally, their mode of action is the desired 'Modification' specifically needed to fix the misbalance in the cell or - at the very end - the organism. As a common scope we focus on direct bimolecular interactions and their modifications. This can either be an inhibition or a stabilization of the complex and thereby activating or de-activating its function. As examples for protein-protein interaction modifications we choose the SMAD family of adaptor proteins and their transcription modifying target proteins. A second class of interactions we want to target are long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and their target proteins. lncRNAs belong to a novel class of biologically active molecules and differ from other ncRNAs in their size.
Plasmid Cloning, Eucaryotic Tissue Culture, RT/qPCR, RNA Tagging, Protein Purification, in vitro Assay Design, Small Molecule Screening, X-ray Crystallography, Isothermal Titration Calorimetry

Selected Reading
Thiel P, Kaiser M, Ottmann C. Small-molecule stabilization of protein-protein interactions: an underestimated concept in drug discovery? Angew Chem Int Ed 2012, 51(9), 2012-8. doi: 10.1002/anie.201107616. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Cheetham SW, Gruhl F, Mattick JS, Dinger ME. Long noncoding RNAs and the genetics of cancer. Br J Cancer 2013, 108(12), 2419-25. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.233. Epub 2013 May 9.

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