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In Memoriam: Gaul Lab - Systems Biology of Gene Regulation

gaul_mainResearch Topics

  • Regulatory Networks in Development
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Transcription Control
  • Function of Glia in the Nervous System


Ulrike Gaul deceased on June 14, 2020. We miss her.




The lab’s overarching goal was to better understand complex biological systems. The establishment of complex spatio-temporal patterns of gene expression lies at the heart of animal development. The lab had a long-standing interest in deciphering the underlying ‘regulatory code’, from the interaction between regulatory factors and DNA or RNA to their interplay in complex networks. Combining experimental and computational approaches, Ulrike Gaul's team developed appropriate methods and concepts to analyze these processes at a systems level. The second line of research in the lab focused on the function of glial cells in nervous system development and homeostasis which has an important implication for human medicine. Glia constitute the majority of cells in the CNS of all higher animals, but their contribution has long been neglected. The lab discovered numerous novel glial genes, including a GPCR pathway involved in blood-brain barrier formation.

Selected Publications

ATAC-seq reveals regional differences in enhancer accessibility during the establishment of spatial coordinates in the Drosophila blastoderm.
Bozek M, Cortini R, Storti AE, Unnerstall U, Gaul U, Gompel N.
Genome Res. 2019 May;29(5):771-783. doi: 10.1101/gr.242362.118. PubMed

The glia of the adult Drosophila nervous system.
Kremer MC, Jung C, Batelli S, Rubin GM, Gaul U.
Glia. 2017 Apr;65(4):606-638. doi: 10.1002/glia.23115. Epub 2017 Jan 30. PubMed

How to make stripes: deciphering the transition from non-periodic to periodic patterns in Drosophila segmentation.
Schroeder MD, Greer C, Gaul U.
Development. 2011 Jul;138(14):3067-78. doi: 10.1242/dev.062141. PubMed

Predicting expression patterns from regulatory sequence in Drosophila segmentation.
Segal E, Raveh-Sadka T, Schroeder M, Unnerstall U, Gaul U.
Nature. 2008 Jan 31;451(7178):535-40. doi: 10.1038/nature06496. Epub 2008 Jan 2. PubMed

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