Université de Strasbourg

Wolfgang Hess & Pascale Romby

Biography - Wolfgang Hess

Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Germany

Wolfgang Hess, USIAS Fellow 2017

Wolfgang R. Hess studied biology at the University of Rostock and the Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany, where he obtained his doctorate in 1990 and the habilitation in 1999. After a post-doctorate at the CNRS institute in Roscoff, France, running a junior research group at the Humboldt-University Berlin and pursuing research projects as visiting scientist at the Friedrich-Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S., he became in 2003 founding director of the Ocean Genome Legacy Foundation, a spin-off from the biotech company New England Biolabs.

In 2004 he was appointed as Professor for Experimental Bioinformatics and in 2008 as Full Professor for Genetics at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He has been a William Evans Guest Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Biography - Pascale Romby

Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC), University of Strasbourg

Pascale Romby, USIAS Fellow 2017

Pascale Romby first studied biology in Paris and subsequently moved to the University of Strasbourg to study biochemistry, where she obtained her doctorates (thesis “3rd cycle” in 1983 followed by thesis es sciences in 1986). After short post-doctoral stays in Belgium and Canada, she obtained a CNRS researcher position at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC) in Strasbourg in 1987, and was promoted to the level of CNRS director in 1995.

In 2004, her team “Bacterial regulatory RNAs and mRNAs” was officially created, and awarded the CNRS silver medal in 2006. She then became deputy director of the CNRS research unit “Architecture and Reactivity of RNA” in 2013 and took over its direction in 2016.

Project - MapRNA: Mapping RNA-RNA pairings in vivo in bacteria and their importance in fast acclimation processes

October 2017 - September 2019

The project “MapRNA” combines innovative technologies to generate complete maps of interactions between small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) and their targets in two different bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus as a major pathogen and Synechocystis 6803, as a major model for prokaryotic photosynthetic biotechnology. Particularly, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains at the hospital are a major life-threatening problem causing about 25,000 deaths per year in Europe, but community-associated MRSA strains appear even more virulent and transmissible.

Bacteria possess a large number of regulatory sRNAs that are key players in biological signaling networks. However, they are less well studied than regulatory proteins because their direct targets are difficult to identify. The two MapRNA partner groups will combine their complementary expertise at the interface of bioinformatics, experimental RNA biology, and microbial system biology to fundamentally improve this situation. The results will allow deep insight into the regulatory mechanisms at the molecular level and help to identify novel therapeutical targets and to enhance the yield from photobiotechnology.

MapRNA will deepen the already excellent relationship between the universities of Strasbourg and of Freiburg and will promote the mobility and interculturality between our students and researchers contributing to the spirit of the European Campus.


Post-doc biography - Shengwei Hou

Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Germany

Shengwei HouDr. Shengwei Hou was post-doc in the laboratory of Professor Wolfgang Hess from October 2017 to February 2018, before moving to a new position at the University of Southern Carolina in the US.

His ResearchGate profile.



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