• sense clinically
  • think mechanistically
  • act interdisciplinarily
  • treat innovatively

Prof. Dr. med. Nikolaus Rajewsky

Scientific Director Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology

Max-Delbrück-Centre for Molecular Medicine
Charité Medical University
Hannoversche Str. 28, 10115 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 9406 2999
Email: rajewsky(at)mdc-berlin.de

Professional Experience

  • 1998-1999 Postdoc, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
  • 1999-2002 Postdoc, New York University, New York, USA
  • 2002-2006 Assistant Professor, New York University, New York, USA
  • Since 2006 Group leader Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine
  • Since 2008 Founder and Scientific Director Berlin Institute of Medical Systems Biology        

Awards and scientific achievements

  • Coordinator Life Time Initiative together with Genevieve Almouzni from Institut Curie
  • DFG Leibniz Prize in 2012
  • Elected EMBO member
  • Member of various SABs, e.g. MRC London Institute of Clinical Science
  • Publication mentioned in "Science Breakthrough of the year 2018"

Scientific Scope

For understanding the function of RNA in early development, stem cell biology, diseases and regeneration, we traditionally work in a variety of model systems (including C. elegans, Planaria and mice) but in recent years are transforming into medical/clinical systems. For example, we have established patient-derived brain organoids in the lab and study the role of RNA in human brain diseases. We apply single-cell methods and gene-editing or RNA knockdowns by CRISPR directly in brain organoids. We also enjoy direct collaborations with various hospitals from the Charité, such as Neurological Diseases, Pedriatic Cancer, and others.


Future Directions

  • Single cell transcriptomics
  • Spatial transcriptomics
  • Patient-derived models

Selected References

  • Rajewsky N, Almouzni G, Gorski SA, et al. LifeTime and improving European healthcare through cell-based interceptive medicine [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 7]. Nature. 2020;10.1038/s41586-020-2715-9. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2715-9
  • Praktiknjo SD, Obermayer B, Zhu Q, et al. Tracing tumorigenesis in a solid tumor model at single-cell resolution. Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):991. Published 2020 Feb 20. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-14777-0
  • Nitzan M, Karaiskos N, Friedman N, Rajewsky N. Gene expression cartography. Nature. 2019;576(7785):132-137. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1773-3
  • Zywitza V, Misios A, Bunatyan L, Willnow TE, Rajewsky N. Single-Cell Transcriptomics Characterizes Cell Types in the Subventricular Zone and Uncovers Molecular Defects Impairing Adult Neurogenesis. Cell Rep. 2018;25(9):2457-2469.e8. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2018.11.003
  • Legnini I, Alles J, Karaiskos N, Ayoub S, Rajewsky N. FLAM-seq: full-length mRNA sequencing reveals principles of poly(A) tail length control. Nat Methods. 2019;16(9):879-886. doi:10.1038/s41592-019-0503-
  • Plass M., Solana J., Alexander Wolf F., Ayoub S., Misios A., Glazar P., Obermayer B., Theis F.J., Kocks C., Rajewsky N. Cell type atlas and lineage tree of a whole complex animal by single-cell transcriptomics. Science (2018)
  • Karaiskos N., Wahle P., Alles J., Boltengagen A., Ayoub S., Kipar C., Kocks C., Rajewsky N*., Zinzen R.P., The Drosophila embryo at single-cell transcriptome resolution. Science (2017)
  • Piwecka M., Glazar P., Hernandez-Miranda L.R., Memczak S., Wolf S.A., Rybak-Wolf A., Filipchyk A., Klironomos F., Cerda Jara C.A., Fenske P., Trimbuch T., Zywitza V., Plass M., Schreyer L., Ayoub S., Kocks C., Kuehn R., Rosenmund C., Birchmeier C., Rajewsky N.  Loss of a mammalian circular RNA locus causes miRNA deregulation and affects brain function.  Science (2017)
  • Rybak-Wolf A, Jens M, Murakawa Y, Herzog M, Landthaler M & Rajewsky N, A variety of Dicer substrates in human and C. elegans, Cell 159, 1153-1167 (2014)
  • Memczak S, Jens M, Elefsinioti A, Torti F, Krueger J, Rybak A, Maier L, Mackowiak SD, Gregersen LH, Munschauer M, Loewer A, Ziebold U, Landthaler M, Kocks C, le Noble F, Rajewsky N. Circular RNAs are a large class of animal RNAs with regulatory potency, Nature 495, 333-338 (2013)