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First FRIAS Project Group for the academic year 2015/2016 on Chemical Epigenetics

The applicants for a FRIAS Research Focus on Chemical Epigenetics have been chosen to build up the first FRIAS project group in the academic year 2015/16.

Prof. Bernhard Breit (Organic Chemistry), Prof. Oliver Einsle (Biochemistry), Prof. Manfred Jung (Pharmaceutical Chemistry) and Prof. Stefan Günther (Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics) from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, aim to enforce the already established focus on Medical Epigenetics in Freiburg by exploring the chemical and biochemical mechanisms involved in epigenetics.


In addition to the scientific goal of finding new approaches for developing drugs through a combination of different expertises, the four researchers plan to strengthen the international Chemical Epigenetics network. In support of this aim, an international conference in collaboration with SFB 992 (Medical Epigenetics) and FRIAS will be held in Freiburg in the spring of 2016.

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Project Group Chemical Epigenetics

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Breit (Organic Chemistry)


Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle (Biochemistry)


Prof. Dr. Manfred Jung (Pharmaceutical Chemistry)


Jun. Prof. Dr. Stefan Günther (Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics)



Epigenetics is one of the major topics of modern biomedical research and is already a major focus in the Freiburg research landscape with international visibility. We propose a new research line that deals with epigenetic mechanisms on a molecular level using our combined expertises in synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry, structural biochemistry and bioinformatics, to address this topic in a highly synergistic manner. The main scientific focus of our project will be acetyl- and methyllysine binding proteins, so called histone code readers. Structural analysis provides the basis for identification and optimization of new chemical ligands for these proteins in a rational, bio-guided fashion. This will lead to new chemical tools that will allow dissecting cellular pathways involving these proteins as well as the analysis of their suitability as drug targets.

Another aim is to further strengthen the network of the Freiburg community interested in Chemical Epigenetics with international key-players in this field. Thus, both scientifically and structurally we will further foster the status of Freiburg as a major site for epigenetic research.