Functional Genomics

The development and application of innovative methods concerning next-generation sequencing, as well as synthetic biology, are the main focus of the Functional Genomics research group headed by Dr. Kai Sohn. These methods provide the basis for the identification of biomarkers for personalized diagnostics of various clinical indications and the molecular analysis of infection processes, but also for the characterization of microorganisms in industrial biotechnology. Furthermore, methods for the qualitative and quantitative characterization of complex microbial metagenomes and metatranscriptomes are developed and applied to diagnostics and environmental biotechnology.

To this end, a complete workflow was established in our group to provide an 'all-in-one' solution from sample preparation to bioinformatics. Our automated sample preparation, next generation sequencing and high performance computing workflows are available for cooperation and joint research projects, as well as research projects of industrial clients.


Functional genomics via next-generation sequencing

Next-generation sequencing allows for the simultaneous sequencing of several hundred billions of nucleic acid fragments. We utilize this technology for de-novo sequencing of bacterial and fungal genomes, for transcriptional profile analyses, the identification of relevant genes and screening for diagnostic biomarkers.


Despite good medical standards, diagnostic procedures for the detection of many diseases are insufficiently up-to-date. We exploit the power of next-generation sequencing for the identification of novel biomarkers, enabling better diagnosis of diseases such as prostate cancer, COPD or infectious diseases.


Infection biology

The human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans can cause severe infections in patients with compromised immune status. To improve the understanding of the pathogen-host interactions of C. albicans with human cells, different cell biological and molecular biological methods such as infection models and metatranscriptome studies are applied.


Synthetic biology

Synthetic biology enables the targeted manipulation of a protein of interest via the integration of synthetic amino acids. In our group, this strategy is utilized, for example, for protein-protein interaction studies of the virulence factors expressed by the human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans.

Awards and scholarships

Research Group Functional Genomics