Hans Lehrach

Hans Lehrach, Professor for molecular genetics at Max Planck Institute, Berlin#

"The virtual patient"#


This talk will discuss how the notion of virtual patient has developed and is going to influence medicine more and more in the future.

Research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetic:

Research at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics concentrates on genome analysis of man and other organisms to contribute to a global understanding of many of the biological processes in the organism, and to elucidate the mechanism behind many human diseases. It is the overall goal of the combined efforts of all MPIMG’s groups to gain new insights into the development of diseases on a molecular level, thus contributing to the development of cause-related new medical treatments.

Genome research, the systematic study of genes and genomes, has changed the way in which research in molecular genetics is pursued. The focus and composition of the MPI for Molecular Genetics reflects this development. The Dept. of Vertebrate Genomics (Lehrach) generates the tools and information to understand the function of most or all genes of man and other organisms. The Human Molecular Genetics Dept. (Ropers) searches for disease genes and their biological function. The Dept. of Computational Molecular Biology (Vingron) exploits the generated data to better understanding of biological and disease processes. The Dept. of Developmental Genetics (Herrmann) uses the systematic functional analysis for understanding developmental mechanisms.

The institute pursues a number of large scale projects. Probably the most prominent national project is the German National Genome Network (NGFN), where all departments of the institute participate and collaborate with each other. Other prominent projects include a number of EU projects, participation in several projects of the German Ministry of Science as well DFG "Sonderforschungsbereiche".


Hans Lehrach is Professor for Molecular Genetics at the Max Planck Institute, Berlin

University Education
  • 1970 Diploma in chemistry, Technische Universität Braunschweig
  • 1974 Ph.D., MPI for Experimental Medicine, Göttingen

Professional Experience (selection)
  • 1974-1976 Research fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, USA
  • 1978-1987 Head of a research group at the EMBL, Heidelberg
  • 1987-1994 Head of Department Genome Analysis, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK
  • 1994- Director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics (MPI-MG)

Research Fields
  • Main field: Technology development in genomics
  • Other fields: Automation, sequencing, proteomics, transcriptomics
  • Current research interest: Systems biology of cancer

Most important Awards, Grants or Scientific Achievements
  • 2003 The Ján Jessenius SAS Medal of Honour for outstanding achievements in medical sciences, Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • 2004 Karl Heinz Beckurts Award for achievements in genome research, Munich

3 most relevant Publications
  • Ralser, M., Wamelink, M. M., Struys, E. A., Joppich, C., Krobitsch, S., Jakobs, C., and Lehrach, H. (2008). A catabolic block does not sufficiently explain how 2-deoxy-D-glucose inhibits cell growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105, 17807.
  • Sultan, M., Schulz, M. H., Richard, H., Magen, A., Klingenhoff, A., …, Lehrach, H., and Yaspo, M.L. (2008). A global view of gene activity and alternative splicing by deep sequencing of the human transcriptome. Science 321, 956.
  • International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (2004). Finishing the euchromatic sequence of the human genome. Nature 431, 931

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