Prof. Dr. Melina Schuh

Doctor, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences

  • 2004 Diploma in Biochemistry, University of Bayreuth, Germany
  • 2004 - 2008 Ph.D. Student, Laboratory of Jan Ellenberg, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2008 Dr. rer. nat., University of Heidelberg and EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2009 - 2010 Senior Investigator Scientist, MRC LMB, Cambridge, UK)
  • 2010 - 2014 Programme Leader Track, MRC LMB, Cambridge, UK
  • 2014 - 2015 Programme Leader (Tenured), MRC LMB, Cambridge, UK
  • since 2016 Director of the Department of Meiosis, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany
  • since 2023 Honorary Professor, University of Goettingen, Germany

Major Research Interests

We study meiosis in mammalian oocytes, the progenitor cells of eggs. This topic is of great interest for fundamental research because meiosis is still much more poorly understood than mitosis, especially in mammals. It is also of direct medical relevance because defects in eggs are the leading cause of pregnancy loss and several congenital disorders such as Down's syndrome. Our main aim is to understand how defects at the interface between chromosomes and cytoskeletal structures lead to aneuploid eggs and pregnancy loss in mammals. To this end, we study how the meiotic spindle is organized, how it segregates the chromosomes and how the spindle interacts with actin to drive the meiotic divisions. To have a solid foundation for future research, we are also developing new tools to study meiosis in mammalian oocytes. For instance, we have been able to carry out the first high content screen for meiotic genes in mammals. We also developed Trim Away, a method for rapid degradation of endogenous proteins. We have also been able to establish methods that now allow us for the first time to study the causes of chromosome segregation errors directly in live human oocytes. This has opened an exciting new area of research in my laboratory that we plan to expand significantly in the future.

Homepage Department / Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • So C, Seres KB, Steyer Anna M, Mönnich E, Clift D, Pejkovska A, Möbius W, and Schuh M (2019) A liquid-like spindle domain promotes acentrosomal spindle assembly in mammalian oocytes. Science doi: 10.1126/science.aat9557.

  • Clift D, McEwan W, Labzin LL, Konieczny V, Mogessie M, James LC, Schuh M (2017) A method for the acute and rapid degradation of endogenous proteins. Cell, doi: 10.1016

  • Mogessie B, Schuh M (2017) Actin protects mammalian eggs against chromosome segregation errors. Science 357, eaal1647.

  • Webster A, Schuh M (2017) Mechanisms of aneuploidy in mammalian eggs. Review invited by Trends Cell Biol. 27, 55-68.

  • Pfender S, Kuznetsov V, Pasternak M, Tischer T, Santhanam B, Schuh M (2015) Live imaging RNAi scree reveals genes essential for meiosis in mammalian oocytes. Nature doi: 10.1038/nature14568.

  • Holubcová Z, Blayney M, Elder K, Schuh M (2015) Error-prone chromosome-mediated spindle assembly favors chromosome segregation defects in human oocytes. Science 348, 1143-1147.