Günesdogan, Ufuk, Dr.

Group Leader, Developmental Biology

  • Since 2017: Group Leader at the University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 2015-2017: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2010-2015: Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2006-2010: Predoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
  • Undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Braunschweig, Germany

  • Major Research Interests

    Our research focuses on understanding the development of mammalian primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors of sperm or egg. Hence, PGCs represent the only cell type that transmits genetic and epigenetic information to the next generation. In mammals, the developing embryo forms the postimplantation epiblast, the founder cell population of all embryonic cell types. While most of these cells give rise to organs and tissues, a few are set aside to become PGCs. Shortly after, PGCs undergo reprogramming including extensive transcriptional changes accompanied by epigenetic alterations. Our work addresses the fundamental questions: How is the transcriptional programme controlled and what are the functional implications of epigenetic modifications in PGCs? To address these questions, we make use of in vivo and in vitro model systems of PGC differentiation, genome-wide techniques and the CRIPSR/Cas9 genome editing tool.

    Homepage Department/Research Group


    Selected Recent Publications

    • Murakami, K.*, Günesdogan, U.*, Zylicz, J. J., Tang, W. W. C., Sengupta, R., Kobayashi, T., Kim, S., Butler, R., Dietmann, S. and Surani, M. A. (2016). NANOG alone induces germ cells in primed epiblast in vitro by activation of enhancers. Nature 529, 403–407. *Co-first author
    • Günesdogan, U. and Surani, M. A. (2016). Developmental Competence for Primordial Germ Cell Fate. Curr. Top. Dev. Biol. 117, 471–496.
    • Zylicz, J. J., Dietmann, S., Günesdogan, U., Hackett, J. A., Cougot, D., Lee, C. and Surani, M. A. (2015). Chromatin dynamics and the role of G9a in gene regulation and enhancer silencing during early mouse development. Elife 4, e09571.
    • Kim, S., Günesdogan, U., Zylicz, J. J., Hackett, J. A., Cougot, D., Bao, S., Lee, C., Dietmann, S., Allen, G. E., Sengupta, R., et al. (2014). PRMT5 Protects Genomic Integrity during Global DNA Demethylation in Primordial Germ Cells and Preimplantation Embryos. Mol. Cell 56, 564–579.
    • Günesdogan, U., Magnúsdóttir, E. and Surani, M. A. (2014). Primordial germ cell specification: a context-dependent cellular differentiation event. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. 369.
    • Günesdogan, U., Jäckle, H. and Herzig, A. (2014). Histone supply regulates S phase timing and cell cycle progression. Elife 3, e02443.