Alexander Rauch, PhD


My research focuses on the understanding of transcriptional networks that specify and modulate mesenchymal lineage commitment. I am particularly interested in how transcription factors and chromatin remodeling factors contribute to the initiation of lineage specific gene programs that are pivotal for cellular differentiation. Currently I am in the process of establishing my own research group which will explore the cellular heterogeneity of mesenchymal cells. From a basic research perspective, I want to focus on the differentiation capacity of distinct subpopulation of mesenchymal cells and which molecular signals trigger the establishment of cellular heterogeneity. From a translational point of view, I want to quantify the composition of mesenchymal subpopulations in patients with diabetes and/or osteoporosis to predict their differentiation capacity and to pinpoint crucial cellular and molecular targets of metabolic bone diseases.

In 2002 I started studying biochemistry at the University of Jena from which I also received my PhD in 2011. During my PhD I was working in the laboratory of Jan Tuckerman, in which I employed genetic mouse models to study the cellular and molecular targets of the deleterious effects of high dose glucocorticoids on bone. In 2012 I moved to Denmark to start my Postdoc in the laboratory of Susanne Mandrup at the University of Southern Denmark. There I delineated the mechanisms of enhancer activation during osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation by profiling enhancer features and transcriptional output at a high temporal resolution. I got thrilled by exploring lineage commitment by the actions of transcriptional networks. In 2018 I became a Research Assistant Professor at the Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, and have been working in the group of Moustapha Kassem to contribute with bioinformatic analysis for ongoing projects and with the goal to establish my own research group.

I thought changing Bratwurst for a Hot dog would only last for two years, but now I have both family and my favorite beer bar here in Odense.