Dr. rer. nat. Lucas Farnung is a Member of the Faculty of Cell Biology. Lucas completed his doctoral thesis at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany) and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Germany). Lucas worked as a postdoctoral fellow and project leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry to elucidate molecular mechanisms of chromatin transcription.
The Farnung Lab investigates key mechanistic questions at the intersection of chromatin and transcription. Eukaryotic genomes are organized in a structure called chromatin that allows eukaryotic cells to compact their genomes into the small confines of the nucleus. The structure of chromatin and its fundametal unit, the nucleosome, represent a significant challenge to the transcription machinery because any molecular motor that moves through chromatin must overcome contacts between the nucleosomal DNA and the histone octamer. How this process of chromatin passage is coordinated remains unknown.
The Farnung Lab employs biochemical, biophysical, and structural biology approaches to investigate how the transcription machinery, histone modifying enzymes, chromatin remodellers, and chromatin interact to establish and retain epigenomic information during gene expression. These efforts facilitate our molecular understanding of chromatin and transcription with direct mechanistic implications for understanding cell differentiation and disease.