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Christian Schöfer
Christian Schöfer

Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology (Division of Cell and Developmental Biology)
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000000195705692
T +43 1 40160 37713

Further Information


Cell Nucleus; Chromatin; Embryology; Gene Expression; Imaging, Three-Dimensional

Research interests

Chromatin organization and gene expression control are fundamental determinants of cellular life. The coordinated generation of different chromatin states within the three-dimensional nuclear space is a hallmark of cell differentiation processes. Regular and aberrant differentiation processes as well as organ development reflect the particular importance of coordinated chromatin organization. We study epigenetic factors influencing the interdependence between chromatin arrangement and gene transcription, a pre-requisite of coordinated gene expression control. Correspondingly, we study the relation of chromatin and structural constituents like nucleoli or nuclear lamina and their influence on gene transcription and on the formation of functional chromatin domains. Furthermore, we study the roles of the epigenetic factors in organism development.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

Molecular in situ detection methods are combined with standard molecular techniques: in situ detection of proteins and nucleic acids in live cells (stably or transient expression, CRISPR), in fixed cells or tissue sections (light- and electron microscopy) and in embryos (whole mount); experimental model system: chicken

Selected publications

  1. Weipoltshammer, K. & Schöfer, C., 2016. Morphology of nuclear transcription. Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 145(4), pp.343-358. Available at:
  2. Snyers, L. et al., 2014. Distinct chromatin signature of histone H3 variant H3.3 in human cells. Nucleus, 5(5), pp.449-461. Available at:
  3. Murko, C. et al., 2013. Histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A induces neural tube defects and promotes neural crest specification in the chicken neural tube. Differentiation, 85(1-2), pp.55-66. Available at:
  4. Schöfer, C. & Weipoltshammer, K., 2018. Nucleolus and chromatin. Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 150(3), pp.209-225. Available at:
  5. Snyers, L. et al., 2018. LEM4/ANKLE-2 deficiency impairs post-mitotic re-localization of BAF, LAP2α and LaminA to the nucleus, causes nuclear envelope instability in telophase and leads to hyperploidy in HeLa cells. European Journal of Cell Biology, 97(1), pp.63-74. Available at: