Dr Philipp Voigt joins Epigenetics research programme

Dr Philipp Voigt joins Epigenetics research programme

Key points:

  • Dr Philipp Voigt is welcomed to the Institute today as a group leader in the Epigenetics research programme.
  • Dr Voigt’s research seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms that control the accurate and timely expression of genes during development.
  • Dr Voigt, a Sir Henry Dale Fellow, joins from the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology in Edinburgh where he was a group leader.

The Institute is delighted to welcome Dr Philipp Voigt as a new group leader in the Epigenetics research programme. Philipp is the second of five new group leaders to join the Institute.

Interim Director, Dr Simon Cook, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Philipp to the Institute. His expertise in chromatin biochemistry will enable us to obtain much deeper mechanistic insights into epigenetic processes during key developmental decisions and in ageing.”

Philipp is particularly interested in understanding how histone marks and the proteins that write, read, and erase them set up complex regulatory systems that control access to genes and thereby regulate gene expression. In order to study these intricate networks of interaction, Philipp uses a multidisciplinary approach combining in vitro biochemistry with proteomic, genomic, cell biology, and systems biology-inspired techniques.

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“I’m delighted to be joining the Institute, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Epigenetics programme and to eventually reconnecting with my signalling roots in such an enthusiastic and supportive environment.” said Dr Voigt “The Babraham Institute is an ideal place for my research, allowing us to combine our biochemical approaches with the developmental themes of the Programme, while expanding our mechanistic studies to the fascinating interplay between gene expression, chromatin, and cell signalling.”

Philipp’s current work focuses on the Polycomb and trithorax group protein complexes and their roles in setting up and decoding the modification state found at the promoters of important genes that control development.

Philipp received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry from Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. His PhD work focused on phosphoinositide kinase signalling pathways in lymphocytes, which introduced Philipp to the work of the Babraham Institute.

In 2008, Philipp joined the laboratory of Danny Reinberg at NYU School of Medicine, New York, as a postdoctoral researcher. There he studied molecular mechanisms of Polycomb-mediated gene silencing, revealing that nucleosomes can be asymmetrically modified, carrying different modifications on sister histones within single nucleosomes. (Voigt et al. Cell 2012). Philipp started his own lab at the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology in Edinburgh in November 2014 as a Wellcome Sir Henry Dale Fellow and ERC Starting Grant holder.

Notes

Contact
Honor Pollard, Communications Officer, honor.pollard@babraham.ac.uk

Image description: Schematic of histone modifications

Additional/related resources:
Epigenetics research programme
News, 5th July 2021, Welcoming Dr Ian McGough to the Signalling research programme

About the Babraham Institute
The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through Institute Strategic Programme Grants and an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.

About BBSRC
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £451 million in world-class bioscience in 2019-20. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.