Research Department „Totipotency"
Totipotence, Stem Cells, Chromatin organization, Epigenetic reprogramming, Zygotes, Oocytes
The ability of a cell to divide into all cell types is called totipotence. A fertilized egg cell is such an all-rounder. After the oocyte merges with the semen cell, an epigenetic reprogramming takes place and the fertilized oocyte attains the ability of totipotence. Molecular geneticist Kikuë Tachibana is investigating the underlying molecular mechanisms. For this purpose, the researcher and her team are looking at the genetic information, known as chromatin. Her work can also help to elucidate the causes of high-risk pregnancies such as trisomy 21 in older women. Since August 1, the Austro-Japanese has been the new director of the MPI of Biochemistry and head of the Department of Totipotence. The researcher comes from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna, Austria.