Falk Ponath


Falk Ponath is a PhD student in the “RNA biology of bacterial infections” group of Prof. Vogel. His PhD project aims at elucidating the post-transcriptional regulatory network of the cancer-associated pathogen Fusobacterium nucleatum.

During the last years, the anaerobic oral bacterium F. nucleatum has gained much attention due to its association with multiple diseases outside of its natural habitat, including its colonization of colorectal cancer or adenoma tissue. However, little is known about the transcriptome of F. nucleatum, its regulation as well as noncoding regulatory RNAs. Using differential RNA-seq, Falk aims to uncover the primary transcriptome of F. nucleatum and identify transcriptional start sites, untranslated regions, promoter sequences as well as small regulatory RNAs. His follow-up investigation of the small RNAs and associated RNA-binding proteins will provide new insights into the regulatory networks of F. nucleatum and a better understanding of its role in colorectal cancer.

Falk Ponath studied biochemistry at the Martin-Luther-University, Halle (Saale), Germany. In 2017, he received his Master’s degree from the Martin-Luther-University with a thesis on “The role of complement activation in Amyloid-beta immunotherapy – a comparison of pyroGlu-3-Aß antibodies”. As of 2017, he is a PhD student of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) in Würzburg. Falk’s PhD thesis project is supported by a fellowship of the “Dr. Ehrenkamp Fellowship Programm of the Vogel Stiftung”.

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