Computational Regulatory Genomics

Uwe Ohler

Phone: +49 30 9406 1810
271 Office: H 101 / R 1.05

Principal Investigator

Research Interests

  • Transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms for gene expression
  • Machine learning approaches to decode regulatory regions
  • Gene regulation in the development of complex organisms


Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Ph.D. Computer Science, 2002

Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Diploma (MS), Computer Science, 1996


Hometown: Wiesbaden, Germany

Hobbies: Choir, Classical Music, Artsy Movies


Since 2012, Uwe Ohler has been Professor at the Max Delbrueck Center in Berlin, with a primary appointment in the Department of Biology and a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer Science at Humboldt University Berlin.

He studied computer science with a minor in biology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, graduating in 1996. During a student research project involving computational DNA sequence analyis, he became fascinated with computational biology. In 1998, he started his PhD research at the Chair for Pattern Recognition (Professor Heinrich Niemann) at the same university. He was a Boehringer Ingelheim pre-doctoral fellow from 1998-2001 and a visiting researcher with the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project (Professor Gerald Rubin). He obtained his PhD with distinction in 2002 for the McPromoter system for computational identification of promoters in eukaryotic genomes.

Before returning to Germany, Uwe lived in the US for more than a decade and followed his interests in gene regulation and applied machine learning. From 2002-2004, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biology (Professor Chris Burge) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was also a member of the cross-departmental Computational and Systems Biology Initiative. In 2005, he joined the faculty of the Institute of Genome Sciences & Policy at Duke University, Durham NC, USA, where he received tenure in 2011. He taught in the cross-departmental graduate program in Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, and was core faculty of the Duke Center for Systems Biology. During this time, he received fellowships from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, as well as HFSP, NSF CAREER, and NIH Transformative Research awards.

 At the MDC, Uwe coordinates the Data Science & Artificial Intelligence cross-cutting topic area. Before acquiring funding for, and directing, two graduate programs -  the Helmholtz Einstein International Berlin School in Data Sciences HEIBRiDS and a DFG-funded International Research Training Group on DIssecting and Re-Engineering the Regulatory Genome -- Uwe was the scientific coordinator of the MDC-wide graduate program. He is a fellow of the Berlin Institute for the Foundations of Learning and Data at TU Berlin. Current projects are, among others, funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Intitiative and the BMBF.


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