Bernhard Payer

Research and Interests

Dr. Payer is interested in elucidating the mechanisms of X-chromosome reactivation in female mammals, which serves as a dramatic example of epigenetic gene regulation, and is a characteristic feature of pluripotent stem cells in vitro. Using a multidisciplinary approach, his group studies epigenetic reprogramming of the X-chromosome in the mouse embryo, both during induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming, and during the formation of the germ cell lineage. His aim is to gain further insight in how X-reactivation is linked to its biological context, and how the erasure of epigenetic modifications and gene reactivation is accomplished. A better understanding of the epigenetic state of mammalian germ and pluripotent stem cells can have important implications for both reproductive and regenerative medicine.

Expertise and Capabilities

Payer’s group has set up a number of in vitro and in vivo approaches to study X-reactivation using the mouse embryo as a model system that can be applied to other mammalian systems (e.g. human). These include:

  • In vitro derivation of mouse primordial germ cells from mouse embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. These cells are early precursors of eggs and sperm and can be used to study questions concerning the germ line and fertility.
  • Reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells.
  • Analysis of epigenetic reprogramming events during mouse embryogenesis, iPS cell reprogramming and in vitro germ cell derivation.
  • Generation and analysis of mouse knockout lines with emphasis on embryonic development (both pre-and post-implantation) and germ cell biology.
  • Cell based shRNA and small molecule screens using fluorescent reporter lines.

Additional Information

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