Der Spezialist für Theoretische Physik in der Molekularbiologie, Prof. Mario Nicodemi, beschäftigt sich zusammen mit Berliner Kolleginnen und Kollegen mit der Chromatinfaltung und deren Einfluss auf die Genexpression. Insbesondere bei Erbkrankheiten sind diese Fragen relevant. Der Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow bringt hierbei seine Expertise im Bereich der Systembiologie ein. Vor seiner Berufung an die Universität Neapel führten ihn Zwischenstationen an das ESPCI Paris, an das Imperial College London und an die University of Warwick in Großbritannien.
How would you explain your research to a child?
In our cells DNA has a complex spatial organization that controls gene activity. I investigate the molecular mechanisms that fold chromosomes, by combining physics, computer simulations, data analysis and the development of new technologies.
What is it that surprises people when you tell them about your research?
The discovery that chromosome 3D structure is crucial to gene regulation, in health and disease, is very exciting. It advances our comprehension of how life itself works and can help developing radically new medical applications.
Is there any rather unusual hobby or talent you might want to share with us?
It’s nothing special, but I enjoy swimming in the sea during those long sunny Mediterranean summer days to discover hidden, wonderful natural sites along the coast.
What did your research teach you about life?
Research has been my life. It is my opportunity to discover the world and my viewpoint on it, to learn its beautiful and sometimes tough lessons.
Which place in Berlin do you like the most, and why?
I really like Berlin for the number of diverse activities and opportunities it offers, from the Philharmonic to the younger little shops and bars opening across town.
Is there anything about Berlin that you didn’t expect at all? And/or something that you miss here? What makes Berlin special for your research?
I like the informal, yet strong character of Berlin. It is an exciting, growing town, with a number of high-profile cultural institutions and excellent centres for science.