Rudolph Research Group

Current Projects

The research project "Longevity and Aging-Associated Genes in Adult Stem Cell Aging" (ERC Advanced Grant) determines the influence of longevity and aging-associated genes on stem cell aging by employing reverse genetic screening approaches. In vivo and ex vivo RNAi will identify genes and molecular mechanisms that affect the function of stem cells in aging mice or genetically engineered mouse models of accelerated accumulation of molecular damages and stem cell dysfunction. Analysis of primary human stem cells from young vs. old donors will delineate whether the identified genes and mechanisms are conserved in humans.

Reverse genetic approaches of aging/longevity-associated genes have not been conducted in adult mammalian stem cells. Our group gained significant expertise in analyzing molecular mechanisms of stem cell maintenance and function as well as in conducting RNAi screens in different murine stem cell compartments. Our studies will delineate novel mechanisms of stem cell aging and its implication for defects in organ homeostasis and regeneration during aging.

A second project deals with checkpoints and stem cell function upon telomere dysfunction. This project is part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Chronic DNA damage in Ageing" (CodeAge) of the EU 7th Framework Program. The aim is to identify novel checkpoints that limit maintenance and function of adult stem cells in response to telomere dysfunction. Like this, we gain an understanding of the molecular processes that are affected by these checkpoints and generate a rational basis to select novel targets for compound screens aiming to identify novel compounds for regenerative therapies.

For example, Exo1- and p21-independent checkpoints limit stem cell function, organ maintenance and lifespan of aging telomere dysfunctional mice. We have recently shown that Exo1 or p21 deletion can improve the maintenance and function of adult stem cells in response to telomere dysfunction. However, the exact nature of these checkpoints remains unknown. Understanding Exo1- and p21-independent checkpoints in response to telomere dysfunction is expected to identify targets for future therapies aiming to improve stem cell function and organ maintenance in the context of telomere dysfunction and aging.

In late life, hematopoietic stem cells partly lose their functionality, especially the capability to build immune cells, which is thought to contribute to the development of immune defects and increased risk of infections in the elderly. At the same time, a weakened immune system can accelerate aging, since damaged body cells are no longer detected and eliminated by the immune cells. Hence, old and defect cells can live and proliferate for a longer time, thus leading to organ and tissue dysfunction or an increasing risk to come down with cancer.

Our lab is team member in two cooperative research projects funded by the SAW program of the Leibniz foundation. One project is part of a postdoc network on aging induced impairments in regeneration focusing on “Genes regulating hematopoietic stem cells quiescence and aging”. The other project is part of a collaborative project between different Leibniz Institutes to foster interactions within the Leibniz Research Alliance “Healthy Aging”. The project from our laboratory focuses on the targeting of senescent cells in order to improve organ maintenance.


Prof. Dr. K. Lenhard Rudolph

K. Lenhard Rudolph
Group Leader
+49 3641 65-6818

Gundula Bergner
+49 3641 65-6331


Name Phone Email Position
Karl Lenhard Rudolph +49 3641 656818 Group Leader
Stefan Tümpel +49 3641 656826 Staff Scientist
Ali Hyder Baig +49 3641 656838 Postdoc
Alexey Novoselov +49 3641 656814 Postdoc
Vasily Romanov +49 3641 656328 Postdoc
Mei-Fang Wu +49 3641 656844 Postdoc
Elias Amro +49 3641 656844 Doctoral Student
Seerat Bajwa +49 3641 656838 Doctoral Student
Friedrich Becker +49 3641 656844 Doctoral Student
Phillip Gerald Calmes +49 3641 656838 Doctoral Student
Yulin Chen +49 3641 656844 Doctoral Student
Sarmistha Deb +49 3641 656842 Doctoral Student
George Garside +49 3641 656842 Doctoral Student
Nicolas Huber +49 3641 656844 Doctoral Student
Sospeter Ngoci Njeru +49 3641 656842 Doctoral Student
Aruna Shukla +49 3641 656842 Doctoral Student
Miaomiao Suo +49 3641 656842 Doctoral Student
Jiangnan Yang +49 3641 656816 Doctoral Student
Zhiyang Chen +49 3641 656844 Scientist
Bing Han +49 3641 656838 Research Engineer
Nadine Pömpner +49 3641 656819 Research Engineer
Sebastian Benkhoff +49 3641 656844 Technical Assistant
Sabrina Eichwald +49 3641 656820/6844 Technical Assistant
Arshia Berry --- Master Student
Usama-Ur Rehman +49 3641 656214 Master Student