Saez-Rodriguez Group

Systems biomedicine

Jakob Wirbel, B.Sc.

During my studies in molecular biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, I was trained both in wet-lab techniques as well as in bioinformatics approaches. For my Bachelor’s thesis, I worked on a laboratory project about microsatellite instable colorectal cancers at the Institute of Pathology Heidelberg in the group of Prof. von Knebel-Doeberitz.

In my Master, however, I switched tracks and focussed more on computational biology, systems biology, and particularly on the analysis of signaling systems, which led me to the Saez-Rodriguez group at EMBL-EBI. There I was involved in the CombiMS project, which used system biology approaches to elucidate the patho-mechanism and propose possible treatments for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Currently, I am working on my Master thesis in the analysis of different phosphoproteomics data sets.

Research interests

Personally, I am very interested in signal transduction inside of cells, which is mediated by an elaborate and highly complex network of signalling molecules. Cells need this network in order to sense external stimuli (e.g. the concentration of growth factors) or their internal state (for example DNA damage), to integrate all these different signals, and lastly to elicit an appropriate response, i.a. by changing the gene expression. One of the most important mechanisms for signal transduction is the post-translational modification of proteins via phosphorylation, which is mediated by protein kinases. Therefore, I analyse different phosphoproteomic data sets, for example by extracting kinase activities out of the data.

Professional Career

2015 Trainee in the Saez-Rodriguez group at EMBL-EBI, Cambridge, UK
2014 Trainee in the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada


2014 - present M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology at Heidelberg University, Germany
2011 - 2014 B.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology at Heidelberg University, Germany