Digital DNA

From California to the MDC: Christoph Lippert heads new Statistical Genomics lab

Christoph Lippert joined the MDC in November 2017. After spending five exciting years on America’s West Coast, he has returned to Germany to lead the Statistical Genomics lab, a junior research group of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) at the MDC.

Lippert’s main research interest is genome-wide association studies of populations. He is looking for answers to questions like “Which genes make us different from each other?” and “What affect do these genetic differences have on our organism, on physical characteristics such as our height, or on our individual risk factors for diseases?”

An exact understanding of such differences will provide the basis for developing more and more individualized diagnostic techniques and therapies. But this requires the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data and the calculation of probabilities. Bioinformaticians build the complex software and algorithms needed for such tasks.

Lippert studied bioinformatics at the University of Tübingen, where he earned his PhD with work on mixed models for genome-wide association studies. Other stops in his scientific career include Microsoft Research and Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) in California. HLI is a start-up founded by J. Craig Venter that aims to prevent disease through a comprehensive analysis of all health data.

At the MDC, Lippert’s lab is focusing on developing techniques that link genomic data to various measurements from wearable sensors as well from imaging methods and high-throughput DNA sequencing.

Further Information