Stefan Taubert

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests

Aging
beta cells
C. elegans
Diabetes
Gene Regulation and Expression
Gene regulation
Genetics of Aging
genomics
Hypoxia
Metabolism
Molecular Genetics
Mouse
stress
Stress and Cancer
Stress responses
Toxin and Toxicant Metabolism
Transcription

Relevant Degree Programs

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
 
 

Biography

My lab studies the so-called ‘Mediator’, a molecular machine that is required for transcription: without it, the information contained in DNA cannot be properly decoded. Intriguingly, several Mediator subunits are mutated in human diseases, including certain cancers and neurodevelopmental disorders, but how and why the Mediator mutations cause disease remains poorly understood.

Our mission is to define why and how Mediator function assures normal development, prevents sickness, and promotes healthy aging. We use the worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the house mouse as experimental animal models, because they share certain aspects of human biology, and because we can control their genetics. With this approach we dissect how individual Mediator subunits regulate lipid metabolism and fat storage, detoxification programs, organ development and differentiation pathways, and aging. By providing new insights into how DNA is transcribed, our investigations may lead to new diagnostics and/or therapeutics that can help cure human diseases.

Research Methodology

C. elegans (worm)
Mouse models (tissue-specific KOs)
cell culture
molecular genetics
Functional genomics
transcriptomics
Protein protein interactions

Recruitment

Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

We study how cells, tissues, and organisms adapt to stresses such as hypoxia, oxidative stress, starvation, heavy metal exposure, and others. We investigate these stresses and stress responses because they contribute to or even cause human pathologies, including cancers, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. In this context, we are especially interested in gene regulation by the Mediator complex, an essential eukaryotic transcriptional regulator that is mutated or deregulated in human diseases (cancers, developmental disorders, etc.). Besides Mediator, we also study regulators such as Nuclear Hormone Receptors and various kinases. 
We use multiple model systems: The C. elegans model (the worm), the mouse (tissue-specific genetic KO models, especially in the pancreas), and cultured human cancer cell lines. We employ classic and state-of-the-art genetic, genomic, and molecular approaches (forward and reverse genetic screens, RNA-seq, CRISPR-Cas9, RNA interference, yeast-two-hybrid, etc.). Projects revolve around characterizing how Mediator subunits and their transcription factor partners control metabolism and stress responses, identifying Mediator:transcription factor interactions, and to identify which cellular signalling pathways these factors interact with to regulate metabolism and stress adaptation. 
For more information, see https://taubertlab.weebly.com

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in hiring Co-op students for research placements.

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.

 

Publications

 
 

If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.

 
 

Learn about our faculties, research and more than 300 programs in our 2022 Graduate Viewbook!