Welcome to the eilslabs

The eilslabs form a joint research group between the division "Theoretical Bioinformatics" at the German Cancer Research Center (dkfz) and the department Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB) at Heidelberg University. The group is headed by Prof. Roland Eils.


Following the tremendous success in last years (2013, 2014), the Heidelberg iGEM team, which was supervised by Roland Eils and Barbara Di Ventura from the eilslabs, has again made it to the final of this year’s iGEM competition in Boston and received the second runner up prize of over 260 teams from all over the world. Furthermore the project, carried out by ten talented students from Heidelberg University, received the iGEMer’s Prize, nominated by the over 2700 participants of the Giant Jamboree held in Boston over the last weekend.
iGEM team 2015In this year’s project, the team focused on the usage of functional nucleic acids as tools for synthetic biology. Over the summer months, the team was able to develop a new approach using a “twin ribozyme” with which they were able to repair in vitro the mRNA of the CFTR gene, which is the cause of cystic fibrosis. This result could lead to new avenues of gene therapeutic treatment of this and other genetic diseases.
Furthermore, the team focused on the development of software tools for the design and development of aptamers, RNA or DNA molecules, which specifically bind to other molecules. Via the development of two software tools, the team was able to develop intelligent combinations of aptamers with RNA-enzymes to generate sensors for small molecules that have  a colorimetric readout. With this they could give a proof of concept for the fast and efficient detection of rape drugs in energy drinks. Finally, the team has developed a new aptamer-based method for fast and cheap detection of proteins on Western Blots without the need for antibodies.