CIBSS - Centre for integrative Biological Signalling StudiesCIBSS

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Anne-Kathrin Classen

Prof. Dr. Anne-Kathrin Classen


Prof. Dr. Anne-Kathrin Classen
Hilde Mangold Haus
University of Freiburg

T +49 761 203 97190

Further Information

The epithelial linings of skin, colon or lungs act as barriers between the internal and external organ environment. The exposed position of epithelial tissues makes them susceptible to injury and even tumorigenic transformation. My lab investigates how epithelia sense, assess and respond to these challenges. In CIBSS, we specifically investigate how stress signals drive gene expression programs during wound healing, and how these in turn facilitate crucial cell behaviors, such as resistance to ROS stress, metabolic reprogramming, and ultimately, regenerative proliferation. We integrate spatial information of wound field patterning with a temporal analysis of tissue damage on transient and chronic time scales. We combine different genomic approaches with the excellent experimental tractability of the Drosophila system to explore these questions in vivo. Our work aims to uncover fundamental principles to address medical conditions with tremendous societal impact, such as chronic wound healing pathologies and inflammation-associated disorders of ageing, diabetes and cancer. 



Regeneration, Drosophila, Chronic Wounds, DamID, JNK 

Isaac Asimov

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny…’

10 selected publications:

  • JNK-dependent cell cycle stalling in G2 promotes survival and senescence-like phenotypes in tissue stress
    Cosolo A, Jaiswal J, Csordás G, Grass I, Uhlirova M, Classen AK (2019).
    Elife. 8. pii: e41036.
  • DamID profiling of dynamic Polycomb-binding sites in Drosophila imaginal disc development and tumorigenesis.
    La Fortezza M, Grigolon G, Cosolo A, Pindyurin A, Breimann L, Blum H, van Steensel B, Classen AK (2018).
    Epigenetics Chromatin. 11(1):27.
  • Calcium spikes, waves and oscillations in a large, patterned epithelial tissue.
    Balaji R, Bielmeier C, Harz H, Bates J, Stadler C, Hildebrand A, Classen AK. (2017).
    Sci. Rep. 7, 42786.
  • JAK/STAT signalling mediates cell survival in response to tissue stress.
    La Fortezza M, Schenk M, Cosolo A, Kolybaba A, Grass I, Classen AK (2016).
    Development 143, 2907-19.
  • Interface contractility between differently fated cells drives cell elimination and cyst formation.
    Bielmeier C, Alt S, Weichselberger V, La Fortezza M, Harz H, Jülicher F, Salbreux G, Classen AK (2016).
    Curr Biol. 26, 563-74.
  • The transcriptional response to tumorigenic polarity loss in Drosophila.
    Bunker BD, Nellimoottil TT, Classen AK, Bilder D (2015).
    Elife 2015,doi: 10.7554/eLife.03189.
  • A tumor suppressive activity of Drosophila Polycomb genes mediated by JAK/STAT signaling.
    Classen AK, Bunker BD, Harvey KF, Vaccari T, Bilder D (2009).
    Nat Genet. 41, 1150-5.
  • Quantitative analysis of epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila oogenesis: New insights based on morphometric analysis and mechanical modeling.
    Kolahi KS*, White PF*, Shreter DM*, Classen AK*, Bilder D, Mofrad MR (2009).
    Dev Biol. 331, 129-39.
    *shared first co-authors
  • Human heterochromatin proteins form large domains containing KRAB-ZNF genes.
    Vogel M, Guelen L, Wit E, Lodén M, Talhout W, Feenstra M, Abbas B, Classen AK, van Steensel B (2006).
    Genome Res. 16, 1493-504.
  • Hexagonal packing of Drosophila wing epithelial cells by the planar cell polarity pathway.
    Classen AK, Anderson K, Marois E, Eaton S (2005).
    Dev Cell 9, 805-17.