Associate Investigators

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Arnold

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Arnold


Prof. Dr. Sebastian Arnold
Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (Faculty of Medicine)
University of Freiburg

T +49 761 203 96819

Further Information


The scientific goal of our research group is to gain a deeper molecular understanding of the regulation of cellular identity and cellular differentiation and how this is translated into the morphogenesis and organization of tissues and organs during embryonic development.

While we previously mostly performed functional genetic studies in early mouse embryos, we recently engaged stem cell-based, embryotypic differentiation models to mimic the inductive events that propagate the specification of different cell lineages during embryonic germ layer formation. Using these embryonic and stem cell-based approaches allow to decipher the molecular regulation from the level of extracellular signals down to the transcription-factor based changes in chromatin landscape. While the major lab focus is on specification of the primary germ layer when pluripotent cells become first lineage specified to form either neuroectodem, mesoderm or endoderm, we are also very actively engaged in analyses of other cell lineage specification and differentiation events during kidney organogenesis, cerebral corticogenesis and in immune cell lineages.


Cell identity, transcriptional control, mouse development, lineage specification, morphogenesis, functional genetics, Tbx transcription factors, Eomes, embryo imaging, gastrulation.

It is our long-term goal to create a profound molecular understanding of cell identity to prospectively conceive novel approaches of intervention that target these central cellular programs.

10 selected publications

  • Spatiotemporal sequence of mesoderm and endoderm lineage segregation during mouse gastrulation.
    Probst S, Sagar, Tosic J, Schwan C, Grün D, Arnold SJ (2021).
    Development. 148(1):dev193789.
  • Eomes and Brachyury control pluripotency exit and germ-layer segregation by changing the chromatin state.
    Tosic J, Kim GJ, Pavlovic M, Schröder CM, Mersiowsky SL, Barg M, Hofherr A, Probst S, Köttgen M, Hein L, Arnold SJ (2019).
    Nat Cell Biol. 21(12):1518-1531.
  • Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into renal tubular epithelial cells by defined transcription factors.
    Kaminski MM, Tosic J, Kresbach C, Engel H, Klockenbusch J, Müller AL, Pichler R, Grahammer F, Kretz O, Huber TB, Walz G, Arnold SJ*, Lienkamp SS* (2016).
    Nat Cell Biol. 18(12):1269-1280  * corresponding authors
  • Cyclin O (Ccno) functions during deuterosome-mediated centriole amplification of multiciliated cells.
    Funk MC, Bera AN, Menchen T, Kuales G, Thriene K, Lienkamp SS, Dengjel J, Omran H, Frank M, Arnold SJ (2015).
    EMBO J. 2015;34(8):1078-89.
  • Differentiation of type 1 ILCs from a common progenitor to all helper-like innate lymphoid cell lineages.
    Klose CSN, Flach M, Möhle L, Rogell L, Hoyler T, Ebert K, Fabiunke C, Pfeifer D, Sexl V, Fonseca-Pereira D, Domingues RG, Veiga-Fernandes H, Arnold SJ, Busslinger M, Dunay IR, Tanriver Y, Diefenbach A (2014).
    Cell. 157(2):340-356
  • The T-box transcription factor Eomesodermin acts upstream of Mesp1 to specify cardiac mesoderm during mouse gastrulation.
    Costello I, Pimeisl IM, Dräger S, Bikoff EK, Robertson EJ, Arnold SJ (2011).
    Nat Cell Biol. 13(9):1084-91
  • Pluripotency factors regulate definitive endoderm specification through eomesodermin.
    Teo AK, Arnold SJ, Trotter MW, Brown S, Ang LT, Chng Z, Robertson EJ, Dunn NR, Vallier L (2011).
    Genes Dev. 25(3):238-50.
  • Making a commitment: cell lineage allocation and axis patterning in the early mouse embryo.
    Arnold SJ, Robertson EJ (2009).
    Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 10(2):91-103
  • Pivotal roles for eomesodermin during axis formation, epithelium-to-mesenchyme transition and endoderm specification in the mouse.
    Arnold SJ, Hofmann UK, Bikoff EK, Robertson EJ (2008).
    Development. 135(3):501-11.
  • The T-box transcription factor Eomes/Tbr2 regulates neurogenesis in the cortical subventricular zone.
    Arnold SJ, Huang GJ, Cheung AF, Era T, Nishikawa S, Bikoff EK, Molnár Z, Robertson EJ, Groszer M (2008).
    Genes Dev. 22(18):2479-84