Thomas Welte


Faithful development relies on a balance of self-renewal and differentiation in stem cells and their progeny. The conserved ‘heterochronic pathway’ is a major timer of stem cell fates and subsequent developmental programs. While mis-regulation of the pathway is associated with a broad range of developmental defects and tumorigenesis, stem cell reprogramming studies have demonstrated the potential of the pathway to reverse the developmental timeline and restore embryonic regeneration pathways.

TRIM71, an RNA binding protein and ubiquitin ligase is a key player in this pathway, regulating developmental programs from worms to humans. Despite its importance, its molecular mechanism and developmental phenotypes are poorly understood. 

We are seeking a better mechanistic understanding of TRIM71’s molecular functions in mammalian development and disease. We are using both cell-culture and animal-based experimental systems for phenotypic exploration and identification of involved molecular pathways, with a focus on kidney embryogenesis and its impact on kidney homeostasis and regeneration.


Medical Students

Medical students with a strong interest in experimental research are welcome. We will provide strong support and independent research projects. If you are interested, please mail to: thomas.welte(at)

UNI Freiburg Universitätsklinikum Freiburg DFG