University of Cologne

5. Manolis Pasparakis, Ph.D., group leader
     Institute for Genetics
     Dept. of Mouse Genetics and Inflammation
     University of Cologne
     Zülpicher Strasse 47
     D-50674 Cologne
     Fax: +49 221 470 5163
     Email address:

The Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne, located in Cologne (Germany), is a research centre focussed on using genetic technologies to study gene function in development and disease. Available facilities include a "state of the art" transgenic core facility with large capacity to produce transgenic and knockout mice using a variety of techniques including pronuclear and blastocyst injections and also tetraploid embryos to produce fully ES cell derived mice. The Department of Mouse Genetics and Inflammation, headed by Manolis Pasparakis at the Institute for Genetics is using transgenic and knockout mice to study in vivo the function of inflammatory and stress-response signalling pathways in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and degenerative diseases. In addition to expertise in molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry, the Pasparakis group has strong expertise in the most advanced technology used for mouse genetic manipulation, including the generation of transgenic and knockout mice using either pronuclear injections or homologous recombination in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. This group also has strong expertise in conditional gene targeting using the Cre/loxP and the Flp/FRT recombinase systems and also in the generation of ES cell derived mice by using injection of ES cells into tetraploid mouse embryos. The Pasparakis group has generated mice with conditional (loxP-flanked) alleles of IKK1, IKK2 and NEMO, the subunits of the IKK complex that are essential for NF-kappaB by nearly all known stimuli. The successful application of conditional gene targeting by the Pasparakis group is documented by its previous and recent results on the role of IKK signalling in inflammatory skin disease (Nenci et al., 2006; Pasparakis et al., 2002a), in lymphocyte development and maintenance (Pasparakis et al., 2002b; Schmidt-Supprian et al., 2003), in stroke (Herrmann et al., 2005), in insulin resistance and atherosclerosis (Kanters et al., 2003; Rohl et al., 2004) and in autoimmune inflammation of the CNS (van Loo et al., 2006). The Pasparakis group will provide to the network knowledge, expertise and training in the generation and analysis of conditional knockout mice. The Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne is one of the leading European institutions on mouse biology and is participating in several local but also EU-wide projects using mouse models to investigate the mechanisms causing human disese. In addition, the Department of Manolis Pasparakis participates, together with other leading European laboratories, in a large European Network of Excellence (MUGEN) that focusses on the investigation of mechanisms and pathways involved in chronic immunopathologies.

Appointed research fellows

Experienced researcher: Apostolis Polykratis
Appointed on the IMDEMI project from 10-8-2006 to 9-8-2008

Early stage researcher:
Rozina Kardakaris, Greece
Appointed on the IMDEMI project from 1-10-2005 to 30-9-2008

Publications originating from the IMDEMI project

Gareus R, Kotsaki E, Xanthoulea S, van der Made I, Gijbels MJ, Kardakaris R, Polykratis A, Kollias G, de Winther MP, Pasparakis M. Endothelial cell-specific NF-kappaB inhibition protects mice from atherosclerosis. Cell Metab 8: 372-383, 2008. (PDF)

Imai Y, Kuba K, Neely GG, Yaghubian-Malhami R, Perkmann T, van Loo G, Ermolaeva M, Veldhuizen R, Leung YH, Wang H, Liu H, Sun Y, Pasparakis M, Kopf M, Mech C, Bavari S, Peiris JS, Slutsky AS, Akira S, Hultqvist M, Holmdahl R, Nicholls J, Jiang C, Binder CJ, Penninger JM. Identification of oxidative stress and Toll-like receptor 4 signaling as a key pathway of acute lung injury.
Cell 133: 235-249, 2008. (PDF)

Publications Manolis Pasparakis (link to PubMed)

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