Trained as a Computer Scientist at the University of Jena, Germany, my interests drifted more and more towards "computing life" during my PhD at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, Canada. On one hand, that term captures that I got fascinated by the idea to understand life as a form of computation and to describe, reprogram, and reassemble parts of cells as described in many brilliant experiments from a spectrum of disciplines ranging from DNA computing to Synthetic biology. On the other hand "computing life" stands for the fact that I really like to use empirical data to derive and describe the principles that govern and exhibit cellular functions of living systems. That's the range of (bio-)informatics of my work.
In particular, I am focusing on epigenetic mechanisms and the epigenome as a cellular computation/regulation layer, which is capable of integrating (external) signals into a genetic regulatory program and which exhibits great plasticity to adjust cell functions in health and disease states. Since my PostDoc time at the University of Tübingen, Germany, I am eager to explore the role of epigenetics in the realm of complex neurological disorders, which seem to be heavily influenced by environmental factors regarding onset and progression of the disease. In a systems-approach, I am employing bioinformatics to identify molecular parts of that system that fail and trigger the disease, and potentially identify therapeutic targets that can be exploited to fix that "erroneous" computation and restore a healthy system state.