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Prof. Dr. Julia Polansky


Prof. Dr. Julia Polansky

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 450 524 197 julia.polansky-biskup@charite.de

Recruiting Grantee, funded by Stiftung Charité

CV and Key Publications

Scientific Career
  • Group leader (since 2019 W2 Professor) at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and the German Rheumatism Research Centre (DRFZ), Berlin, Germany
    Focus on Immuno-Epigenetics
  • 2012 – 2017 Project leader at the German Rheumatism Research Centre (DRFZ), Berlin, Germany, together with Prof. Dr. Alf Hamann, Project: ‘Epigenetics in chronically activated T cells’ as part of the ‘German Epigenome Programme – DEEP’
  • 2010 – 2012 Postdoc at the Leibniz-Center for Medicine and Biosciences, Borstel, Germany Laboratory: Prof. Dr. Dr. Silvia Bulfone-Paus (Immunobiology)
    Project: ‘Mast cells and IL-15 as immune-modulators’
  • 2006 – 2010 PhD student and Postdoc at Charité Universitätsmedizin, Humboldt-University in Berlin, and at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany, Laboratory: Prof. Dr. Jochen Huehn (Experimental Immunology)
    Project: ‘Epigenetic aspects in Foxp3 regulation’
  • 2004 – 2005 Guest scientist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA Laboratory: Prof. Dr. Dr. Harald von Boehmer (Lymphocyte Biology)
    Project: ‘Analysis of Treg physiology and identification of FoxP3 target genes’
  • 2006 – 2009 PhD student, Humboldt-University in Berlin, Germany
    Graduation (06.11.2009): Summa cum laude for ‘Epigenetic aspects in Foxp3 regulation’ Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jochen Hühn (Experimental Immunology)
  • 2000 – 2005 Student at the University of Hamburg and University of Bremen, Germany
    Degree: Diploma in Biochemistry (grade: 1,0)
Boards and Memberships


  • Since 2019 Advisory Member of the BCRT steering comittee
  • Since 2016 PI in the ‘Leibniz Science Campus for Chronic Inflammatory diseases’ in Berlin
  • Since 2015 Associated faculty member at the Center of Infection Biology and Immunity (ZIBI), Berlin


  • ‘German Society for Immunology’ (DGfI), since 2006
  • ‘German Society for Rheumatology’ (DGRh), since 2006
  • 2017 BIH Excellence award, by the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
  • 2015 Start-up prize of the ‘German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh)’
  • 2015 – 2016 Mentee in the project ‘Mentoring for women researchers at Leibniz institutions’ of the Leibniz Association, Germany
  • 2006 – 2009 Stipend of the International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Berlin, Germany
  • 2005 Heinz-Dürr Fellowship (Carl-Zeiss-Foundation)
  • 2004 – 2005 Stipend of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • 2003 – 2005 Stipend of the German National Academic Foundation (‘Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes’
Third Party Funding
  • 2019-2023 Horizon 2020 project RESHAPE
  • 2019-2022 Stiftung Charité recruitment grant)
  • 2019 – 2023 ERC starting grant
  • 2018 – 2020 Leibniz Collaborative Excellence Programme
  • 2017 – 2019 Project funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Key Publications
  1. Salhab A, Nordström K, Gasparoni G, Kattler K, Ebert P, Ramirez F, Arrigoni L, Müller F, Polansky JK, Cadenas C, G Hengstler J, Lengauer T, Manke T; DEEP Consortium, Walter J. (2018). A comprehensive analysis of 195 DNA methylomes reveals shared and cell-specific features of partially methylated domains. Genome Biol. Sep 28;19(1):150. doi: 10.1186/s13059-018-1510-5.
  2. Szilagyi BA, Triebus J, Kressler C, de Almeida M, Tierling S, Durek P, Mardahl M, Menning A, Engelbert D, Floess S, Huehn J, Syrbe U, Walter J, Polansky JK*, Hamann A* (2017). Gut memories don´t fade: Expres- sion of the gut homing receptor integrin α4β7 is stably imprinted in CD4+ memory T cells by epigenetic modification of regulatory regions in the itga4 locus. *shared last authorship. Mucosal Immunology, doi: 10.1038/mi.2017.7.
  3. Durek P, Nordström K, Gasparoni G, Kressler C, de Almeida M, Salhab A, Bassler K, Ulas T, Xiong J, Glažar P, Klironomos F, Sinha A, Kinkley S, Yang X, Schmidt F, Dehghani Amirabad A, Behjati Ardakani F, Feuer- bach L, Gorka O, Ebert P, Müller F, Li N, Frischbutter S, Schlickeiser S, Cendon C, Fröhler S, Felder B, Gas- paroni N, Imbusch CD, Hutter B, Zipprich G, Tauchmann Y, Reinke S, Wassilew G, Hoffmann U, Arrigoni L, Richter AS, Sieverling L, Chang H-D, Syrbe U, Manke T, Kalus U, Eils J, Brors B, Ruland J, Lengauer T, Rajew- sky N, Chen W, Schulz MH, Dong J, Sawitzki B, Chung H-R, Rosenstiel P, Schultze JL, Radbruch A, Walter J, Hamann A, Polansky JK. (2016) Epigenomic Profiling of Human CD4+ T Cells Supports a Linear Differentiation Model and Highlights Molecular Regulators of Memory Development. Immunity, 45, 1148-1161.
  4. Polansky JK, Bahri R, Divivier M, Duitman EH, Vock C, Goyeneche-Patino DA, Orinska Z, Bulfone-Paus S. (2016) High dose CD11c-driven IL15 is sufficient to drive NK cell maturation and anti-tumor activity in a trans-presentation independent manner. Scientific Reports Jan 29;6:19699.
  5. Polansky JK, Schreiber L, Thelemann C, Ludwig L, Krüger M, Baumgrass R, Cording S, Floess S, Hamann A and Huehn J (2010). Methylation matters: Binding of Ets-1 to the demethylated Foxp3 gene contributes to the stabilization of Foxp3 expression in regulatory T cells. J Mol Med. Oct;88(10):1029-40.
  6. Polansky JK, Kretschmer K, Freyer J, Floess S, Garbe A, Baron U, Olek S, Hamann A, von Boehmer H, Huehn J (2008). DNA methylation controls Foxp3 gene expression. Eur J Immunol. 38(6):1654-63.
  7. Toker A, Engelbert D, Garg G, Polansky JK, Floess S, Miyao T, Baron U, Düber S, Geffers R, Giehr P, Schallenberg S, Kretschmer K, Olek S, Walter J, Weiss S, Hori S, Hamann A, Huehn J. (2013) Active demethylation of the Foxp3 locus leads to the generation of stable regulatory T cells within the thymus. J Immunol. 190(7):3180-8.
  8. Huehn J, Polansky JK, Hamann A. (2009). Epigenetic control of FOXP3 expression: the key to a stable regulatory T-cell lineage? Nat Rev Immunol. Feb;9(2):83-9.
  9. Floess S, Freyer J, Siewert C, Baron U, Olek S, Polansky J, Schlawe K2 Chang HD, Bopp T, Schmitt E, Klein- Hessling S, Serfling E, Hamann A, and Huehn J (2007). Epigenetic control of the foxp3 locus in regulatory T cells. PLoS Biology 5: e38.
  10. Marson A, Kretschmer K, Frampton GM, Jacobsen ES, Polansky JK, MacIsaac KD, Levine SS, Fraenkel E, von Boehmer H, Young RA (2007). Foxp3 occupancy and regulation of key target genes during T-cell stimulation. Nature 22; 445(7130):931-5.
Polansky-Biskup lab
How the structure of the genome shapes the immune system in health and disease
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