Stem Cell Center of Competence ::: Uni Basel, Switzerland






Home > Research > Topics > R. Ciosk


Dr. Rafal Ciosk

Dr. Rafal Ciosk
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI)
Maulbeerstrasse 66
CH-4058 Basel/Switzerland
Phone +41 61 697 52 03
Fax +41 61 697 39 76
Rafal Ciosk is a Group Leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel. His group is interested in understanding mechanisms controlling totipotency (developmental plasticity). During development, totipotency is unleashed in an embryo, following the oocyte-to-embryo transition. Changes in histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, global Pol II regulation, and translational regulation of gene expression, are all thought to steer this transition. However, the causal relation between these events and their importance for the acquisition of developmental plasticity remain unclear. To understand mechanisms regulating totipotency, his lab is using a simple model, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, combining genomics, molecular biology, and biochemistry with a powerful genetics of this organism. A long-term goal of this group is to identify genes and pathways that could restore developmental potential to already differentiated cells, with implications for regenerative medicine. The group has numerous collaborations with other scientists working in Switzerland, France, and USA.

For additional details, see

Recent publications related to stem cell research

  • Wright JE, Gaidatzis D, Senften M, Farley BM, Westhof E, Ryder SP. and Ciosk R (2011). A quantitative RNA code for mRNA target selection by the germline fate determinant GLD-1. EMBO J. 30:533-45.
  • Kalchhauser I, Farley BM, Pauli S, Ryder SP, and Ciosk R (2011). FBF represses the Cip/Kip cell cycle inhibitor CKI-2 to promote self-renewal of germline stem cells in C. elegans. EMBO J. 30:3823-9.
  • Scheckel C, Gaidatzis D, Wright JE. and Ciosk R. (2012). Genome-Wide Analysis of GLD-1-Mediated mRNA Regulation Suggests a Role in mRNA Storage. PLoS Genet. 8:e1002742.
  • Tocchini C, Keusch JJ, Miller SB, Finger S, Gut H, Stadler MB, Ciosk R. (2014). The TRIM-NHL protein LIN-41 controls the onset of developmental plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Genet. 10:e1004533.
  • Arnold A, Rahman MM, Lee MC, Muehlhaeusser S, Katic I, Gaidatzis D, Hess D, Scheckel C, Wright JE, Stetak A, Boag PR, Ciosk R. (2014). Functional characterization of C. elegans Y-box-binding proteins reveals tissue-specific functions and a critical role in the formation of polysomes. Nucleic Acids Res. 42:13353-69.
  • Seelk S, Adrian-Kalchhauser I, Hargitai B, Hajduskova M, Gutnik S, Tursun B, Ciosk R. (2016). Increasing Notch signaling antagonizes PRC2-mediated silencing to promote reprograming of germ cells into neurons. eLife 5. pii: e15477. doi: 10.7554/eLife.15477.


  • Biedermann B, Hotz HR. and Ciosk R. (2010). The Quaking family of RNA-binding proteins: coordinators of the cell cycle and differentiation. Cell Cycle 9:1929-33.
  • Wright JE, Ciosk R. (2013). RNA-based regulation of pluripotency. Trends Genet. 29:99-107.
  • Torres-Padilla ME, Ciosk R. (2013). A germline-centric view of cell fate commitment, reprogramming and immortality. Development 140:487-91.
  • Tocchini C, Ciosk R. (2015). TRIM-NHL proteins in development and disease. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 47-48:52-9.