Chromatin regulation in health and disease

Genomic DNA is highly compacted into chromatin in order to fit into the nucleus of a cell. This packaging provides a regulatory layer for DNA accessibility and therefore all DNA-dependent processes, such as transcription, DNA repair or replication. ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers can modulate chromatin accessibility by moving or evicting nucleosomes. My research focuses on one particular class of chromatin remodelers known as BAF complexes, which are very large multi-protein complexes containing many subunits. Mutations in genes encoding BAF complex proteins occur in more than 20% of all human cancers and developmental diseases. In my research, I use a combination of genomics, proteomics, molecular biology, screening and imaging approaches to dissect the functions of individual BAF subunits in cancer and developmental disease.

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2021: Junior Faculty Member, Max Planck Graduate Center (MPGC), Mainz
  • Since 2020: Group Leader, Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Mainz
  • 2016 - 2020: Postdoctoral Researcher, CeMM, Vienna


  • 2016: Dr. rer. nat. in Molecular Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Mainz
  • 2012: Diploma in Biology, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • 2012: Master in Biomedicine, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • 2008: Bachelor in Molecular Biology, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz

Selected publications by Sandra Schick

Schick S*, Grosche S*, Kohl KE*, Drpic D, Jaeger MG, Marella NC, Imrichova H, Lin JMG, Hofstätter G, Schuster M, Rendeiro AF, Koren A, Petronczki M, Bock C, Müller AC, Winter GE and Kubicek S (2021) Acute BAF perturbation causes immediate changes in chromatin accessibility. Nat Genet, 53:269–278 (*indicates joint contribution)  Link

Varga J, Kube M, Luck K and Schick S (2021) The BAF chromatin remodeling complexes: structure, function, and synthetic lethalities. Biochem Soc Trans, 49:1489–1503 Link

Schick S, Rendeiro AF, Runggatscher K, Ringler A, Boidol B, Hinkel M, Májek P, Vulliard L, Penz T, Parapatics K, Schmidl C, Menche J, Boehmelt G, Petronczki M, Müller AC, Bock C and Kubicek S (2019) Systematic characterization of BAF mutations provides insights into intracomplex synthetic lethalities in human cancers. Nat Genet 51:1399-1410 Link

Sdelci S., Rendeiro AF, Rathert P, You W, Lin JG, Ringler A, Hofstätter G, Moll HP, Gürtl B, Farlik M, Schick S, Klepsch F, Oldach M, Buphamalai P, Schischlik F, Májek P, Parapatics K, Schmidl C, Schuster M, Penz T, Buckley DL, Hudecz O, Imre R, Wang SY, Maric HM, Kralovics R, Bennett KL, Müller AC, Mechtler K, Menche J, Bradner JE, Winter GE, Klavins K, Casanova E, Bock C, Zuber J and Kubicek S (2019) MTHFD1 interaction with BRD4 links folate metabolism to transcriptional regulationNat Genet 51:990-998 Link

Thakurela S*, Tiwari N*, Schick S, Garding A, Ivanek R, Berninger B and Tiwari VK (2016) Mapping gene regulatory circuitry of Pax6 during neurogenesisCell Discov, 2:15045 (*indicates joint contribution) Link

Schick S, Becker K, Thakurela S, Fournier D, Hampel MH, Legewie S and Tiwari VK (2016) Identifying novel transcriptional regularors with circadian expressionMol Cell Biol, 36:545–558 Link

Schick S*, Fournier D*, Thakurela S, Sahu SK, Garding A and Tiwari VK (2015) Dynamics of chromatin accessibility and epigenetic state in response to UV damageJ Cell Sci, 128:4380–4394 (*indicates joint contribution) Link