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Peter Walentek Profile Page
Peter Walentek


Lab: Dr. Peter Walentek
Department: Internal Medicine IV, University Medical Center
and ZBSA, Center for Systems Biological Analysis
Phone: +49 761 203 97206
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Developmental Biology
Research Interests: We study the molecular mechanisms of mucociliary development, regeneration and disease. Mucociliary epithelia provide an important first line of defense against pathogens for the organism. We are particularly interested to elucidate the interactions between cell signaling, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene regulatory networks, and the morphogenetic processes at the cellular and tissue-wide levels, which facilitate complex tissue formation and function. Our work aims to provide crucial insights into the logic of self-organization in biological systems as well as into the molecular mechanisms underlying ciliopathies and chronic lung diseases.


Education & Training: 09/2012: Dr. rer. nat., Developmental & Molecular Biology, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
11/2007: Diplom Biologie, Zoology, Animal Ecology & Membrane Physiology, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

Employment & Experience: Since 2021: PI, NephGen Collaborative Research Center 1453
Since 2019: Associated PI, CIBSS Excellence Cluster
Since 2017: Emmy-Noether Research Group
2016-2017: K99 Principal Investigator, Translational & Developmental Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, and Center for Integrative Genomics, UC Berkeley, CA, USA
2012-2015: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cell & Developmental Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, and Center for Integrative Genomics, UC Berkeley, CA, USA
2008-2012: PhD Student, Developmental and Molecular Biology, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
2006: Undergraduate Researcher, Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Forsyth Institute, Harvard University, Boston, and Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA


Honors and Awards:

2017: Emmy Noether Research Group - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
2016: Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) - NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH).
2015: Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow Award - Molecular and Cell Biology Department, UC Berkeley.
2015: Hilde Mangold Postdoctoral Award: Society for Developmental Biology best postdoctoral presentation award at Hilde Mangold Symposium, 74th SDB Meeting, Snowbird, UT / USA.
2015: Best postdoctoral presentation award - West Coast Meeting of the Society for Developmental
Biology, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, USA.
2013: PhD thesis award - Wissenschaftspreis des Universitätbundes Hohenheim.
2013: Best presentation award - 32nd West Coast Salt and Water Club Meeting, Morrow Bay, USA.
2012-2014: Postdoctoral Fellowship - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
2009-2011: PhD Fellowship - Landesgraduiertenförderung Baden-Württemberg (LGFG).
2006: Undergraduate Fellowship - Herzog-Carl-Stipendium.


Selected Publications:

Boecking CA, Walentek P, Zlock LT, Sun DI, Wolters PJ, Ishikawa H, Jin BJ, Haggie PM, Marshall WF, Verkman AS, Finkbeiner WE. A simple method to generate human airway epithelial organoids with externally-oriented apical membranes. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 Jan 26.  Abstract

Tasca A, Helmstädter M, Brislinger MM, Haas M, Mitchell B, Walentek P. Notch signaling induces either apoptosis or cell fate change in multiciliated cells during mucociliary tissue remodeling. Dev Cell. 2021 Feb 22;56(4):525-539.e6.  Abstract

Walentek P. Signaling Control of Mucociliary Epithelia: Stem Cells, Cell Fates, and the Plasticity of Cell Identity in Development and Disease. Cells Tissues Organs. 2021 Apr 26:1-18.  Abstract

Haas M, Gómez Vázquez JL, Sun DI, Tran HT, Brislinger M, Tasca A, Shomroni O, Vleminckx K, Walentek P. ΔN-Tp63 Mediates Wnt/β-Catenin-Induced Inhibition of Differentiation in Basal Stem Cells of Mucociliary Epithelia. Cell Rep. 2019 Sep 24;28(13):3338-3352.e6.  Abstract

Walentek P, Quigley IK. What we can learn from a tadpole about ciliopathies and airway diseases: Using systems biology in Xenopus to study cilia and mucociliary epithelia. Genesis. 2017 Jan;55(1-2):10.1002/dvg.23001. Abstract

Walentek P, Quigley IK, Sun DI, Sajjan UK, Kintner C, Harland RM. Ciliary transcription factors and miRNAs precisely regulate Cp110 levels required for ciliary adhesions and ciliogenesis. Elife. 2016 Sep 13;5:e17557.  Abstract

Walentek P, Beyer T, Hagenlocher C, Müller C, Feistel K, Schweickert A, Harland RM, Blum M. ATP4a is required for development and function of the Xenopus mucociliary epidermis - a potential model to study proton pump inhibitor-associated pneumonia. Dev Biol. 2015 Dec 15;408(2):292-304.  Abstract

Song R, Walentek P, Sponer N, Klimke A, Lee JS, Dixon G, Harland R, Wan Y, Lishko P, Lize M, Kessel M, He L. miR-34/449 miRNAs are required for motile ciliogenesis by repressing cp110. Nature. 2014 Jun 5;510(7503):115-20.  Abstract

Walentek P, Bogusch S, Thumberger T, Vick P, Dubaissi E, Beyer T, Blum M, Schweickert A. A novel serotonin-secreting cell type regulates ciliary motility in the mucociliary epidermis of Xenopus tadpoles. Development. 2014 Apr;141(7):1526-33.  Abstract

Walentek P, Beyer T, Thumberger T, Schweickert A, Blum M. ATP4a is required for Wnt-dependent Foxj1 expression and leftward flow in Xenopus left-right development. Cell Rep. 2012 May 31;1(5):516-27.  Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Maximilian Haas (since March 2018)

Magdalena Brislinger (since October 2018)

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