Michael Speicher

Univ.-Prof. Michael Speicher

Diagnostic and Research Institute of Human Genetics
Medical University of Graz
Neue Stiftingtalstrasse 6
8010 Graz, Austria

tel.: +43 (0)316 385 73811


Projects within the DK-MCD

Analysis of plasma DNA using whole-genome sequencing in patients with
prostate cancer
Jelena Belić

Characterization of circulating tumor cells with stem cell features from patients
with breast cancer

Maryam Heidary

Analysis of circulating cell-free tumor DNA in plasma of colon cancer patients

Sumitra Mohan

Research interest

Our special focus is on constitutional and acquired chromosomal and genomic alterations and their impact on disease susceptibility. Especially, the group is interested in somatic genome variability. Some recent publications suggested that genomes may vary considerably from one cell to another but to date detailed data are lacking. Therefore, the consequences of such genomic cell-to-cell variability on gene function and metabolic pathways have not been studied in detail yet. To this end M. Speicher’s group develops sophisticated technologies for the high-resolution analysis of the genome and the transcriptome of single or a few cells, enabling to study genomic instability occurring in both malignant diseases and aging and their consequences with unprecedented resolution. Recent data in the science of aging suggest that longevity, in addition to environmental factors, is to a large extent influenced by genetic factors. Such genetic factors can be constitutional, i.e. present in the genome of each cell, or acquired and therefore limited to certain fractions of cells as mosaicism. During aging somatic mosaicism may increase and reduce the function of organs. We can address such questions employing our genome-wide scans and sophisticated technologies for single cell/small cell number analyses. Together with functional studies these genome-wide analyses will clarify the impact of genetic changes on metabolic processes during aging and in pre-cancerous lesions.


Curriculum vitae

  1980 - 1985 University education in Computer Science, University of Dortmund, Germany
  1981 - 1988 University education in Medicine, University of Essen, Germany
  1988 Medical Doctoral Thesis; American Medical Examination, Basic and Clinical Sciences
  1988 - 1990 Resident physician, Department of Internal Medicine at the Westdeutsche Tumorzentrum, University Hospital of the University of Essen, Germany
  1991 - 1994 PostDoc, Department of Human Genetics, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  1994 - 1996 PostDoc, Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, USA
  1996 - 2001 Group leader and Head of the FISH technology laboratory at the Institute of Anthropology and Human Genetics at the Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich, Germany
  2000 Habilitation, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany; Specialist in Medical and Clinical Genetics
  2001 - 2005 Vice Director of the Institute of Human Genetics and Head of the FISH Technology Laboratory and Routine Cytogenetic Laboratory, Technical University Munich, Germany
  2006 - Full Professor and Chairman of the Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University of Graz