Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors: Andre Greiner

Andre Greiner is a featured first author of  Targeting of Photoreceptor Genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii via Zinc-finger Nucleases and CRISPR/Cas9

Current Position: Postdoctoral associate in the lab of Prof. Peter Hegemann, Experimental Biophysics, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

Education: PhD in Experimental Biophysics, , Humboldt University Berlin, Germany M.Sc in Biology, Julius-Maximilians University, Wuerzburg, Germany B.Sc in Biology, Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Non-scientific Interests: Family, motorcycling, snowboarding, traveling

As part of my Master’s thesis on the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii model, I had the chance to perform an internship in the Rosenbaum lab at Yale University. During this stay, I was invited to attend the ASCB meeting in Washington DC, where I was introduced to literally all US labs working on Chlamydomonas flagella. Back in Germany, inspired by this collaborative and friendly community spirit, I decided to stay in Chlamydomonas research. The missing genetic toolkit in these algae led me to my doctoral work in the lab of Professor Hegemann. My primary purpose was to optimize gene targeting in Chlamydomonas towards a technology that allows, first of all, efficient gene disruption and ultimately, precise and predictable gene editing in a variety of Chlamydomonas strains. In an early phase of the project, zinc-finger-nuclease (ZFN) technology emerged. The work of our team resulted in the deletion of a non-selectable gene in Chlamydomonas using ZFNs before CRISPR/Cas9 technology emerged in 2014. As a postdoc, I decided to continue my research and to transfer the knowledge gained from ZFN work aiming to establish CRISPR/Cas9 in Chlamydomonas. Now, with the CRISPR technology in hand, we hope that the Chlamydomonas model will attract new scientists and that the community will be able to address previously inaccessible questions.