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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Krawczak

Portrait


  • Being a Mathematician by training, Michael obtained his first degree in Probability Theory and Statistics at the University of Göttingen, Germany, in 1984. His major interests at that time were the convergence properties of discrete-time and continuous-time stochastic processes.
  • After joining the group of Jörg Schmidtke at the Institute of Human Genetics in Göttingen, Michael's focus changed from Statistics to Genetics. He specialised in Linkage Analysis and Gene Mapping and obtained his PhD from Göttingen University for his work on "Algorithms for the Restriction Site Mapping of DNA Molecules" in 1987. After holding a post-doctoral position at the Göttingen institute for four years, Michael became Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Human Genetics, Hannover Medical School, Germany, in 1991. There, he also received formal recognition as an academic teacher of Human Genetics ("Habilitation") in 1994 for his work on "The Molecular Basis and Medical Relevance of Genetic Variability". 
  • The award in 1995 of a Heisenberg Fellowship, endowed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, allowed Michael to move to Cardiff, Wales. There, he worked at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Department of Psychological Medicine between January 1996 and October 2001. The title Visiting Professor in Mathematical Genetics was conferred upon Michael by the University of Wales College of Medicine in 1998, followed by the formal appointment to a Chair in the same discipline in January 2000.
  • Michael's scientific interests are diverse, covering many different aspects of Genetic Epidemiology, Population Genetics and Theoretical Biology. In a long-lasting collaboration with David N. Cooper, Cardiff, he has pioneered the development of methods for the statistical meta-analysis of mutational spectra and their application to germline mutations associated with human inherited disease. These studies have provided novel insights into the in vivo mechanisms of germline mutation in humans, and have served to demonstrate that the process of mutation is strongly influenced by the surrounding DNA sequence. The data used for analysis have been made publicly available on the Internet in 1996 as the Human Gene Mutation Database, a bioinfomatics service that is now updated and published via the WorldWideWeb on a regular basis. Other subjects of particular interest to Michael are the forensic application of DNA typing technology ("DNA fingerprinting") and the genetic dissection of complex phenotypic traits. He has authored or co-authored three books, several book chapters and more than 150 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. 
  • In September 2001, Michael was appointed to a Chair in Medical Statistics at the Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.