Developing tools to identify microRNAs


Marc Friedländer studies microRNAs, which are 22 nucleotide long RNAs that regulate the expression of most mammalian protein coding genes, and are important for development and for defining cell identity.

FriedlanderMarc has developed miRDeep, which is the most widely used computational tool to discover microRNAs. It accurately identifies these sequences in all types of animals, from sea anemones to humans, and has been used by numerous research groups in hundreds of studies. He is now developing the first experimental method to profile microRNA biogenesis transcriptome-wide, and he is studying the functions of microRNAs in individual cells, using single-cell sequencing.

“During my research, I have discovered many novel human microRNA and other RNA genes. I find it amazing and humbling to think that these are genes that are shared between seven billion people on the planet, present in every single of their trillions of cells, but I am the first person to discover the gene”, said Marc Friedländer.

What you didn’t know about Marc Friedländer: Marc has a keen interest in cinema and visits the Berlinale film festival almost every year. He has a large collection of Belgian and French comic books stored in a dusty cellar in Berlin. Furthermore he cooks the best smørrebrød North of Öresund.

Research group

December 2014
Camilla Wernersson