... is a molecular cell biologist with substantial interest in the dynamics and function of supranucleosomal chromatin. He graduated from Julius-Maximilians-University (Würzburg) where he also received a doctorate in cell biology. Robert spent his postdoctoral time at the National Cancer Institute of the national Institutes of Health in Bethesda, where he got hooked on architectural chromatin proteins. He further investigated supranucleosomal chromatin as project group leader back at the Julius-Maximilians-University (Würzburg). Following habilitation in Cell- and Developmental Biology he worked as assistant professor. Since 2007 he is responsible for the faculty business management and organization of Bachelor and Master study programs but sticks with a sip of science.
Robert Hock's aim is to understand dynamics and functions of “high mobility group” (HMG) proteins. HMG proteins are an abundant and ubiquitous superfamily of nuclear proteins that bind to DNA and nucleosomes and induce structural changes in the chromatin fiber. These proteins play an important role in chromatin dynamics and impact DNA-related processes such as transcription or replication in the context of chromatin. HMG proteins are developmentally regulated and changes in HMG protein levels alter the cellular phenotype and lead to developmental abnormalities and disease (for more details see Hock et al., Trends in Cell Biology, 2007 and BBA Vol 1799, Issues 1-2, 2010). The research is tended to understand fundamental functions of these proteins during cellular differentiation and their role in dynamically modulating chromatin.