Sascha Duttke

Sascha Duttke


Dr. Sascha Duttke is an assistant professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences who specializes in nascent transcriptomics and is fascinated by how gene regulatory programs differentially decode DNA in distinct settings. These programs not only allow making a complex multicellular organism – such as yourself – but can also trigger different responses to medical treatment or environmental challenges, including viral infections. The goal of Dr. Duttke’s research is to advance our knowledge of gene regulatory programs on the level of transcription initiation and refine technologies to precisely capture active gene regulatory networks in complex samples such as blood or tumors. These advances are critical to better understand the molecular basis underlying differential disease outcomes and to predict the efficacy of distinct treatments based on profiling the current (“nascent”) gene regulatory state of patients. He hopes his research will lead to further early disease detection and personalized treatment approaches for humans and animals. Dr. Duttke earned his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology at UC San Diego. He remained at UC San Diego for his postdoctoral training, first as a Cancer Research Institute research fellow and subsequently under a K99 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health.


  • PhD, UC San Diego, 2015
  • Dipl.Biol., Universität Freiburg, 2010

Research Interest

  • The gene regulatory basis of differential response to challenges or treatment: Why do some of us get sick or respond to a treatment why others don’t?
  • How transcription factors decode our genome
  • How gene expression programs are encoded in our DNA
  • Exploiting nascent transcriptomics for personalized medicine


Honors and Awards

  • Martin D. Kamen Memorial Award, 2015
  • UCSD Biology Excellence in Teaching Award, 2013
  • ‘Best Engineered Molecule’, ‘Best poster’ Award, with Team Freiburg at iGEM, 2009