Prof. Dr. Erwin Böttinger

Dr. Henrike Heyne

Senior Scientist for Genomic Medicine

Campus III - Building G2 - Room G-2.2.34

Phone: (+49) 0331 5509 4845
Email: henrike.heyne@hpi.de
Web: LinkedIn | Twitter


My research aims to help treat patients based on the underlying genetic causes of their disease, with a focus on ion-channel related disease such as epilepsy. As a doctoral student I gained quantitative genetics expertise investigating the genetics of tame behavior in a rat model of animal domestication (mentors: S. Pääbo, F. Albert, Max Planck Institute). Motivated to have clinical impact I then worked as clinical genetic counselor while focusing my research on rare epilepsy genomics (mentor: J. Lemke, University of Leipzig). I used my quantitative genetics and bioinformatics skills to challenge commonly used clinical labels and genetic testing, gain insight into epilepsy pathobiology and identify three disease genes. I then trained as a postdoc with M. Daly (first at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and later at Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine) where I developed a machine learning method that predicts if genetic variants in ion channels cause epilepsy or other diseases by either firing too much or too little which is important for precision clinical care. I also contributed to the worldwide largest epilepsy genetics consortium, the Epi25 collaborative. I have been studying the effects of genetic variation on electronic health record data in more than 280,000 Finns in the FinnGen project where I will remain an affiliated researcher. I am excited to continue my work on genomics, with a focus on epilepsy and other ion-channel related diseases as a senior scientist at the HPI Potsdam with an adjunct Professor position at the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai in New York.