Dr. rer. nat. Axel Künstner

University of Lübeck
Lübeck Institute of Experimental Dermatology
23562 Lübeck
Gebäude 67 2.OG, Raum 44

Phone:+49 451 3101 8475
Fax:+49 451 3101 8404



Axel Künstner graduated in Computer Sciences and received his PhD at the Uppsala University (Sweden) working with Hans Ellegren. During this time his research was focused on genomics and transcriptomics in birds. Afterwards, he moved to the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen to work on the guppy genome project where he combined population genetic approaches and whole genome sequencing to investigate selection due to natural barriers in guppies.

In autumn 2014, he became a member at the Lübeck Institute for Experimental Dermatology and is working in close collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön. His main focus was to analyse microbiome data. Among others, he participates in projects investigating differences in skin microbiota in bullous pemphigoid patients compared to healthy controls.

Currently, he is part of the Group for Medical Systems Biology lead by Prof. Hauke Busch. His work is mainly focused on analysing microarray and next-generation sequencing data (e.g. microbiome, whole exome/genome sequencing, RNA-seq, RAD-seq). 


Selected publications

  • Sharma et al. Gain-of-Function Mutations in RPA1 Cause a Syndrome with Short Telomeres and Somatic Genetic Rescue. Blood. 2021

  • Witte, Künstner et al. Integrative genomic and transcriptomic analysis in plasmablastic lymphoma identifies disruption of key regulatory pathways. Blood Adv. 2021

  • Beckmann, Künstner et al. Telmisartan induces a specific gut microbiota signature which may mediate its antiobesity effect. Pharmacol Res. 2021

  • Künstner et al. Effect of Differences in the Microbiome of Cyp17a1-Deficient Mice on Atherosclerotic Background. Cells. 2021

  • Gebauer, Künstner, Ketzer et al. Genomic insights into the pathogenesis of Epstein-Barr virus-associated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by whole-genome and targeted amplicon sequencing. Blood Cancer J. 2021

  • Montgomery, Künstner et al. Interactions between host genetics and gut microbiota determine susceptibility to CNS autoimmunity. PNAS . 2020

  • Künstner, Langan, Miodovnik et al. Combined culture and metagenomic analyses reveal significant shifts in the composition of the cutaneous microbiome in psoriasis. BJD. 2019
  • Hirose, Künstner, et al., Mitochondrial gene polymorphism is associated with gut microbial communities in mice. Sci Rep. 2017
  • Hopfner, Künstner, et al., Gut microbiota in Parkinson Disease in a Northern German cohort. Brain Res. 2017
  • Miodovnik, Künstner, Langen, et al., A distinct cutaneous microbiota profile in autoimmune bullous disease patients. Exp Dermatol. 2017
  • Künstner et al., The Genome of the Trinidadian Guppy, Poecilia reticulata, and Variation in the Guanapo Population. PLoS One. 2016 
  • Künstner et al., Significant selective constraint at 4-fold degenerate sites in the avian genome and its consequence for detection of positive selection. Genome Biol Evol. 2011
  • Smeds and Künstner, ConDeTri-- a content dependent read trimmer for Illumina data. PLoS One. 2011
  • Künstner et al., Evolutionary constraint in flanking regions of avian genes. Mol Biol Evol. 2011
  • Künstner et al., Comparative genomics based on massive parallel transcriptome sequencing reveals patterns of substitution and selection across 10 bird species. Mol Ecol. 2010
  • Wolf et al., Nonlinear dynamics of nonsynonymous (dN) and synonymous (dS) substitution rates affects inference of selection. Genome Biol Evol. 2009