Work Group Leaders

Niemann, Heiner

Niemann, Heiner, Prof. Dr. med. vet.

REBIRTH Unit Large Animal Models

Höltystrasse 10, Mariensee
31535 Neustadt


Biography / About

Date of Birth:January, 1953
Function:Professor, Head of the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics (FLI)


1971Higher secondary education (Abitur), Wilhelm Hittorf Gymnasium, Münster/Westfalen, Germany
1971 - 1972Studies in English language and History, University of Münster, Germany
1972 - 1973Basic military service (Grundwehrdienst) German Armed Forces, Osnabrück and Münster
1973 - 1978Studies of Veterinary Sciences, University of Veterenary Medicine Hannover (TiHo), including one semester at the Ecole National Veterinaire at Toulouse, France
1978Graduation in Veterinary Medicine, University of Veterenary Medicine Hannover
1979 - 1980Doctoral fellow at the Institute for Animal Breeding and Animal Behavior (Institut für Tierzucht und Tierverhalten) (FAL), Mariensee
1980Dr. med. vet., TiHo
1984Veterinary Specialist in Reproductive Medicine (‘Fachtierarzt für Reproduktionsmedizin’)
2001Veterinary Specialist in Molecular Genetics (‘Fachtierarzt für Molekulargenetik und Gentechnologie’)

Academic appointments and Research posts:

Since 1980Staff scientist, Institute of Animal Breeding and Animal Behaviour, Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL), Mariensee, Germany
1985-1986Visiting Professor at the Veterinary College Texas, A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
Since 1987Head of Department Biotechnology, Institute of Animal Breeding and Animal Behaviour, FAL
1989Post-doctoral lecturing qualification (Habilitation, ‘Biotechnological studies on preimplantation embryos from cattle and swine’) and venia legendi in Reproductive Biology and faculty member TiHo
1990Scientific Director of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Animal Behaviour (FAL)
1991Director and Professor at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Animal Behaviour (FAL)
1994Adjunct (APL) Professor for Reproductive Biology, TiHo
2004 - 2007Adjunct Professor Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Since 2007Visiting Professor, Institute of Advanced Technology, Kinki University, Wakayama, Japan
Since 2008Head of the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics, FLI, Mariensee
Since 2016Honorary Professor, MHH

Other professional activities:

1988 - 1990 and 1994 - 1996Member, Board of Governors, Internation Embryo Technology Society (IETS)
1988 - 1989IETS President (regular 1 year term)
1993Program Chairman 19th IETS-Meeting, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA and Editor of the proceedings. Theriogenology 39, 1-352
2005Program chair 31st IETS-meeting, Copenhagen, DK, and Editor of the proceedings: Reproduction, Fertility and Development 17(1,2) 1-328
2007WHO Expert committee: Transgenic animals and safety of products

Awards and Prizes:

1987Recipient of the Biotechnology award of the H.W. Schaumann Foundation
2007Recipient of the Federation Fellowship of the Australian Research Council
2008Election as member of German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina
2012Recipient of Martin Lerche Forschungspreis of DVG (Deutsche Veterinärmedizinische Gesellschaft)
2016Recipient of the Badge of Honour of the Bundestierärztekammer for extraordinary contribution to the veterinary profession
2017Recipient of the Pioneer Award of IETS

Major research interests:

  • Regulation of oocyte and preimplantation development in livestock species
  • Transgenic livestock
  • Somatic cloning/reprogramming/stem cells
  • Genetic diversity

Selected Publications:

  1. Fischer K, Kraner-Scheiber S, Petersen B, Rieblinger B, Buermann A, Flisikowska T, Flisikowski K, Christan S, Edlinger M, Baars W, Kurome M, Zakhartchenko V, Kessler B, Plotzki E, Szczerbal I, Switonski M, Denner J, Wolf E, Schwinzer R, Niemann H, Kind A, Schnieke A. Efficient production of multi-modified pigs for xenotransplantation by ‘combineering’, gene stacking and gene editing. Scientific Reports. 2016. 6:29081. DOI: 10.1038/srep29081.
  2. Ramm R, Niemann H, Petersen B, Haverich A, Hilfiker A. Decellularized GGTA1-KO pig heart valves do not bind preformed human xenoantibodies. Basic Research in Cardiology. 2016. 111(4):39. DOI 10.1007/s00395-016-0560-7.
  3. Petkov S, Glage S, Nowak-Imialek M, Niemann H. Long-term culture of porcine induced pluripotent stem-like cells under feeder-free conditions in the presence of histone deacetylase inhibitors. Stem Cells Dev. 2016. 25(5):386-94. DOI: 10.1089/scd.2015.0317.
  4. Ahrens HE, Petersen B, Herrmann D, Lucas-Hahn A, Hassel P, Ziegler M, Kues WA, Baulain U, Baars W, Schwinzer R, Denner J, Rataj D, Werwitzke S, Tiede A, Bongoni AK, Garimella PS, Despont A, Rieben R, Niemann H. siRNA mediated knockdown of tissue factor expression in pigs for xenotransplantation. Am J Transplant. 2015. 15(5):1407-14. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.13120.
  5. Hinkel R, Lange P, Petersen B, Gottlieb E, Ng JKM, Finger S, Horstkötte J, Lee S, Thormann M, Knorr M, El-Aouni C, Boekstegers P, Reichart B, Wenzel P, Niemann H, Kupatt C. Heme-oxygenase-1 gene therapy provides cardioprotection via control of post-ischemic inflammation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2015. 66(2):154-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.04.064.
  6. Hinkel R, Trenkwalder T, Petersen B, Husada W, Gesenhues F, Lee S, Hannappel E, Bock-Marquette I, Theisen D, Leitner L, Boekstegers P, Cierniewski C, Muller OJ, le Noble F, Adams RH, Weinl C, Nordheim A, Reichart B, Weber C, Olson E, Posern G, Deindl E, Niemann H, Kupatt C. MRTF-A controls vessel growth and maturation by increasing the expression of CCN1 and CCN2. Nature Communications. 2014. 5:3970. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4970.
  7. Kues WA, Herrmann D, Barg-Kues B, Haridoss S, Nowak-Imialek M, Buchholz T, Streeck M, Grebe A, Grabundzija I, Merkert S, Martin U, Hall VJ, Rasmussen MA, Ivics Z, Hyttel P, Niemann H. Derivation and characterization of Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated induced porcine pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. 2013. 22(1):124-35. DOI: 10.1089/scd.2012.0382.
  8. Pfaff N, Lachmann N, Ackermann M Kohlscheen S, Brendel C, Maetzig T, Niemann H, Antoniou MN, Grez M, Schambach A, Cantz T, Moritz T. An ubiquitous chromatin opening element prevents transgene silencing in pluripotent stem cells and their differentiated progeny. Stem Cells. 2013. 31(3):488-99. DOI: 10.1002/stem.1316.
  9. Hauschild J, Petersen B, Santiago Y, Queisser AL, Carnwath JW, Lucas-Hahn A, Zhang L, Meng X, Gregory PD, Schwinzer R, Cost GJ, Niemann H. Efficient generation of a biallelic knockout in pig using zinc-finger nucleases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2011. 108(29):12013-7. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106422108.
  10. Nowak-Imialek M, Kues WA, Petersen B, Lucas-Hahn A, Herrmann D, Haridoss S, Oropeza M, Lemme E, Schöler HR, Carnwath JW, Niemann H. Oct4-EGFP transgenic pigs – a new large animal model for reprogramming studies. Stem Cells Dev. 2011. 20(9):1563-75. DOI: 10.1089/scd.2010.0399.

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