ZFIN ID: ZDB-PERS-000913-5
Dekens, Marcus P.S.
Email: marcus.dekens@gmail.com
Address: Zuber Group Research Institute of Molecular Pathology Vienna-Biocenter 1 1030 Vienna, Austria
Country: Austria
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1689-3491

Marcus was a postgraduate in genetics at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen under Prof. Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Nobel Medicine 1995) where he took part in constructing the first radiation hybrid map of the zebrafish genome as well as a genetic screen for cell division and fertilization mutants. He demonstrated that the mutant "futile cycle" has a pronuclear congression defect, similar to a centriole attachment defect reported in infertile men. He also discovered a blood stem cell defect in the mutant "kugelig" and linked the mutation to the radiation hybrid map.

Thereafter, he collaborated with Prof. Dr. Nicholas Foulkes with whom he demonstrated that DNA replication is timed by the daily light-dark phases, which has implications for chronotherapy. At University College London, he further researched circadian rhythms and knocked down the circadian clock with a dominant-negative construct as proof of concept. He then moved to the Genomics Core unit at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg where he performed in the lab of Dr. Vladimir Benes an Affymetrix GeneChip microarray screen to reveal the effect of light on the transcriptome of non-image forming cells, thereby demonstrating that visible light (non-ionizing and non-UV) induces stress response and DNA repair genes through the PAR bZip transcription factor Thyrotroph embryonic factor. Thereafter, at the University of Vienna, he demonstrated by site-directed knockout of melanopsin genes and transcriptome sequencing, that this non-visual photoreceptor exerts control over the immune system and the cell cycle in addition to promoting locomotor activity (velocity) during the diurnal wake state through repression of the melatonin pathway via homeodomain transcription factors.

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic he joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Johannes Zuber at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology where he contributed to establishing a SARS-CoV-2 testing laboratory and high-throughput monitoring. Moreover, he developed a highly specific and sensitive RT-qPCR diagnostic test for broad SARS-CoV-2 variant detection. His expertise and interests are in molecular diagnostics, chronopharmaceutics and personalized medicine.

Dekens, M.P.S., Fontinha, B.M., Gallach, M., Pflügler, S., Tessmar-Raible, K. (2022) Melanopsin elevates locomotor activity during the wake state of the diurnal zebrafish. EMBO reports. 23(5):e51528
Pende, M., Vadiwala, K., Schmidbaur, H., Stockinger, A.W., Murawala, P., Saghafi, S., Dekens, M.P.S., Becker, K., Revilla-I-Domingo, R., Papadopoulos, S.C., Zurl, M., Pasierbek, P., Simakov, O., Tanaka, E.M., Raible, F., Dodt, H.U. (2020) A versatile depigmentation, clearing, and labeling method for exploring nervous system diversity. Science advances. 6:eaba0365
Dekens, M.P., Foulkes, N.S., Tessmar-Raible, K. (2017) Instrument design and protocol for the study of light controlled processes in aquatic organisms, and its application to examine the effect of infrared light on zebrafish. PLoS One. 12:e0172038
Gavriouchkina, D., Fischer, S., Ivacevic, T., Stolte, J., Benes, V., and Dekens, M.P. (2010) Thyrotroph embryonic factor regulates light-induced transcription of repair genes in zebrafish embryonic cells. PLoS One. 5(9):e12542
Dekens, M.P., and Whitmore, D. (2008) Autonomous onset of the circadian clock in the zebrafish embryo. The EMBO journal. 27(20):2757-2765
Geisler, R., Rauch, G.J., Geiger-Rudolph, S., Albrecht, A., van Bebber, F., Berger, A., Busch-Nentwich, E., Dahm, R., Dekens, M.P., Dooley, C., Elli, A.F.,Gehring, I., Geiger, H., Geisler, M., Glaser, S., Holley, S., Huber, M., Kerr, A., Kirn, A., Knirsch, M., Konantz, M., Kuchler, A.M., Maderspacher, F., Neuhauss, S.C., Nicolson, T., Ober, E.A., Praeg, E., Ray, R., Rentzsch, B., Rick, J.M., Rief, E., Schauerte, H.E., Schepp, C.P., Schonberger, U., Schonthaler, H.B., Seiler, C., Sidi, S., Söllner, C., Wehner, A., Weiler, C., Nüsslein-Volhard, C. (2007) Large-scale mapping of mutations affecting zebrafish development. BMC Genomics. 8(1):11
Carr, A.J., Tamai, T.K., Young, L.C., Ferrer, V., Dekens, M.P., and Whitmore, D. (2006) Light reaches the very heart of the zebrafish clock. Chronobiology International. 23(1):91-100
Pelegri, F., Dekens, M.P., Schulte-Merker, S., Maischein, H.M., Weiler, C., and Nüsslein-Volhard, C. (2004) Identification of recessive maternal-effect mutations in the zebrafish using a gynogenesis-based method. Developmental Dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 231(2):324-335
Dekens, M.P.S., Santoriello, C., Vallone, D., Grassi, G., Whitmore, D., and Foulkes, N.S. (2003) Light regulates the cell cycle in zebrafish. Current biology : CB. 13(23):2051-2057
Davidson, A.J., Ernst, P., Wang, Y., Dekens, M.P., Kingsley, P.D., Palis, J., Korsmeyer, S.J., Daley, G.Q., and Zon, L.I. (2003) cdx4 mutants fail to specify blood progenitors and can be rescued by multiple hox genes. Nature. 425(6955):300-306
Dekens, M.P., Pelegri, F.J., Maischein, H.M., and Nüsslein-Volhard, C. (2003) The maternal-effect gene futile cycle is essential for pronuclear congression and mitotic spindle assembly in the zebrafish zygote. Development (Cambridge, England). 130(17):3907-3916
Geisler, R., Rauch, G.J., Baier, H., van Bebber, F., Brobeta, L., Dekens, M.P., Finger, K., Fricke, C., Gates, M.A., Geiger, H., Geiger-Rudolph, S., Gilmour, D., Glaser, S., Gnugge, L., Habeck, H., Hingst, K., Holley, S., Keenan, J., Kirn, A., Knaut, H., Lashkari, D., Maderspacher, F., Martyn, U., Neuhauss, S., Neumann, C., Nicolson, T., Pelegri, F., Ray, R., Rick, J.M., Roehl, H., Roeser, T., Schauerte, H.E., Schier, A.F., Schönberger, U., Schönthaler, H.-B., Schulte-Merker, S., Seydler, C., Talbot, W.S., Weiler, C., Nüsslein-Volhard, C., and Haffter, P. (1999) A radiation hybrid map of the zebrafish genome. Nature Genetics. 23(1):86-89

Stroband HW, Dekens MP, te Kronnie G, Schipper H, Samallo J. (1998) The carp homeobox gene Ovx1 shows early expression during gastrulation and subsequently in the vagal lobe, the facial lobe and the ventral telencephalon. Dev Genes Evol.208(1):56-59.

Max J. Kellner, James J. Ross, Jakob Schnabl, Marcus P.S. Dekens, Robert Heinen, Irina Grishkovskaya, Benedikt Bauer, Johannes Stadlmann, Luis Menéndez-Arias, Robert Fritsche-Polanz, Marianna Traugott, Tamara Seitz, Alexander Zoufaly, Manuela Födinger, Christoph Wenisch, Johannes Zuber, Vienna Covid-19 Diagnostics Initiative (VCDI), Andrea Pauli, Julius Brennecke. A rapid, highly sensitive and open-access SARS-CoV-2 detection assay for laboratory and home testing. Front. Mol. Biosci., 2022 Apr 1;9:801309. DOI=10.3389/fmolb.2022.801309.

Kheiroddin P, Schöberl P, Althammer M, Cibali E, Würfel T, Wein H, Kulawik B, Buntrock-Döpke H, Weigl E, Gran S, Gründl M, Langguth J, Lampl B, Judex G, Niggel J, Pagel P, Schratzenstaller T, Schneider-Brachert W, Gastiger S, Bodenschatz M, Konrad M, Levchuk A, Roth C, Schöner D, Schneebauer F, Rohrmanstorfer R, Dekens MP, Brandstetter S, Zuber J, Wallerstorfer D, Burkovski A, Ambrosch A, Wagner T, Kabesch M. Results of WICOVIR Gargle Pool PCR Testing in German Schools Based on the First 100,000 Tests. Front Pediatr. 2021 Oct 28;9:721518. doi: 10.3389/fped.2021.721518. PMID: 34778127; PMCID: PMC8581236.