Petra Knaus received her PhD (Dr. rer. nat) at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) in Heidelberg in 1991. As a Research Fellow and Associate she did her Postdoctoral Training with Harvey Lodish at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (MIT, Cambridge, MA, US) until 1996. After her return to Germany, she received a Junior Group position at the Biocenter in Würzburg, in the Department of Walter Sebald. There she established her own lab with the focus on BMP receptor biology and signal transduction. In 2004 she became Full Professor for Biochemistry - Signaltransduction at the Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin. In 2010 she received a W3 Professorship for Biochemistry - Signaltransduction and Regeneration at the Freie Universität and BSRT/Charité.
The interest of my lab is to understand the molecular mechanism of BMPs in tissue homeostasis and the development of diseases such as cancer, pulmonary hypertension or FOP. We aim to (1) unravel common signaling mechanisms in different cell types, (2) identify unique modes of BMP receptor activation and (3) to understand signaling specificity in regard to Smad and Non-Smad signaling cascades. Ultimately our goal is to transfer this knowledge to the development of new therapeutic strategies to facilitate tissue regeneration and for cancer treatments.