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Welcome to the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology

Heiland, Ines

Department of Arctic and Marine Biology

Associate professor

(+47) 776 46889


Office/visiting address

Job description

Assoc. Prof. for Molecular Bioinformatics

Research interests

Mathematical simulations are an important tool in physics and engineering, but its application to biology and medicine is still in its infancy. However, as our knowledge of the molecular basis of biological processes is progressing, mathematical modelling is increasingly used to understand the complexity of living organisms.

We use existing biochemical data to built dynamic models of metabolisms and dynamic molecular processes. The resulting models can be used to understand the basis of diseases and guide the development of drugs. We work in close collaboration with experimental groups, which is advantageous, as model building is always an iterative process of simulation and experimental verification of model hypothesis. It furthermore guides the developement of our models and usually defines the aim of the model.

Research projects

Simulation of circadian rhythms

Most organisms employ circadian clocks to anticipate daily variations in their natural environments. Circadian clocks are self-sustained oscillators that can be entrained by external time cues like light–dark or temperature cycles to match local time. The rhythm persists in the absence of such stimuli with a period of approximately 24 h. Thus, circadian clocks are generally thought to resemble limit-cycle oscillators.

In recent years we have studied the entrainment characteristics of circadian oscillators. Most previous studies have focused on the entrainment by light-dark cycles but much less is known about the entrainment by temperature or feeding cycles. Temperature permanently influences all processes within an organism. Thus, it is difficult to study temperature regulation of circadian clocks separately by in vivo experiments. Although the clock can be entrained by temperature cycles, its free-running period is relatively constant within a broad range of physiological temperatures. This phenomenon is called temperature compensation. We unraveled the relation between temperature compensation and temperature entrainment of circadian clocks recently and have shown that temperature compensation ensures temperature entrainment at e.g. seasonal changing mean temperatures.

We have furthermore started to study the mechanisms of feeding entrainment of circadian clocks. Although it has been known for decades that the clock of peripheral tissues can be set by feeding entrainment.  Recently, significant advances have been made to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind this process. We use this data to recosntruct a dynamic model of metabolic regulation of circadian clocks.

Bioinformatic analysis and simulation of Tryptophan- and NAD-Metabolism

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid for protein biosynthesis and the precursor of serotonin, melatonin, NAD and kynurenate as well as the neurotoxins quinolinic acid (QA) and 3-hydroxy-kynurenine (3HK). Changes in tryptophan metabolism have been found in several neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons’s and Huntington’s disease, in AIDS-dementia and various kinds of cancer. Furthermore, changes in serotonin levels are the basis of several gastrointestinal disorders. Serotonin is furthermore known as important regulator of the metabolism. Melatonin which is synthesized from serotonin in a light-sensitive and circadian clock regulated manner, is itself an important regulator of our sleep-wake cycle and changes in its synthesis are the basis of e.g. the delayed sleep phase syndrom.

NAD is equally important as metabolite of redox-reactions and as signaling molecule. NAD is required for DNA-damage repair and the NAD-dependent deacetylase (sirtuins) seem to play an important role in ageing and in the metabolic regulation of circadian clocks. As these enzymes consume NAD cellular NAD-pools need to be constantly replenished.

Other publications


Stavrum A-K, Heiland I, Schuster S, Puntervoll P, Ziegler M. (2013) Model of Tryptophan Metabolism, Readily Scalable using Tissue-Specific Gene Expression Data. Journal of Biological Chemistry, aceepted October 15., doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.474908

Kathrin Schmeisser*, Johannes Mansfeld*, Doreen Kuhlow, Sandra Weimer, Steffen Priebe, Ines Heiland, Marc Birringer, Marco Groth, Alexandra Segref, Yariv Kanfi, Nathan L. Price, Sebastian Schmeisser, Stefan Schuster, Andreas Pfeiffer, Reinhard Guthke, Matthias Platzer, Thorsten Hoppe, Haim Y. Cohen, Kim Zarse, David A. Sinclair, and Michael Ristow. Role of Sirtuins in Lifespan Regulation is Linked to Methylation of Nicotinamide, Nature Chemical Biology, accepted August 23. doi:10.1038/nchembio.1352

Sascha Schäuble, Anne Kristin Stavrum, Pål Puntervoll, Stefan Schuster (2013), Ines Heiland Effect of substrate competition in kinetic models of metabolic networks,FEBS Letters 587(17):2818-2824



Christoph Kaleta und Ines Heiland
Stoffwechselanalyse: Neue Wege im Labyrinth entdecken
Laborwelt 4, 2012, 30-32

T. I. Gossmann, M. Ziegler, P. Puntervoll, L. F. de Figueiredo, S. Schuster, I. Heiland
Two new perspectives on NAD metabolism
In: Proceedings of the German Conference on Bioinformatics 2012 (eds. Sebastian Böcker Franziska Hufsky Kerstin Scheubert Jana Schleicher Stefan Schuster), 2012, url 

S. Schäuble, K. Klement, S. Marthandan, S. Münch, I. Heiland, S. Schuster, P. Hemmerich, S. Diekmann
Quantitative model of cell cycle arrest and cellular senescence in primary human fibroblasts.
PLoS ONE 7, 2012, e42150 doi PudMed-ID: 22879912

C. Bodenstein, I. Heiland, S. Schuster
Temperature compensation and entrainment in circadian rhythms.
Physical Biology 9, 2012, 036011 doi  |  PudMed-ID: 22683844

T. I. Gossmann, M. Ziegler, P. Puntervoll, L. F. de Figueiredo, S. Schuster, I. Heiland
NAD biosynthesis and salvage - a phylogenetic perspective.
FEBS J 279 (18), September, 2012, 3355-3363 doi  |  PudMed-ID: 22404877

I. Heiland, C. Bodenstein, T. Hinze, O. Weisheit, O. Ebenhoeh, M. Mittag and S. Schuster
Modelling temperature entrainment of circadian clocks using the Arrhenius equation and a reconstructed model from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Journal of Biological Physics 38 (3), 2012, 449-464 doi 

T. Hinze, C. Bodenstein, B. Schau, I. Heiland, S. Schuster
Chemical Analog Computers for Clock Frequency Control Based on P Modules
In: Membrane Computing. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference (CMC12) (eds. M. Gheorghe, G. Paun, R. Rozenberg, A. Salomaa, S. Verlan), Springer Verlag, Vol. 7184, 2012, 182-202 doi


C. Bodenstein, I. Heilandand S. Schuster
Calculating activation energies for temperature compensation in circadian rhythms
Physical Biology 8 (5), 2011, 056007 doi  |  PudMed-ID: 21891835

S. Schäuble, I. Heiland, O. Voytsekh, M. Mittag, S. Schuster.
Predicting the Physiological Role of Circadian Metabolic Regulation in the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Plos ONE 6 (8), 2011, e23026 doi  |  PudMed-ID: 21887226

T. Hinze, M. Schumann, C. Bodenstein, I. Heiland, S. Schuster
Biochemical Frequency Control by Synchronisation of Coupled Repressilators: An In-silico Study of Modules for Circadian Clock Systems.
Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience, vol. 2011, 2011, ID 262189 doi  | PudMed-ID: 22046179

C. Kaleta, L. F. de Figueiredo, I. Heiland, S. Klamt, S. Schuster
Special issue: Integration of OMICs datasets into metabolic pathway analysis.
BioSystems 105, 2011, 107-108 doi  |  PudMed-ID: 21619911

T. Hinze, C. Bodenstein, I. Heiland, S. Schuster
Capturing Biological Frequency Control of Circadian Clocks by Reaction System Modularization
ERCIM News 85, 2011, 27-29


T. Hinze, T. Lenser, G. Escuela, I. Heiland, S. Schuster "Modelling Signalling Networks with Incomplete Information about Protein Activation States: A P System Framework of the KaiABC Oscillator"
In: Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Membrane Computing (WMC) (eds. G. Paun, M.J. Perez-Jimenez, A. Riscos-Nunez, A. Salomaa), Springer Verlag, 2010, 316-334


Heiland, I. and Erdmann, R.(2006) "Investigation of peroxisome biogenesis revealed possible new roles for autophagy components" Autophagy 2(3):209-11 (View Article)

Schmidt, M., Gessner, G., Luff, M., Heiland, I., Wagner, V., Kaminski, M., Geimer, S., Eitzinger, N., Reissenweber, T., Voytsekh, O., Fiedler, M., Mittag, M. and Kreimer G. (2006) "Proteomic analysis of the eyespot of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii provides novel insights into its components and tactic movements" Plant Cell 18(8):1908-30 (View Article)

Wagner, V., Gessner, G., Heiland, I. , Kaminski, M., Hawat, S., Fiedler, M. and Mittag, M. (2005) "The Phosphoproteome of Chlamydomans reinhardtii" Eukaryot Cell 5(3):457-468 (View Article)


Heiland, I. and Erdmann, R.(2005) "Biogenesis of peroxisomes. Topogenesis of the peroxisomal membrane and matrix proteins" FEBS Journal 272(10):2362-72 (View Article)

Heiland, I. and Erdmann, R.(2005) Topogenesis of peroxisomal proteins does not require a functional cytoplasm-to-vacuole transport EJCB 84(10):799-807 (View Article)

Awards and distinctions
09/2011 ISGSB Travel grant
03/2009 FEBS YTF-Grant
2001 - 2003 PhD-Scolarship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds




Dec/2012 - Assoc. Prof. for molceular bioinformatics at the Department of arctic and marine biology

2008 - 2012
Postdoctoral researcher and junior group leader at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Bioinformatics
Project: Modelling and simulation of circadiane rhythms and dynamic metabolic processes

2005 - 2006
Postdoctoral reseracher at the FSU Jena Department of General Botany
Project: Data evaluation of large scale proteome projects of C. reinhardtii

2004 - 2005
Postdoctoral reseracher at the Ruhr University Bochum Laboratory of Cell Biochemistry
Project: Characterisation of the Pex3p-Complexes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae



2003 - 2004 Ruhr Universit Bochum, Laboratory of Cell Biochemistry
2001 - 2002 Department of Biochemistry, Free University Berlin

I have done my PhD-thesis in the group of Prof. Ralf Erdmann. The title of my work was: "Investigating peroxisomal membrane biogenesis". I have defended my PhD thesis at the 19th of November in 2004 at the FU Berlin.



04/2011 - 05/2011 Computational Biology Unit, Uni Reserach, Bergen, Norway

03/2004 - 04/2004 Biological school of sciences, C. Stirling Group, Manchester University, England

06/1999 - 07/1999 Department of Organic Chemistry, S. Oscarsons Group, Arhenius Laboratories, Stockholm University, Sweden


Undergraduate Studies in Biochemistry

1995 - 1997 Friedrich Schiller University Jena
1997 - 2000
Free University Berlin

The title of my diploma thesis was "Characterisation of the pex-phenotyps of vacuolar and secretory pathway mutants with focus on Pex3p". I have done my diploma thesis in the group of Prof. Ralf Erdmann at the Institute for Biochemistry at the FU Berlin.

Home page

Publications in CRIStin

  • Schäuble, Sascha; Stavrum, Anne-Kristin; Puntervoll, Pål; Schuster, Stefan; Heiland, Ines. Effect of substrate competition in kinetic models of metabolic networks. (fulltekst) FEBS Letters 2013; Volum 587 (17). ISSN 0014-5793.s 2818 - 2824.s doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2013.06.025.
  • Stavrum, Anne-Kristin; Heiland, Ines; Schuster, Stefan; Puntervoll, Pål; Ziegler, Mathias. Model of tryptophan metabolism, readily scalable using tissue-specific gene expression data. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2013; Volum 288 (48). ISSN 0021-9258.s 34555 - 34566.s doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.474908.
  • Schmeisser, Kathrin; Mannsfeld, Johannes; Kuhlow, Doreen; Weimer, Sandra; Priebe, Steffen; Heiland, Ines; Birringer, Marc; Groth, Marco; Segref, Alexandra; Kanfi, Yariv; Price, Nathan L.; Schmeisser, Sebastian; Schuster, Stefan; Pfeiffer, Andreas F. H.; Guthke, Reinhard; Platzer, Matthias; Hoppe, Torsten; Haim, Cohen Y; Zarse, Kim; Sinclair, David A; Ristow, Michael. Role of sirtuins in lifespan regulation is linked to methylation of nicotinamide. Nature Chemical Biology 2013; Volum 9 (11). ISSN 1552-4450.s 693 - 700.s doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1352.
  • Heiland, Ines; Kaleta, Christoph. Stoffwechselanalyse: Neue Wege im Labyrinth entdecken. Laborwelt 2012; Volum 4. ISSN 1611-0854.s 30 - 32.
  • Heiland, Ines. Was hat Tryptophan mit Krebs und Parkinson zu tun?. Chemie in unserer Zeit 2014; Volum 3. ISSN 1521-3781.
  • Stavrum, Anne-Kristin; Heiland, Ines; Schuster, Stefan; Puntervoll, Pål; Ziegler, Mathias. Predicting pathological metabolic changes using a kinetic model of tryptophan metabolism. Advanced Lecture Course on Systems Biology 2014-03-02 - 2014-03-08 2014.
  • Heiland, Ines; Brandes, Susanne; Stavrum, Anne-Kristin; Bodenstein, Christian; Ziegler, Mathias. NAD-metabolism and the circadian clock -- Unraveling contradictions. Advanced Lecture Course on Systems Biology 2014-03-02 - 2014-03-08 2014.
  • Heiland, Ines. Metabolic modelling: From networks to dynamics and back. Workshop on Visualization in Biology 2013-09-19 - 2013-09-19 2013.
  • Heiland, Ines; Brandes, Susanne; Stavrum, Anne-Kristin; Bodenstein, Christian; Ziegler, Mathias. NAD-metabolism and the circadian clock. Gordon Conference Chronobiology 2013-07-14 - 2013-07-19 2013.
   Look at all works in CRIStin

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