Dept. of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics is a part of the University of Rostock, Germany Universität Rostock

Dr. Katja Rateitschak

Image: Dr. Katja Rateitschak

Current Projects

Nonlinear dynamics of biochemical networks in pancreatic cancer: From experimental data to mathematical models (FORSYS)
This project combines theoretical and experimental systems biology to challenge pancreatic cancer (PC), a tumour disease with a very poor prognosis. It is focused on mathematical modelling of chemical kinetics and transport processes in biochemical reaction networks of PC cells. The model properties are analysed with methods of dynamical systems theory and methods of experimental design to understand, predict and improve the cellular response to chemotherapy. This effort is supported by quantitative cell biology, and the development of experimental techniques for systems biology.
Mathematical modeling of transport process at the blood brain barrier
Aβ aggregation inside the brain is one major aspect of Alzheimer's disease. The appearance of Aβ plaques is highly correlated with the decline of brain activity. It is therefore necessary to understand the mechanisms regulating Aβ production, Aβ degradation and removal from the brain. The aim of the project is to develop an integrated model to understand the dynamics of Aβ aggregation and its transport through the blood brain barrier.
Mathematical modeling of Neurodegenerative Processes in Alzheimer's Disease (MSBN)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by amyloid plaques in the brain of affected individuals. This project aims at modelling of neurodegenerative processes in AD. Our study focuses on the interactome of neuronal factors central to the proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) into Aβ, the main constituent of senile plaques. Factors considered in this model include proteases, trafficking adaptors, as well as a novel sorting receptor SORLA.
Reactive Oxygen Species and the Dynamics of Ageing. A Mitochondrial Multi-gene, Multi-organ Approach (ROSAge)
It is widely assumed that mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) production are crucial players in ageing. However, the specific role of mitochondrial pathways in the onset and progression of degeneration and ageing is still unclear, as is the degree of interplay among organs in the ageing process. We hypothesise that impairing mitochondrial respiratory function leads to oxidative stress and ROS production. This induces DNA damage, inflammation and, ultimately, cell senescence and ageing.

Research Interest

We combine theoretical and experimental systems biology to challenge pancreatic cancer in the project of my junior research group. It focuses on mathematical modelling of chemical kinetics and transport processes in biochemical reaction networks of pancreatic cancer cells.

By an iterative cycle of quantitative cell biology, mathematical modelling, parameter estimation and identifiability analysis, study of transient dynamics and sensitivity analysis, design of refined experiments and experimental validation of model predictions  we want to understand, predict and improve the cellular response to chemotherapy. This project is done in collaboration with Prof. R. Jaster (Department of Gastroenterology, Medical Faculty University of Rostock).

I am also involved in other projects where we study neurodegenerative diseases by a systems biology approach.The mathematical modelling of biochemical networks is accomplished by the development of mathematical tools to analyze transient signalling and to improve the experimental design.

Academic Background

2013  - 2014
Scientific employee, Systems Medicine Initiative, Department of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics and Institute for Biostatistics and Informatics in Medicine
University of Rostock, Rostock/Germany
2008 - 2013

FORSYS junior research group leader, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
University of Rostock, Rostock/Germany
2004 - 2008
Postdoc, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
University of Rostock, Rostock/Germany
2001 - 2004
Postdoc at Max Planck Institutes in Berlin and Potsdam
1996 - 2001
Docteur en Science, Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems



Wolkenhauer O, Auffray C, Brass O, Clairambault J, Deutsch A, Drasdo D, Gervasio F, Preziosi L, et al.
Enabling multiscale modeling in systems medicine

Genome Medicine 2014, 6:21


Schmitz Y, Rateitschak K, Wolkenhauer O (2013)
Analysing the impact of nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of beta-catenin and its antagonists APC, Axin and GSK3 on Wnt/beta-catenin signalling

Cellular Signalling, 2210:2221

Kossow C, Rybacki S, Millat T, Rateitschak K, Jaster R, Uhrmacher AM, Wolkenhauer O (2015)
An explicit numerical scheme to efficiently simulate molecular diffusion in environments with dynamically changing barriers

Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems.


open access

Rateitschak K, Winter F, Lange F, Jaster R, Wolkenhauer O (2012)
Parameter Identifiability and Sensitivity Analysis Predict Targets for Enhancement of STAT1 Activity in Pancreatic Cancer and Stellate Cells

PLoS Computational Biology 8: e1002815
open access

Lange F, Rateitschak K, Kossow C, Wolkenhauer O, Jaster R (2012)
Insights into erlotinib action in pancreatic cancer cells using a combined experimental and mathematical approach

World Journal of Gastroenterology 18: 6226-6234
open access

Kossow C, Jose D, Jaster R, Wolkenhauer O, Rateitschak K (2012)
Mathematical modelling unravels regulatory mechanisms of interferon-?-induced STAT1 serine-phosphorylation and MUC4 expression in pancreatic cancer cells

IET System Biology 6: 73-85


Schmidt V, Baum K, Lao A, Rateitschak K, Schmitz Y, Teichmann A, Wiesner B, Petersen CM, Nykjaer A, Wolf J, Wolkenhauer O, Willnow T (2012)
Quantitative modeling of amyloidogenic processing and its influence by SORLA in Alzheimer's disease

EMBO Journal 31: 187-200


Krohn M, Lange C, Hofrichter J, Scheffler K, Stenzel J, Steffen J, Schumacher T, Bräunung T, Plath A S, Alfen F, Schmidt A, Winter F, Rateitschak K, Wree A, Gsponer J, Walker L C, Pahnke J (2011)
Cerebral amyloid-beta proteostasis is regulated by the membrane transport protein ABCC1 in mice

Journal of Clinical Investigation 121: 3924-3931

Lange F, Rateitschak K, Fitzner B, Pohland R, Wolkenhauer O and Jaster R (2011)
Studies on mechanisms of interferon-gamma action in pancreatic cancer using a data-driven and model-based approach

Molecular Cancer 10: 13
open access

Schmitz Y, Wolkenhauer O, Rateitschak K (2011)
Nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of APC can maximize beta-catenin/TCF concentration

Journal of Theoretical Biology 279: 132-142

Vera J, Rateitschak K, Lange F, Kossow C, Wolkenhauer O, Jaster R (2011)
Systems Biology Of JAK-STAT Signalling In Human Malignancies

Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 106: 426-434


Rateitschak K, Wolkenhauer O (2010)
Thresholds in transient dynamics of signal transduction pathways

Journal of Theoretical Biology 264: 334 - 346

Rateitschak K, Karger A, Fitzner B, Lange F, Wolkenhauer O, Jaster R (2010)
Mathematical modelling of interferon-gamma signalling in pancreatic stellate cells reflects and predicts dynamics of STAT1 pathway activity

Cellular Signalling 22: 97-105

Rateitschak K, Jaster R, Wolkenhauer O
Interferon-g stimulated STAT1 signalling: from experimental data to a predictive mathematical model

in: Proceedings of the 4th International Beilstein Symposium on Experimental Standard Conditions of Enzyme Characterizations; Hicks MG , Kettner C (eds.); Logos Berlin 2010. ISBN: 9783832526067

Wolkenhauer O, Auffray Ch, Baltrusch S, Blüthgen N, Byrne H et al. (2009)
Systems biologists seek fuller integration of systems biology approaches in new cancer research programs

Cancer Research 70: 12-3

Rateitschak K, Wolkenhauer O (2007)
Intracellular delay limits cyclic changes in gene expression

Mathematical Biosciences 205: 163-79

Lange C, Mix E, Rateitschak K, Rolfs A (2006)
Wnt signal pathways and neural stem cell differentiation

Neurodegenerative Dis. 3: 76-86

Contact Details

Systems Biology and Bioinformatics
Ulmenstrasse 69 (building 3, 3rd floor)
18057 Rostock, Germany
Room 409

phone: +49 381 498-7682
fax: +49 381 498-7572
mail: katja.rateitschak(at)

Collaborators & Partners

Prof. Robert Jaster
Dep. of Gastroenterology
Medical Faculty
University of Rostock
Dr. Brit Fitzner
Department of Gastroenterology, Medical Faculty, University of Rostock, Rostock/Germany
Research Units for Systems Biology
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
University of Rostock