Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Biologie

Nachruf/Obituary Dr. Marc Rehmsmeier

Our colleague Dr. Marc Rehmsmeier passed away on April 29th, 2022, leaving his wife and our colleague Prof. Dr. Leonie Ringrose behind. Few knew about the long battle Marc fought with cancer, since he maintained his research and teaching activities with great enthusiasm despite his difficult health situation until very recently. Marc was so engaged and energetic in research and teaching that his death came as a shock to all but those closest to him.

Marc was born on May 4, 1971, in Bielefeld, and held academic positions at the German Cancer research Centre in Heidelberg, CeBiTec Bielefeld, and the Gregor Mendel Institute Vienna. He held a professorship in Bioinformatics at the University of Bergen for several years until 2015, when he gave up his professorship to join Leonie Ringrose in Berlin at the Institute of Biology.

Marc and Leonie were partners and collaborators for 24 years. They spent 16 of these years living in different cities or different countries, and finally got positions in the same place in Berlin in 2015. They married in hospital on 31st March 2022.

Marc’s seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm, his brilliant mind, and a great deal of hard work, gave the field a remarkable oeuvre of contributions to computational modelling of genetic, genomic, transcriptomic and epigenetic phenomena. His versatility in machine learning techniques, computational modeling and in bioinformatic approaches in general allowed him to contribute to our understanding of gene expression in a variety of systems, including Drosophila, vertebrates and plants. His work led to a number of pioneering computational approaches that gained insight into evolution, RNA folding, RNA regulatory interactions, and the identification of DNA sequence principles of epigenetic regulatory elements.

Marc’s teaching included classes on bioinformatics algorithms, Python and Scientific English for Publications and Presentations, which were well-loved by many undergraduate classes. Over the decades he also gave training workshops for PhD students at several institutes Europe wide, including Institute Curie, Paris, DKFZ, Heidelberg and FMI, Basel. His teaching at HU Berlin also gained him the award for excellence in teaching 2019/2020 of the Faculty for Life Sciences. In Winter Semester 2021 he shared the Masters course “Quantitative Molecular Biology” with Leonie Ringrose. This course was nominated and shortlisted for the Humboldt University teaching prize in 2022. It was only last year that Marc agreed to act as a student’s counselor in the master program for Quantitative Molecular Biology, speaking of his dedication to a caring stewardship for our students. The enthusiasm with which he approached his work, his teaching, his kind manner and his friendly smile will be sorely missed.


Prof. Christian Schmitz-Linneweber


For a personal obituary and to learn more about Marc, please see