Research Group Cancer Drug Development

Dr. Aubry Miller / Dr. Nikolas Gunkel


Translating research findings into therapies, through the combined processes of basic research, drug discovery, and translational medicine is a priority at the DKFZ.

The key to a better understanding of cancer lies in identifying specific biological pathways that lead to disease development. The discovery of novel substances designed to target these pathways, and the clinical development (translation) of these substances into therapeutic drugs then leads to improved cancer treatments. Strong basic research at the DKFZ coupled with clinical excellence at the NCT offers a unique academic environment to perform drug discovery. Our group combines expertise in all areas of the early drug discovery process to drive scientific findings beyond the lab and toward the development of patentable drugs suited for clinical studies and/or scientific research.

Our drug discovery projects encompass target identification and validation, assay development and screening, medicinal chemistry, and cellular testing. Unique for an academic drug discovery group, we also have a dedicated project manager to coordinate the advancement of a project through the various phases of its development. Unconstrained by the profit-driven model of industry, we are motivated to include yet undrugged targets in our research portfolio.

In addition, our group is interested in investigating the chemistry and biology of natural products with unusual phenotypic profiles and novel chemical structures. With the ability to develop de novo synthetic routes to these substances as well as identify their biological target(s), our group has a unique platform for natural product research.

We are part of the Helmholtz Drug Research Initiative and the DKTK.


Dr. Aubry Miller / Dr. Nikolas Gunkel
Cancer Drug Development (G404)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 580
69120 Heidelberg

Dr. Aubry Miller
Tel: +49 6221 42 3307
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Dr. Nikolas Gunkel
Tel: +49 6221 42 3433
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