Major Cancer Biology Students 2007
5. November 2009: First DKFZ PhD and Master students Graduation Ceremony
Professor Wiestler, Chairman of the Management Board and Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center, congratules the students who have successfully completed their Master degree. Having returned to their home country or having started Ph.D. work abroad not all were able to attend the ceremony in Heidelberg. Congratulations to all!
October 2007: These 22 students were the first to join the newly installed International Master Program "Molecular Biosciences" with Major Cancer Biology
On October 16, 2007 these 22 international students were welcomed at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg by the Program Coordinator, Prof. Thomas Efferth.
During the first three semesters they have successfully attended the various parts of the Major Cancer Biology study program and were then ready to start their Master thesis work in the lab of a Cancer Biology faculty member. Most of them will graduate in early to late summer 2009.
Anil Demirata (Turkey), Katrin Faber (Germany), Nathalie Fiegler (Germany), Désirée Glagow (Germany), Jan Hettinger (Germany), Cindy Horwedel (Germany), Hanna Jacobsson (Sweden), Julia Jäger (Germany), Claudia Korn (Germany), Katharina Köther (Germany), Stefan Kunz (Germany), Kristina Ludigs (Gemany), Christian Panke (Germany), Corinna Patzina (Germany), Iskra Pollak Dorocic (Canada; left the program), Vlada Rosmann (Germany), Anja Schwäger (Germany), Roberta Scognamiglio (Italy), Hanna Seitz (Germany), Jiaming Sun (PR China), Vivian Szabó (Germany), Aoife Ward (Ireland)
Anil Demirata (Turkey)
High School/University Education
2007/08- till present: MSc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at DKFZ, University of Heidelberg
2004/05–2006/07: University, Bachelor in Molecular Medicine, University of Ulm, Graduation Degree: 1.8
1996/97–2003/04: High School, Österreichisches St. Georgs-Kolleg, Istanbul, Turkey, “Matura mit gutem Erfolg”
Started Master Thesis
German Cancer Research Center, Research Group Translational Immunology, Glycosylation, “Evaluation of cytotoxic mechanisms of natural antibodies against human melanoma cells”
a.) Research Internships
German Cancer Research Center, Research Group Translational Immunology, Glycosylation, Working in Bioscience, 6 Weeks, “Influence of Inflammatory and Angiogenic Cytokines on the Glycome of Vascular Endothelial Cells”, 10.11.–19.12.2008
German Cancer Research Center, Helmholtz Junior Research Group Signal Transduction in Cancer and Metabolism, Working in Biolab, 6 Weeks; “Regulation of MAP4K3 in dTOR pathway”, 11.09.–16.10.2008
University of Ulm, Department of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Bachelor Thesis, 12 Weeks, “Post-translational Modifications of Adiponectin in vitro”, during SS 2007
University of Ulm, Department of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, 20.02.–03.03.2006 (2 Weeks)
Istanbul Technical University, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, 21.03.–08.04.2005 (3 Weeks)
University of Istanbul, Faculty of Dentistry Biochemistry Department, 7.–18. 03.2005 (2 Weeks)
b.) Laboratory Courses
German Cancer Research Center:
Molecular and Immunological Detection Methods for Transformation-Associated and Viral Gene Expression, SS 2008, 30.06.–18.07.2008 (3 Weeks); R. Zawatzky, M. Löchelt, M. Pawlita, V. Bosch, M. Müller, L. Gissmann, J. A. Kleinschmidt
Cancer Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology, SS 2008, 14.04.–02.05.2008 (3 Weeks); F. Breitling, B. Burwinkel, M. Hahn, U. Korf, M. Schnölzer, A. Pscherer, H. Sültmann, S. Wiemann
Biophysics of Macromolecules, WS 07/08, 07.–25.01.2008 (3 Weeks); J. Langowski, A. Hieb, K. Toth, J. Smith
Molecular, Genetic, and Cellular Approaches in Cancer Research, WS 07/08, 03.–21.12.2007 (3 Weeks); K. Müller-Decker, K. Ackermann, C. Cziepluch
University of Ulm:
Physiologisches Praktikum, during WS 06/07
Immunology, 31.07.–3.08.2006 (1 Week)
Biochemistry, during SS 06
Microbiology and Virology, 26.09.–21.10.2005 (3 Weeks)
Physics I & II, during WS 05/06
Inorganic Chemistry I, during SS 05
Basics of TEM, SS 05
Research Interest/Future Plans
For the near future, in the middle point of interest stays the big field of immunology. In detail, the antigen presentation and fine tuning of immune responses, lymphocytes interactions, generation of an adaptive immune response, antibody mediated immune responses and auto immune diseases. Besides this complicated reactions also the basics of immunology are very appealing subjects to me such as how a T-Cell decide to be a CD4 or CD8 positive T-Cell when it is in double positive stage among many others.
For the remote future, I can tell that I want to become a lecturer or even a professor and share my knowledge with young people in order to help them become great scientists.
Katrin Faber (Germany)
as of 08/2009: pursuing PhD at the University Hospital Ulm, Department of Internal Medicine III (Hematology, Oncology, Rheumatology); Lab of PD Dr. Stefan Fröhling
10/2007–05/2009: Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, Heidelberg (Master of Science)
10/2004–07/2007: Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg (Bachelor of Science)
M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscience, Major Cancer Biology;
Title of Master Thesis: ‘Quantification of in vivo clone selection in clinical gene therapy’
Department of Translational Oncology, German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg
B.Sc. in Molecular Cell Biology;
Title of Bachelor thesis: ‘Characterisation of Glucagon-like-peptide I receptor signalling - a novel modulator of calcium dynamics in CNS neurons’
Interdisciplinary Center of Neuroscience, Department Neurobiology
08/2008–10/2008: 8-week intership, UCL/Institute of Child Health London, UK, Department Molecular Immunology (Prof. Dr Adrian Thrasher)
04/2008–07/2008: Research Assistant (40h/month), NCT/DKFZ Heidelberg, Department Translational Oncology (Prof Dr. Christof von Kalle, Dr. Manfred Schmidt)
03/2008–04/2008: 6-week intership, NCT/DKFZ Heidelberg, Department Translational Oncology (Prof. Dr. Christof von Kalle, Dr. Manfred Schmidt)
09/2007–10/2007: 6-week intership, DKFZ Heidelberg, Department Innate Immunity (Dr. Adelheid Cerwenka)
06/2007–07/2007: 6-week intership, DKFZ Heidelberg, Department Tumor Virology (Dr. Anne Régnier-Vigouroux)
10/2006–11/2006: 6-week intership, Interdisciplinary Center of Neuroscience, Department Neurobiology (Prof. Dr. Hilmar Bading)
08/2004–09/2004: 8-week intership, Ulm University Hospital, Department Internal Medicine III (Hematology, Oncology, Rheumatology), Lab of cytogenetic and molecular diagnosis (Prof. Dr. Konstanze Döhner)
Nathalie Fiegler (Germany)
10/2007-present: pursuing MSc at the Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg
09/2006-07/2007: ERASMUS exchange, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
09/2004-07/2007: Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Rheinbach
Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology; Title of Bachelor Thesis: "Investigation of the Pro-inflammatory Cytokine-induced Protein Mimitin in HepG2 Cell Proliferation and Apoptosis by RNA Interference"
Department of Molecular Immunology
Expected Date of Graduation: September 2009
08/2008-10/2008: “Endothelial-Pericyte Interactions: Establishment of Immunofluorescence Stainings and Preparation of Knockdown Experiments”, Division of Vascular Oncology and Metastasis, DKFZ, Heidelberg.
11/2008-01/2009: “Study of the Interaction of HIPK-2 with its Novel Phospho-Target Sirt1”, Junior Research Group Cellular Senescence, DKFZ, Heidelberg.
07/2007-08/2007: Department of Molecular Epileptology, Institute of Neuropathology, Bonn University Clinic.
09/2006-01/2007: Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.
Research Interest/Future Plans
During my MSc studies, I was able to learn about all the different aspects of current research in the field of Cancer Biology and beyond at the DKFZ. Currently, I am working on my Master’s project in the Department of Molecular Immunology. In order to study the involvement of the lymphoid stroma in the development and homeostasis of dendritic cells, I am employing different transgenic mouse models. In the future, I would like to gain a more profound understanding of the immune system and its mechanisms to fight invading pathogens as well as cancer cells. Further, I am very excited about current studies dealing with stem cells and their microenvironment, angiogenesis and apoptosis. Since there is such a broad range of excellent basic and applied research, I would be very eager to continue with my PhD studies in one of the research groups at the DKFZ.
Désirée Glagow (Germany)
Jan Hettinger (Germany)
10/2004-09/2007: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biosciences, Westfalian-Wilhelms-University (Münster, Germany)
10/2007-present: Master of Science (MSc) in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University (Heidelberg) and DKFZ Heidelberg (pursuing)
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biosciences (2007), Westfalian-Wilhelms-University (Münster, Germany), Division/Department: Molecular Cell Biology (Prof. Bähler); Title: Interaction of C-terminal Fragments of SWAP-70 with Actin
Title: The Role of Tumour-Associated Macrophages (TAMs) in Tumour T-Cell Infiltration in Human Colorectal Cancer
Division of Translational Immunology, DKFZ (Heidelberg)
Expected Date of Graduation: February 2010
01/2009-04/2009: Roche Diagnostics (Mannheim), Roche Applied Science, International Agencies, Marketing & Support (EMEA)
11/2008-12/2008: Clinical Cooperation Unit Dermato-Oncology, DKFZ (Heidelberg)
09/2008-10/2008: Department of Molecular Metabolic Control, DKFZ (Heidelberg)
01/2007-02/2007: Institute of General Zoology and Genetics, Westfalian-Wilhelms-University (Münster, Germany)
10/2006-12/2006: Institute of Neuro and Behavioural Biology, Westfalian-Wilhelms-University (Münster, Germany)
Research Interest/ Future Plans
My major research interests are the fields of cancer biology, immunology and stem cell biology. By performing my MSc-thesis and possibly also my PhD-thesis in future at the DKFZ in Heidelberg, I intend to focus on these fields of research. Especially, the immunological aspects of cancer biology appear very fascinating to me, since the components of the immune system comprise some of the most powerful and capable tools for efficient and targeted cancer therapy (e. g. humanized, monoclonal antibodies or interferon-alpha/beta). Moreover, I am highly interested in stem cell biology, since recent discoveries in this area in the last years promised innovative therapy options for large fields of medical research. In particular for cancer research, the cancer stem cell concept suggests even these cells as critical targets for the rational treatment of cancer. In consequence, elimination of this small cell population might have a major impact on cancer therapy success.
I am very ambitious to focus my PhD-thesis on those aspects of cancer research and continue my research at the DKFZ.
Cindy Horwedel (Germany)
Hanna Jacobsson (Sweden)
Julia Jäger (Germany)
Claudia Korn (Germany)
10/2007-present: Master of Science (MSc) in Molecular Biosciences, Major: Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and DKFZ Heidelberg
10/2004-09/2007: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Molecular Life Science, University of Lübeck
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Life Science
Title: "Gene expression analysis of the RASSF8 splice variants in the cell culture model of human mamma carcinoma", Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Lübeck
Title: "Autonomous parvoviruses: Cellular requirements for efficient viral infection and killing of colon carcinoma cells", Division of Tumor Virology, DKFZ Heidelberg
Expected date of graduation: 10/2009
01/2009-02/2009: "Permissiveness of Colon carcinoma cells to H-1 parvovirus infection", Division of Tumor Virology, DKFZ, Heidelberg
09/2008-11/2008: "Influence of the mutant p53 targeting compound PRIMA-1MET on the complex between SV40 large T antigen and p53 in human cells", Division of Cellular and Molecular Tumor Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm
08/2005: "Environmental Microbiology", Institute of food technology, University of Bonn in corporation with the Griffith University Australia
Research Interest/Future Plans
Since cancer is one of the major causes of death, the investigation of the molecular mechanisms of cancer development as well as the improvement of cancer therapy and diagnosis are of great importance for me.
During my master thesis in the division of tumor virology at the DKFZ, I developed a special interest in viral therapy of cancer including viral oncolysis and viral gene therapy. I am fascinated by the idea to exploit and engineer viruses, such as adenoviruses and autonomous parvoviruses, to specifically target and kill tumor cells. Especially the development of "armed" recombinant parvoviruses, carrying immunostimulatory transgenes to enhance the intrinsic parvoviral anti-neoplastic effect by augmenting tumor immunogenicity, is one of my major interests.
In addition to viral therapy of cancer, I attach great importance to the development of novel therapeutic approaches specifically targeting cancer stem cells. Since these cells are believed to be responsible for tumor initiation, maintenance and recurrence as well as dissemination, targeting cancer stem cells has an enormous potential to improve cancer therapy.
I am particularly interested in the characterization of the mechanisms underlying somatic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, the interaction of somatic stem cells with their niche and the reactivation and frequent disregulation of these processes in cancer stem cells. Moreover, the investigation of metastasis stem cells and their interaction with stem cell niches in the process of dissemination are of great interest for me, since treatment options for advanced stages of cancer are very unsatisfactory.
I am strongly looking forward to continue in the exiting and interdisciplinary field of cancer research during my Ph.D. studies at the DKFZ.
Katharina Köther (Germany)
Stefan Kunz (Germany)
Kristina Ludigs (Germany)
10/2007 - present: pursuing MSc Molecular Biosciences, Heidelberg University, Germany
10/2004 - 06/2007: BSc Molecular Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Germany
BSc Molecular Cell Biology; Title of Thesis: Characterization of the circadian clock in Neurospora crassa; Biochemistry Center Heidelberg, Germany
08/2009 - 03/2010: Characterization of the interrelation between rodent parvoviruses and the host antiviral innate immune system, Department of Tumorvirology, DKFZ
Expected date of graduation: spring 2010
04/2009 - 07/2009: Roche Diagnostics, Penzberg,Germany; Department of Assay Development - Oncological Diseases
01/2009 - 03/2009: Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands; Department of Tumor Immunology
10/2008 - 12/2008: Department of Translational Immunology, DKFZ Heidelberg
08/2008 - 10/2008: Institut Bergonié Bordeaux, France; Department of Molecular Pharmacology, INSERM
08/2007 - 09/2007: University of Mainz, Germany; Department of Human Genetics
Research Interest/Future Plans
During my studies I gained insights into the various aspects of cancer and the underlying molecular mechanisms. My main research interests are tumor virology and immunology. I am fascinated by the immune system and how it can be used or even be improved to fight cancer.
My Master thesis deals with viral oncolysis, which is a novel therapeutic approach for cancer therapy. In particular, oncolytic viruses do not only provide a useful tool to selectively target tumor cells, but also promote an immune response against the tumor. I am excited to work in this expanding field of cancer research and would be happy to perform my PhD in the promising environment of the DKFZ.
Christian Panke (Germany)
Corinna Patzina (Germany)
10/2004-08/2007, Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Molecular Medicine, University of Ulm
since 10/2007, Master of Science (MSc) in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg & DKFZ Heidelberg
BSc in Molecular Medicine
Title of Bachelor thesis
“Interaction of CK1delta with cellular kinases”
host division: research laboratory of the Clinic of General, Visceral and Transplantational Surgery, Ulm (PD Dr Uwe Knippschild)
Title: ”Interplay between parvovirus small nonstructural proteins and signaling pathways in various human tumor cell lines”
host division: Department of Tumor Virology, DKFZ Heidelberg (PD Dr. Anne Régnier-Vigouroux, PD Dr. Christiane Dinsart)
start: 23. March 2009
expected date of graduation: September 2009
07-09/2005: Internship at the research laboratory of the Clinic of General, Visceral and Transplantational Surgery, Ulm (PD Dr Uwe Knippschild)
11/2006-04/2007: Student assistant (50h/month) in the research laboratory of the Clinic of Dermatology, Ulm (Prof Dr Karin Scharffetter-Kochanek)
07/2007: Practical training in the Department of Human Genetics, University of Ulm
09-12/2008: Internship “Epigenetic mechanisms in brain tumor cells” in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (Prof. Dr. Tomas Ekström)
Research Interest/Future Plans
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and suffering in the world. Thus, studying the underlying mechanisms of growth and progression of malignancies as well as the development of more successful treatment protocols is essential to fight against this complex disease.
In the course of my studies, I discovered my further interest in viruses which fascinate me due to their capability of changing the environment of their host cell into a “facility” solely programmed for the production of their progeny. Thereby, they often also successfully bypass host defense mechanisms. However, viruses are very simple organisms compared to cells or bacteria.
At DKFZ, two central aspects connecting viruses with cancer research are studied. First, oncogenic viruses are characterized and treatment or vaccination strategies are developed while second, oncotropic viruses are examined as potential oncolytic therapeutics or gene delivery shuttles.
I am happy to work on oncolytic parvoviruses during my Master thesis and would like to stay in the field of tumor virology. I hope to get the chance to contribute to the current research and develop my own project during my PhD at DKFZ.
Vlada Rosmann (Germany)
Anja Schwäger (Germany)
Roberta Scognamiglio (Italy)
10/2007 - present, pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2003 - 07/2007, University of Naples Federico II (Italy)
BSc Biology; Title of Bachelor Thesis: “X-rays irradiation and genomic instability in human fibroblasts”
“Targeting of CD95(Fas/Apo1) in human glioblastoma”
DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center), Heidelberg – Division of Molecular Neurobiology
Expected date of graduation: September 2009
The CD95 receptor has been basically described to be involved in apoptosis. However, accumulating evidence suggest that the CD95/CD95L system also mediates a variety of non-apoptotic activities, such as cell proliferation, differentiation and tumor invasion. During my thesis I will use a mouse model for the development of a new therapeutic strategy against glioma consisting of the combination of X-rays radiotherapy and the inhibition of the CD95/CD95L system.
10/2008–12/2008: “The role of the CD95/CD95L system in brain tumors”; DKFZ, Heidelberg – Division of Molecular Neurobiology
08/2008–10/2008: “Analysis of ABCB5 expression in human malignant melanomas and characterization of hybridomas expressing ABCB5 specific monoclonal antibodies”; DKFZ, Heidelberg – Division of Oncolytic Adenoviruses
08/2007–10/2007: “Basics of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)”; GSI (Institute for Heavy Ion Research), Darmstadt
01/2007–07/2007: University of Naples Federico II, Italy - Department of Biophysics
Research Interest/Future Plans
Although hundreds genes and proteins have been already discovered to be implicated in tumorigenesis, the research in cancer biology is in active ferment, and new, fascinating discoveries are continuously reported. For my future studies, I find very attractive the development and the use of transgenic animal models to investigate the molecular basics of cancer. In the last years I developed a special interest in the biology of stem cells: what makes these cells able to self renew? Which is the role of their niche? What are the similarities between stem cells and cancer cells?
During my studies I had the extraordinary opportunity to join the scientific community of the German Cancer Research Center: I am convinced that the stimulating environment and the highly competitive research, make the DKFZ an excellent place for a successful PhD experience.
Hanna Seitz (Germany)
M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences: Cancer Biology, expected July 2009, University of Heidelberg, Germany
“HPV L2-directed neutralization by type-restricted and cross-neutralizing antibodies” in the group of PD Dr. Martin Müller “Tumorvirus-Specific Vaccination Strategies”, DKFZ
Resulting publication (manuscript in preparation): “Recognition pattern of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies directed against epitopes in the N-terminal part of papillomavirus L2 protein” Ivonne Rubio, Hanna Seitz, Elena Canali, Angelo Bolchi, Massimo Tommasino, Simone Ottonello, Martin Müller
B.Sc. in Biological Sciences (2007) from University of Konstanz, Germany
Bachelor Thesis: “Cellular Localization and Activity of two different poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase1-EGFP fusion constructs,“ in the group of Prof. Dr. Alexander Bürkle, “Molecular Toxicology,” University of Konstanz
High School Diploma (2004) from Glenwood High School, Chatham, IL, USA
Intern at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in the Division of “Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis” headed by Prof. Dr. Petra Boukamp, August-October 2008; Heidelberg, Germany
Intern at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in the Division of “Cellular Immunology” in the group of PD Dr. Reinhard Schwartz-Albiez, March-April 2008; Heidelberg, Germany
Intern at “rent-a-lab Dr. Carsten Tober”, August-October 2006 (industry internship); Reutlingen, Germany
Job shadower at Memorial Medical Center Clinical Sciences Laboratory, September-October 2005; Springfield, IL, USA
My master studies in Molecular Biosciences: Cancer Biology have allowed me to delve into various exciting subject areas including translational research, biophysics, cell biology, immunology and virology. I combined my two strong interests for immunology and virology when I chose to do my master thesis in the field of applied tumorvirology. Especially research focusing on the development of vaccines against infectious viral agents fascinates me. I believe great advancements are yet to be made and that vaccines against many viral diseases are within reach. And because I believe, I want to contribute. My ultimate ambition for the future is to conduct or be involved in basic or translational research in the medical field, and the DKFZ with its many research and educational opportunities could prepare me very well.
Jiaming Sun (PR China)
09/2003-07/2007: Peking University, China
10/2007-present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
Bachelor in Laboratory of Medicine; Title of Bachelor Thesis: Functional research on CMTM4, a novel gene which could inhibit cell growth and motility in HeLa cell
11/2008-present: Transduction in Cancer and Metabolism, DKFZ
Project: Finding new components of Hippo pathway in Drosophila
Expected date of graduation: 30.04.2009
09/2008: Pharmacology Institute in Medical School of Heidelberg University
02/2008-03/2008: Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Oncology of Solid Tumors in DKFZ
06/2006-08/2007: Peking University Center for Human Disease Genomics
Research Interest/Future Plans
I am interested in studying clinical or molecular epidemiology in cancer and I also would like doing research on cancer stem cells and finding new therapeutic approaches to against cancer.
Vivian Szabó (Germany)
10/2004-09/2007: Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg (Bachelor Studies)
10/2007-present: pursuing MSc, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ Heidelberg
BSc Molecular Biotechnology (Major: Drug Development)
03/2009-08/2009 at the Department of Molecular Genome Analysis
01/2009-02/2009: 6-week internship DKFZ Heidelberg, Department of Molecular Genome Analysis
09/2008-12/2008: 11-week internship, EMD Serono Research Insitut Inc., Rockland (USA), Department of Protein Engineering and Antibody Technologies
02/2008-03/2008: 6-week internship, Boehringer Ingelheim Austria GmbH, Vienna (Austria), Department of Lead Discovery
08/2008-10/2007: 10-week internship, Merck KgaA, Darmstadt (Germany), Department of Biotechnology/Proteinchemistry
03/2007-10/2007: Research assistant (40 h/month), DKFZ Heidelberg, Department of Bioinformatics
09/2005-10/2005: 4-week internship, DKFZ Heidelberg, Department of Tumor Virology
Research Interest/Future Plans
Since several years it is my personal goal to develop tumor therapeutica. Therefore, I spezialized in drug design and cancer biology with the help of my university education and with several internships. Most of all, I am very intersted in antibody technologies.
Consequently, I want to do my doctorate in the field of therapeutic antibodies targeting cancer.