Major Cancer Biology Students 2008

Graduation Ceremony on 16. December 2010

Program of the HIGS 2010 Graduation Ceremony
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All students who have successfully completed their studies and received their Master degree from the University of Heidelberg are congratulated by the Scientific Director of the DKFZ with a Certificate.
The ceremony is organized by the Helmholtz International Graduate School for Cancer Research within the annual PhD student Poster Presentation and Photo Competition event.
Afterwards there is a reception with drinks and buffet, musical entertainment comes from Rixx Trixx Jazz Band.

Group of students who received their certificate and congratulations
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These 24 international students have joined our Major Cancer Biology program with the winter term 2008/2009:

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Marek Baumann (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 09/2008: University of Rostock

Highest Degree
BSc Medical Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Regulation of hepatocellular apoptosis by resveratrol

Internships
02/2007 – 03/2007: Gesellschaft für Individualisierte Medizin mbH (IndyMED), Rostock
11/2007 – 06/2008: Institute of Experimental Surgery, University of Rostock
04/2008 – 09/2008: Clinic for Neurology, Neurodegeneration Research Lab, University of Rostock

Research Interest/Future Plans
Molecular basics, especially genetic aberrations causing cancer. Prospectively, I’d like to use this knowledge for investigation of novel therapeutic strategies targeting oncogenes or improving current diagnostic methods for highly sensitive and specific detection of early tumor markers.

Manuel Berning (Germany)

College/University Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
09/2009 - 01/2010: ERASMUS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
09/2005 - 08/2008, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany

Highest Degree
BSc Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Changes in Expression and Localisation of Smyd2 after Hypertrophy and Mechanical Stress

Master Thesis
Division of Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis, Prof. Petra Boukamp
Expected date of graduation: September 2010

Internships
03/2008 - 07/2008: Institute of General Zoology and Genetics, Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster, Prof. W. A. Linke, Heart Physiology
08/2009 - 09/2009: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg,
Prof. Petra Boukamp, Genetics of Skin Carcinogenesis
09/2009 - 01/2010: Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Prof. Galina Selivanova, Reactivation of p53

Research Interest/Future Plans
During my study of general biology I further focused on cellular biology and was fascinated by working in this research field during my bachelor thesis. In an ageing society the investigation of cancer gets more and more important and provides a major challenge of modern biomedicine. The German Cancer Research Center provides a state-of-the-art scientific environment for young scientists. At the moment, I am especially interested in cellular senescence and the cancer defense mechanism apoptosis.

Saskia Katharina Blank (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 07/2008: Heidelberg University

Highest Degree
BSc Molecular Cell Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
An Approach for the Visualization of Perforin during Natural Killer Cell Activation

Internships
10/2007 - 11/2008: Institute for Immunology, Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. C. Watzl,
03/2007 - 04/2007: Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, Dr. A. Kiderlen, Cellular Immunology

Research Interest/Future Plans
Bioscience is a fascinating and complex discipline that affects people’s lives in many different ways. I am espcially interested in cellular mechanims with medical relevance. Especially the immunological aspects behind the development of diseases like cancer fascinate me. During my Master studies I hope to increase my knowledge of diseases on a cellular basis and especially to learn more methods to study those.

Branko Cirovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Serbia)

Education
2005-2008, Molecular Medicine/Ulm University

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Sensitization for TRAIL-induced apoptosis through re-expression of caspase-8

Internships
Group of Prof. Dr. Simone Fulda, Ulm University Children's Hospital, “Apoptosis and Cancer Therapy”
Group of Dr. Ralf Zwacka, National Institute of Biomedical Engineering Science, Ireland, “Apoptosis and Cancer Cells”

Research Interest/Future Plans
During the bachelor program I was able to gain first insights into the field of cancer research and particularly into the apoptotic signaling pathway at the group of Prof. Simone Fulda. I was fascinated by the fact how many factors can contribute to carcinogenesis and how the knowledge about these factors can be used for new therapeutic strategies.
In my opinion the major “Cancer Biology” at the DKFZ provides an excellent opportunity to focus on cancer research as well as to learn more about the many related fields, such as virology and immunology.
At the moment I’m especially interested in the model of cancer stem cells and translational cancer research.

Stefanie Frick (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University, Germany
10/2005 - 07/2008: BSc Biology, Heidelberg University, Germany

Highest Degree
BSc Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysing the role of PPM1G in determining the subcellular localisation of Xenopus SMN and other PPM1G interaction partners.

Research Interest/Future Plans
Formation of human carcinomas is a very complex process and is due to distinct factors. I think it is important to get an insight into molecular mechanisms underlying cancer formation. I am especially interested in viruses that are linked with cancer in humans and the regulation of immune responses against tumors in general. I think the Major “Cancer Biology” provides me the opportunity to learn much more in the fields of tumor immunology and virology and broadens my knowledge in other cancer related fields.

Katharina Genreith (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 07/2008: University Erlangen-Nuremberg

Highest Degree
BSc Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The impact of degron signals on HIV-1 budding and entry of Gag proteins into the MHC class I pathway

Internships
06/2008 - 08/2008: The role of Wt1 in mouse mammary gland tumours, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, USA, laboratory of V. Huff, PhD
03/2008 - 05/2008: Institute for Clinical and Molecular Virology, University Erlangen-Nuremberg, laboratory of Prof. U. Schubert

Research Interest/Future Plans
During my Bachelor studies I focused on virology. This is the reason why virotherapy appeals to me as one of the most fascinating aspects of cancer biology. This simple and innovative therapeutic approach to cure cancer by converting viruses into cancer-fighting agents which specifically target and kill cancer cells is intriguing. The Master programme “Cancer Biology” at the DKFZ provides insights on all cancer related topics, on a molecular as well as on a more therapy directed basis.

Nevyana Hristova (Bulgaria)

Education
10/2004 – 07/2008: Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"

Highest Degree
Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology

Research Interest/Future Plans
My main interests till this moment concern Cancer Virology. More specifically, I am concentrated on viruses with oncogenic and/or oncolytic potentials as well as research about novel principles for cancer treatment, including gene therapy. In the future I would like to broaden my practical and theoretical knowledge in the above mentioned fields. I think that DKFZ offers great variety of opportunities for that.

Nao Iwamoto (Japan)

College/University Ecuation
10/2008 – present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 – 09/2008: Humboldt University to Berlin, Germany

Highest Degree
BSc Biophysics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Mathematical Modeling of Energy Metabolism in Neural Cells

Internships
07/2007 – 08/2007: Molecular Tumour Pathology Lab, Institute of Pathology, Charité University Hospital Berlin
08/2007 – 09/2007: Institute of Medical Genetics, Charité University Hospital Berlin
01/2008 – 09/2008: Computational Systems Biology Lab, Institute of Biochemistry, Charité University Hospital Berlin
12/2008: Systems Biology of Signal Transduction Lab, DKFZ Heidelberg

Research Interest/Future Plans
During the last few years the theoretical approach in medical research in order to solve complex problems in living organisms has obtained my enthusiasm. Among a manifold of other very interesting issues, I noticed my main enthusiasm directing towards cancer biology.
In future I would like to contribute to a revolutional development in tumour treatment by applying theoretical, systems biology approaches to the wide field of cancer biology.

Sajo Kaduthanam (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
09/2007- 09/2008: B.Sc. (Hons.) University of Aberdeen
10/2005- 08/2008: B.Sc. University of Applied Sciences, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

Highest Degree
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Molecular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Regulation of cardiogenesis by Wnt/β-catenin signaling at different stages of development in Xenopus laevis

Research Interest/Future Plans
Biology is a huge field with many interesting topics. My interests: How do dieseases arise? Signal transduction pathways are mainly responsible to maintain a sound homeostasis but as well are the cause for tumorgenesis due to abnormal functionality.
My previous studies dealt with abnormal signaling inducing malformations in a growing organism. Now, I want to focus on what the principles of tumor formation are. The goal is rather straight-forward: I would like to do research how to prevent or even treat cancer cells. Several promising approaches are run by the research groups in the DKFZ.

Lena Kranz (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: Heidelberg University
10/2005 – 07/2008: Bayreuth University

Highest Degree
BSc Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Purification of the β’ subunit of E. coli RNA polymerase

Internships
06/2007 - 08/2007: Department of Biopolymers, Bayreuth University
09/2007: Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim

Research Interest/Future Plans
cancer stem cells, viral oncolysis

Mathias Leber (Germany)

Education
10/2004 – 10/2006: study of Biology at the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz
10/2006 – 02/2008: study of Molecular Biology at the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz
10/2008 – present: pursuing MSc in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, at Heidelberg University

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science, Molecular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Impact of Wnt5a upon cellular functions of cancer cells – Tumor suppressor abilities and induction of senescence in immortalized HEK/293 cells

Internships
10/2006 – 03/2007: University of California, Santa Cruz
02/2008 – 08/2008: Student research assistant in Prof. Galle / Dr. Strand’s lab in the II. Dep. of Internal Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

Research Interest/Future Plans
My main research interest is in the development of clinically relevant oncolytic viruses. By genetic engineering using for instance capsid/envelope modifications or the addition of therapeutic tansgenes (e.g. prodrug convertases, chemokines…), the goal is to engineer armed, targeted and stealth oncolytic viruses which selectively eradicate tumor cells without harming the patient (as in conventional treatments). I am especially interested on how we can engineer oncolytic viruses not only to target the tumor mass, but also disseminated metastases or the so-called cancer stem cells, which are now thought to be responsible for the relapse of resistant cancer cells after initial tumor shrinkage. Furthermore, I am interested in microRNAs and their contributions to cancer development as well as possible therapeutic applications and in the overall molecular principles of cancer invasion and metastasis.

Amira Metwaly (Egypt)

College/University Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc. Heidelberg University
10/2003 - 07/2008: Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology, The German University in Cairo (GUC)

Highest Degree
BSc. Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology

Internships
08/2007 - 09/2007: Department of Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry (Drug Design), Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tübingen, Germany
01/2008 - 5/2008: “Synthesis and evaluation of novel compounds as anticancer and kinase Inhibitors”, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Drug Design, The German University in Cairo (GUC)
07/2005 - 08/2005: Quality Control Department, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Egypt

Research Interest/Future Plan
I am very interested in Cancer Pharmacology, Pharmacogenomics and related clinical applications .I find Pharmacogenomics especially important for oncology, as severe systemic toxicity and unpredictable efficacy are major problems of cancer therapies.
Having done my bachelors in Pharmaceutical sciences, now I hope to further deepen my knowledge and gain a deeper insight into Cancer biology. I am looking forward to an interdisciplinary study of Cancer and to getting a comprehensive overview of molecular carcinogenesis, tumor microenvironment and tumor immunology. Furthermore, I would be very interested to work on a research bridging the fields of cancer biology, radiation biology and clinical pharmacology.

Katharina Nöske (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 07/2008: Applied Biology, Fachhochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

Highest Degree
BSc Applied Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Quantification of 12 tyrosine kinase genes in adenocarcinoma of the prostate

Research Interest/Future Plans
During the work on my Bachelor thesis I gained insight into the field of gene expression analysis of cancer. I learned how important it is to identify reliable drug targets on gene expression and translational levels. However, the expression of cancer related genes varies greatly between different types of cancers and even from patient to patient, the reason for which is still unknown. In the future, I wish to continue the research on the field of genetic expression patterns of different cancerous diseases. Furthermore, I hope I can use the time at the DKFZ to gain insight into more fields of cancer-related research and learn a variety of advanced methods applied on modern molecular biology.

Caroline Odenwald (Germany)

Education
10/2008 present: Msc Molecular Bioscience, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 07/2008: Bsc Biology, Marburg University

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science, Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Recombinant Expression and Purification of the Plasmodium falciparum Proteins PfPV1 and PfPV2

Internships
01/09/05 - 30/09/05: DKFZ, Department of Apoptosis Regulation
06/08/07 - 17/09/07: DKFZ, Department of Eicosanoids and Tumor Development

Research Interest/Future Plans
Apoptosis Regulation, Viral Oncolysis, Cancer Stem Cells

Selcen Öztürk (Turkey)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
09/2004-06/2008: Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Internships
06/2007-09/2007: Production of Monoclonal Antibodies Recognizing Conserved Epitopes of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Minor Capsid Protein L2, Research Group Tumorvirus-Specific Vaccination Strategies, DKFZ, Heidelberg

Research Interest/Future Plans
The topic that interests me most is cell cycle regulation and its relation with cancer. However I do not limit myself with it and I would like to learn as much as I can in this program about other cancer related topics and so decide what makes me more excited.

Hendrik Petersen

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Education

Highest Degree

Title of Bachelor Thesis

Internships

Research Interest/Future Plans

Maximilian Schließer (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University, Major Cancer Biology, DKFZ
10/2005 - 07/2008: Heidelberg University

Highest Degree
BSc Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Production and Purification of HPV 16 L1 via sequence-specific Biotinylation

Research Interest/Future Plans
The numerous unsolved questions and problems in the understanding of malignant diseases on the one hand and the potential of cancer research to develop possible drugs and cures on the other hand to help mankind in the fight against cancer has been fascinating to me for years. Therefore I started the Major Cancer Biology at the DKFZ.
Of particular personal interest are tumour virology (tumourigenic and oncolytic) and tumour stem cells which possess enormous potential to be explored. Consequently I would only be too happy to be given the opportunity to contribute my part to these expanding fields.

Philipp Seidel

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Education

Highest Degree

Title of Bachelor Thesis

Internships

Research Interest/Future Plans

Zulfiyya Taghiyeva (Azerbaijan)

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Martin Teichert (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 07/2008: Heidelberg University

Highest Degree
BSc. Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of murine thymic epithelial cells using "stem cell" marker molecules

Internships
Mar 2008 - Dez 2008: “Division of Developmental Immunology” of Prof. Dr. Bruno Kyewski at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg; research topic: "Establishment of a 9-colour staining of thymic epithelium cells"
Nov 2007 - Mar 2008: “Department of Cellular & Molecular Pathology” of Prof. Dr. Hermann-Josef Gröne at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg; research topic: "Glycosphinogolipid-mediated adhesion of Sertoli cells involved in male fertility"

Research Interest/Future Plans
- T-cell mediated immunity (T-cell activation, Tregs, Lineage fate)
- angiogenesis
Despite my already existing interests I am not focused on a particular field of research. Therefore I would like to use the opportunities offered by the DKFZ to further enhance my knowledge in the wide field of cancer biology, to learn a variety of methods and acquire new skills.

Aysenur Torun (Turkey)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
09/2003 - 02/2008: Bilkent University

Highest Degree
BSc Molecular Biology and Genetics

Research Interest/Future Plans
My favourite research topics are nuclear reprogramming, identification of drug targets and virotherapy. With the interdisciplinary research going on in DKFZ, I believe this Master’s programme will provide me knowledge of related fields to cancer and will be a good start for my science career.

Gordon Vollert (Germany)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2005 - 09/2008: Leipzig University

Highest Degree
BSc Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Investigation of STAT3-acetylation using in situ biotinylation

Research Interest/Future Plans
In the context of cancer biology I am particularly interested in tumor virology, that is to say virus-mediated oncolysis as well as gene therapy using viral vectors. I also would like to learn more about the recently emerged model of cancer stem cells and the resulting new therapeutic approaches. The master program provided by the DKFZ is a great opportunity to gain profound knowledge of these fascinating fields.

Xiaoli Wang (PR China)

Education
10/2008 - present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
09/2004 - 07/2008: Life of Science Shenzhen University, China

Highest Degree
BSc Biological Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of transcription of Sali3-2 in different soybean issue through isolating RNA by Trizol and Tris-boric acid

Research Interest/Future Plans
Cancer therapy with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Cell signaling transduction, differential gene expression and regulation involved in tumor cells.

Tania Witte Tobar (Ecuador)

Education
10/2008 – present: pursuing MSc, Heidelberg University
10/2000 – 01/2008: Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador

Highest Degree
“Licenciada” in Biological Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Study of the polymorphisms V89L and A49T of the SRD5A2 gene as risk indicators for developing prostate cancer in the Ecuadorian population

Internships
01/2002 – 06/2008: Human Molecular Genetics and Cytogenetics Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador

Publications:
Paz-y-Miño C., Sánchez M.E., Arévalo M., Muñoz M.J., Witte T., Oleas G., Leone P.E. 2007. Evaluation of DNA damage in an Ecuadorian population exposed to Glyphosate. Genetics and Molecular Biology, 30: 456-460.

Tapia A., Arévalo M., Sánchez M.E., Witte T., Llumipanta W., Paz-y-Miño C. 2006. Using PCR - SSCP as tool to detect polymorphism in Tapirs. The newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist group, 15: 37-39.

Paz-y-Miño C., Morillo S., Celi P., Witte T., Muñoz M.J., Collantes J.C., Leone P.E. 2005. CCR5∆32, CCR2-64I, and SDF1-3’A polymorphisms related to resistance to HIV-1 infection and disease in the Ecuadorian population. Human Biology, 77: 521-526.

Research Interest/Future Plans
During my work in the human molecular genetics and cytogenetics laboratory I became fascinated with the fields of Molecular Biology and Genetics. I think investigating the developmental mechanisms of cancer and decoding how they can interact with the initiation, evolution and aggressiveness of it is essential to make new tools of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. I expect that throughout the course of the master, I could acquire more knowledge about the current cutting edge technologies applied in cancer research and especially gain deeper insights on how the advances gained can be translated into clinical applications.

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