Major Cancer Biology Students 2010

23rd November 2012: DKFZ-HIGS Graduation Ceremony

Six successful students of the Major Cancer Biology classes of 2009 and 2010 who received their certificates during the DKFZ Graduation Ceremony
© dkfz.de

It has become a fine tradition once a year at DKFZ to celebrate the PhD and Master students who have successfully completed their thesis work.

On Friday, 23. November 2012 the stage was set in the Lecture Theatre for:
- PhD Poster Presentation Awards
- Major Cancer Biology Masters Program Student Graduation & Fellowship Awards
- PhD Student Council Farewell and Welcome
- Annemarie Poustka Fellowship Awards
- PhD Student Graduation

The event was accompanied by music from a newly founded band of PhD students from HIGS and HBIGS, and followed by a Sekt reception and the legendary Ph.inishe.D party.

October 2010: Welcome to the 23 international students who have joined Major Cancer Biology for the Winter Term 2010/2011:

On October 12, 2010 the students of the year 2010 were welcomed at the DKFZ by Prof. Christof Niehrs, Speaker of the Research Program A "Cell and Tumor Biology", and by the Program Coordinator Dr. Ilse Hofmann.

© dkfz.de

Theresa AMOAKO (Ghana)

College/University Education
August 2004-June 2008: Biochemistry. Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Proximate composition and basic phytochemical assessment of two common varieties of Terminalia catappa (Indian almond)InternshipNoguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Legon, Accra: "Characterization of rotavirus strains isolated from stool samples of children less than 5 years" (Professor George E. Armah)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Changes that take place in cells sometimes confer their ability to live longer and proliferate. These changes usually take place in some pathways that are essential for regulating the cell cycle. Identifying the altered pathways bring scientists a step closer towards finding a treatment for cancer. This is where my interest lies, identifying pathways and enzymes or factors that have been mutated, thereby permitting cancer cells to proliferate and even metastasize.

Irem BAYINDIR (Turkey)

College/University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc., University of Heidelberg, Germany
09/2005–07/2010: B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Reversal of BCRP-mediated multidrug resistance in breast cancer cell line, MCF-7

Internships
07/2008-11/2008: The increase in thermotolerance through the expression of a gene encoding a heatshock protein in Escherichia coli, Middle East Technical University, Department of Biological Sciences, Ankara, Turkey (Prof. Dr. Semra Kocabiyik)
06/2009-09/2009: Mechanisms of Wnt protein secretion and signal reception in development and cancer, Utrecht Medical Center, Department of Cell Biology, Utrecht, The Netherlands (Assistant Prof. Madelon Maurice)

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my bachelor studies in the field of molecular biology and genetics, I was highly intrigued by the mechanisms leading to cancer development and the possible ways of treatment. Specifically, I am interested in pharmacology of cancer treatment, namely, chemo- and gene therapy via viral vectors. I see the two upcoming years in DKFZ as a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge and practical skills in this field as well as all cancer-related fields. I believe that after finishing this program, I will be proficient enough to pursue a PhD.

Contact
i.bayindir (at) dkfz.de

David BROCKS (Germany)

University Education
10/2010-present: pursuing M.Sc., University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
09/2007-08/2010: B.Sc. in Medical Biology, University of Nijmegen

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Medical Biology

Bachelor Thesis
Trimethylation of histone H4 lysine 20 - an epigenetic switch in growth-dependent gene regulation

Internships
04/2010-10/2010: DKFZ - Department of Molecular Biology of the Cell II (Prof. Grummt)
06/2009-09/2009: NCMLS - Department of Molecular Biology (Prof. Stunnenbeg)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Within the large field of cancer biology, I am particularly interested in the epigenetic mechanisms of stem cell maintenance, cellular prolifaration, and quiescence. Since the german cancer research center and its global partners carry various groups that work on this topic, I have chosen to participate in this Master program.

Contact
d.brocks(at)dkfz.de

Krishna DAS (India)

College/University Ecuation
10/2010–present: Pursuing Master’s in Molecular Biosciences Major Cancer Biology, Universität Heidelberg and DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center
06/2006–05/2010: B.Tech Biotechnology, National Institute of Technology Warangal, India

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology (CGPA 9.26/10.0)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Isolation and characterization of metal resistant bacterial strains from the activated sludge of waste water treatment plant

Internships/Projects Taken
04/2009-06/2009: Medsource Ozone Biomedicals Pvt. Ltd. Faridabad, India; Manufacturing and Quality Control Techniques in Medical Diagnostic kits like Biochestry kits, Rapid Cards, ELISA, Line Immuno Assay and Latex Agglutination Tests
05/2008-07/2008:Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India; DNA isolation and gene specific PCR amplification of plants of Zingiberaceae family for the purpose of DNA barcoding
11/2007-12/2007: Forensic Science Laboratory of Assam, India; Practical Training on Analytical Instruments

Research Interests/Future Plans
The human body is marvel of nature. Here many functions are carried out simultaneously and in perfect harmony. But in cancer this fine balance is lost. I am interested in understanding the complex interplay of various pathways that contribute to the progression of cancer. These pathways contain various molecular and genetic switches that play a regulatory role. I am specially interested in locating such swithces which could be harnessed to combat cancer.
This requires me to have a deep understanding of various cellular and molecular processes involved in cancer development.DKFZ is the perfect place to gain such knowledge as it has highly motivated researchers working here. I sincerely hope that after my masters I will join them in seeking answers to questions that will enhance our understanding of cancer and also alleviate the pain of the people suffering from it.

Contact
k.das(at)dkfz.de

Arunraj DHAMODARAN (India)

College/University Education
10/2010–present: Pursuing Master’s in Molecular Biosciences Major Cancer Biology, Universität Heidelberg and DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center)
06/2006–06/2010: B.Tech Biotechnology, Vellore Institute of Technology University, India

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology (CGPA 9.20/10.0)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Studies of in vitro anticancer (using cancer cell lines), antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials from the leaves of Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Delile, an Indian medicinal tree

Internships/Projects Taken
05/2009-07/2009: Hiyoshi Corporation, Shiga, Japan; Environmental Analysis and Treatment. Techniques required in the analysis of Dioxin and Asbestos, Food, Water, Fluorine. In particular, Biological Dioxin Analysis Method, “CALUX Assay involving Cancer Cell Lines” in the Dioxin Analysis Department (mostly related to Cancer causing Environmental Pathogens)
06/2008-07/2008: Tirumalai Chemicals Research Unit Ltd, Vellore, India. The Pilot Plant Design analysis required for Construction of Chemical Production Unit.
05/2008–06/2008: Sugar Cane Breeding Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Coimbatore, India. The Chromatographic Techniques that is required for the Commercialization of Sugarcane Products
10/2006-05/2007: Project: Division of Plant Biotechnology, Vellore Institute of Technology University, India, Anti-Microbial Activity Analysis of certain selectively synthesized chemical compounds

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer causes major health problems worldwide and seems to be incurable, due to its several well-known hallmarks such as resisting cell death, activating invasion and metastasis, etc. So, there is always an increasing importance to analyse the new emerging hallmarks of cancer for effective treatments. In this regard, my primary interest is to understand and to investigate the cancer cell’s ability/nature of avoiding immune system destruction.
On the other hand, I would like to develop my practical skills here at DKFZ through praktikums, short-term and intensive projects under the guidance of specialized scientists in the field of tumor immunology.
Ultimately, my personal objective is to formulate targeted immunotherapy strategies (tumor-antigen specific) to treat cancer patients using immune cells as an efficient tool. I am passionate and curious about my research and thereby wishing to continue my studies (Doctoral) at DKFZ to deepen my research skills.

Nikolaus DIETLEIN (Germany)

University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Heidelberg University and DKFZ
10/2007–10/2010: B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine, University of Ulm

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Late deletion of p53 in the intestinal epithelium of mice with telomere dysfunction leads to intestinal failure

Internships
07/2009–09/2009: Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York (Prof. Winfried Edelmann): Identification of novel binding partners of Exo-1
09/2008–10/2008: Institute of Molecular Medicine and Max-Planck Research Group on Stem Cell Aging, University of Ulm (Prof. Karl Lenhard Rudolph): DNA damage signaling in Telomerase deficient Sod2+/- mice

Student Research Assistant
11/2008–02/2010: Institute of Molecular Medicine and Max-Planck Research Group on Stem Cell Aging, University of Ulm (Prof. Karl Lenhard Rudolph)

Research Interests/Future Plans
I am particularly interested in the question how stem cells contribute to tumorigenesis. There is growing evidence that tumor cells with stem-like properties are responsible for tumor maintenance and therapeutic refractoriness. However, there is little known about the origin of these cells, how they regulate proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation and which role the microenvironment, the so-called niche, plays in these processes. I am convinced that understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating (cancer) stem cell behavior will lead to novel treatment regimens targeting specifically cancer stem cells which are refractory to conventional tumor therapy. I am looking forward to gain more insights into this fast growing research field during the next two years at the DKFZ.

Contact
n.dietlein(at)dkfz.de

Daria EZERINA (Russian Federation)

College/University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing MSc at the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg
09/2005-06/2009: B. Tech, Lomonosov Moscow State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology

Highest Degree
B. Tech in Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The search for genes inactivated in tumour cells by means of DNA-methylation

Internships
06/2010–07/2010: Institut de cancérologie Gustave Roussy (Villejuif, France), CNRS – UMR 8126 “Molecular Interactions and Cancer” department, “Chromatin, Development and Cancer” lab. Research on epigenetic regulation in fascio-scapulo-humeral dystrophy (FSHD).
09/2008–09/2010: Russian Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Carcinogenesis, “Molecular Biology of Viruses” lab. Research on genes inactivated in cervical cancer cells by means of DNA-methylation.

Research Interests/Future Plans
Ever since I joined the molecular biology of viruses lab of the Russian Cancer Research Centre during the final year of my bachelor’s studies, there has been an ever growing discrepancy between the knowledge I was acquiring at university and the information I required for the successful participation in my lab’s research projects. As by the time of my graduation I have definitely decided that I would like to pursue my further studies and eventually, my career, in Cancer Biology, I hope that the high level of education which the University of Heidelberg is traditionally famous for and the experience I will gain in the DKFZ laboratories will help me eliminate this gap and fulfil my plans.
As far as my research interests are concerned, I would like to continue using cervical cancer as a model, but perhaps in a more applied way (e.g. developing vaccines against HPV).

Contact
d.ezerina(at)dkfz.de

Carlos Alberto FAJARDO (Colombia)

Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc., Heidelberg University and DKFZ
8/2004–6/2010: B.Sc. in Biology and B.Sc. in Microbiology, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
8/2007–7/2008: Exchange student, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. Biology
B.Sc. Microbiology

Bachelor Thesis
Influence of CagA EPIYA motifs variations in Helicobacter pylori strains from Colombia on IL-8 and cell elongation

Internships
1/2010–6/2010: Bachelor thesis. Cancer Biology Research Group, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Colombia.
5/2008–7/2008: 6 week internship. Institute for Medical Virology, Justus Liebig University, Giessen. Research area: Influenza-virus-induced cell signaling (Prof. Dr. Stephan Pleschka)

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my studies in Biology and Microbiology, I developed a deep interest in the fields of virology, cancer biology and cancer therapies. The fact that these fields converge in virotherapy makes the latter a very interesting research field for me. I really believe oncolytic viruses represent a promising alternative or complement to conventional cancer therapies, and I hope I can deepen my knowledge in this topic during the major at the DKFZ. I also look forward to gaining skills in translational oncology and in the “bench-to-bedside” approach in cancer therapeutics. I am sure the DKFZ is the perfect place to achieve this.

Sabrina FEHRENBACH (Germany)

College/University Ecuation
2007-2010: Maastricht University, Molecular Life Sciences, Maastricht

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
NMuMG cells as a model for EMT

Internship/Research Assistant
July/August 2010: DKFZ Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Hellmut Augustin, Angiogenesis and Metastasis
Oktober 2010-Feburary 2011: DKFZ Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Hellmut Augustin, Angiogenesis and Metastasis

Research Interests/Future Plans
I want to specialize in the field of cancer research as so many people contract this complex disease and cancer is still not curable in most of the cases. Because of the tumors’ heterogeneity specific therapy resistance are arising within one or two years after the beginning of the therapy. My intent is to contribute to a faster and more effective progress in the area of cancer therapy. I want to help finding ways supporting to reduce the death rate because of cancer. In my opinion there exists a huge potential for new cancer therapies reducing the toxicity of chemotherapy and enhance the efficiency. Stem cells play an important role in the development and the resistance of tumors. It is necessary to study this role more intensively to get to know the mechanism. I can imagine that significant progress can be made in developing new therapy methods in the area of stem cells as well.

Contact
s.fehrenbach(at)dkfz.de

Julia FRÖSE (Germany)

College/University Education
10/2010-present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscienes, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2007-09/2010: B.Sc. in Biology, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Investigation of the spinal cord of alpha-synuclein transgenic mice and Analysis of mesencephalic and cortical astrocytes of parkin knock-out mice

Internships
10/2009-12/1009: “Influence of astrocytes on neuronal differentiation”; Department of Animal Physiology, Ruhr University Bochum
09/2011-02/2012: "Investigation of molecular mechanisms in breast cancer metastasis"; Laboratory of Prof. Dr. Weinberg, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA, USA

Research Interests/Future Plans
In studying Molecular Biology with a Major in Cancer Biology at the University of Heidelberg, I see the best way to approach my goals of further investigating the molecular mechanisms of cancer and of contributing to the development of better treatments. My specific interests include alterations in cytoplasmic signaling pathways and the very complex process of metastasis formation in distant organ sites. Of special importance in the latter are to me the molecular changes which tumor cells undergo when they leave the primary tumor and their interactions with surrounding stromal cells. Furthermore, I am interested in strategies for cancer treatment. Right now, oncolytic viruses seem to be the most promising approach for cancer therapy. My plan for the future is to gain the knowledge and skills that will help me to pursue a Ph.D. in my specific fields of interest.

Simon HAAS (Germany)

University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc., University of Heidelberg, Germany
09/2009-12/2009: Exchange semester in Biochemistry, Imperial College London, UK
10/2007–07/2010: B.Sc. in Molecular Cell Biology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Cell Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
RNA-DNA triplex formation at the cyclin D1 promoter

Internships
05/2009–11/2009: Development of a PCR-based, in-silico-guided method for the creation of synthetic promoter elements in cancer cells (in context of iGEM), Bioquant, Division of Intelligent Bioinformatics Systems, Heidelberg (Prof. Roland Eils)
03/2010-10/2010: Characterization of a novel mechanism of transcriptional regulation: RNA-DNA triple helix formation, German Cancer Research Center, Division of Molecular Biology of the Cell II, Heidelberg (Prof. Ingrid Grummt)

Research Interests
My interests in the molecular and cellular aspects of biology and oncology have been sparked by the fact that tiny changes in the (epi)genetic information can lead to the disruption of cellular networks, tissues, and whole organisms. I am particularly attracted by the field of gene expression and its impairment, since transcriptional regulation and miss-regulation as well as epigenetics, are important fields in basic cancer research. Especially, I am interested in the relationship between epigenetics and the non-coding transcriptome. Intriguingly, short as well as long non-coding RNAs seem to be crucial components of epigenetic networks. However, the detailed link between ncRNAs and epigentics remains unknown.
Moreover, I am interested in the molecular and epigenetical basis of stem cells, cell specification and nuclear reprogramming to a pluripotent state by transcription factor transduction.
Besides basic research, I am interested in molecular cancer therapy approaches such as immunotherapy and virotherapy. I am fascinated by the idea to combat cancer by exploiting the body’s own strength or by actively creating and manipulating biological organisms in order to implement their designated purpose.

Contact
s.haas(at)dkfz.de

Bogdan JOVANOVIC (Serbia)

Education
10/2010–present: pursuing MSc at University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany
10/2007-09/2010: B.Sc. in Biology, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Internships
11/2008-5/2009: Antimutagenic effects of honey and honey products in somatic mutation and recombination test in Drosophila melanogaster, Institute for Biological Research “Sinisa Stankovic”, Serbia, Belgrade
11/2009-6/2010: Worked as Hiwi at Institute for Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineerin, Serbia, Belgrade
7.6.2010-15.8.2010: Biogeography of Irish Arctic-Alpine Carnation species. Internship in Ireland (UREKA summer school of molecular evolution), University of Maynooth

Publication
Z. Markovic, I. Živic, M. Stankovic, M. Spasic and B. Jovanovic (2006) Effects of light on growth of carp (Cyprinus Carpio). Arch. Biol. Sci. Belgrade, 58 (4), 43P-44P

Reserach Interests/Future Plans
I have been very interested in biology since I was a child. During high school I have participated in several sciences projects. I experienced many areas in biology and I have found myself in cancer biology. My interest is posttranslational control of genes which malfunction leads to cancer formation and cancer cell survival. Epigenetic regulation is very dynamic and complex in cancer cells, and I would like to find out more about it, and later apply that knowledge in cancer therapy. I hope that the work in DKFZ will make me go from “Hmm that is funny” to “Eureka!”.

Corinna KÖHLER (Germany)

University Education
10/2009-present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscienes, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2007-09/2009: B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine, Ulm University

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Studien zur Optimierung konventioneller Leukämietherapien durch ausgewählte Opioide mit dem Fokus auf Buprenorphin.

Internships
08/2009-09/2009: Institute for Legal Medicine, University Hospital Ulm, AG Dr. Claudia Friesen
07/2008-08/2008: Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Dept. I: Cardiac Development and Remodelling

Research Interests/Future Plans
While pursuing my bachelor studies, I have been confronted with one of several hallmarks in cancer: the evasion of apoptosis. I am now looking forward to deepen my understanding in molecular pathways involved in carcinogenesis as well as to increase my knowledge of the alterated cell cycle regulation during tumor formation. Due to the fact that the Master’s Program Cancer Biology provides insight in all cancer related topics, I am also eager to be introduced to other cancer-related topics, that are of particular interest to me such as tumor immunology, immunotherapy in cancer as well as cancer stem cells. Furthermore I would like to be introduced to several aspects of neuro-oncology, since cancer of the CNS requires multi-disciplinary approaches.

Sabine MARTIN (Germany)

College/University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc., University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
09/2009-01/2010: exchange semester at University of Manchester
10/2007–07/2009: B.Sc. in Biology, University of Heidelberg

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Bachelor Thesis
The role of chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor I and II in glioma

Internships
10/2010-present: Assistent in Dr. Andreas Schäfer's lab, Max-Planck Institute für Medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg
04/2010-08/2010: Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba, Molecular Neurobiology, DKFZ, Heidelberg
10/2009-01/2010: Dr. Andrew Sharroks's, Molecular Cancer Studies, Life Science Faculty, University of Manchester, UK

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my bachelor thesis in a Molecular Neurobiology lab I developed an interest for neurological tumours. Glioblastomas are highly infiltrative and resistant to apoptosis, which makes it the most aggressive human cancer. I am intrigued by the pathways involved in apoptotic resistance as well as in non-apoptotic pathways mediated by CD95 (a ligand/receptor system whis is also known to trigger apoptosis). Moreover, I’m fascinated by stem cell signalling pathways as potential targets for cancer therapy, especially since resistance of self-renewing cancer stem cells to current therapies is one of the major reasons for cancer recurrence. Particularly I wish to gain further knowledge about mutations initiating cancer in tissue specific stem cells.
During my master's I hope to aquire a deep knowledge of cancer in order to pursue my future plans to obtain a PhD in cancer research. I aspire that I will contribute to the better understanding of cancer and the improvement of cancer therapies in the future.

Moritz MATTHEY (Germany)

University Education
10/2010–present: Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, persuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences
09/2009-06/2010: Imperial College London, Exchange student
09/2007–09/2010: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, B.Sc. in Interdisciplinary Sciences with focus on Biology and Chemistry

Highest Degree
BSc ETH Interdisciplinary Sciences

Field of Bachelor Thesis
Non-apoptotic signalling of TRAIL and physiology of E-cadherin

Internships
02/2010-06/2010: Imperial College London, Tumour Immunology Unit, Prof. Dr. Henning Walczak; Non-apoptotic signalling of TRAIL
08/2010-11/2010: German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Signaling and Functional Genomics, Prof. Dr. Michael Boutros; Perturbation of signalling pathways and RNA sequencing

Research Interests/Future Plans
The master programme in Cancer Biology represents the huge diversity of cancer with topics spanning from tumour to systems biology and tumour virology to translational oncology. I am very keen on learning more about the cutting-edge areas of tumour research which I have not yet dealt with in depth, for example viro- and immunotherapy.
After my Master of Science, I want to continue my studies with a Ph.D. but I am not yet sure which area excites me the most. I am therefore very eager to get insights into many different areas of research and laboratories and I am very confident that the various practicals and lab rotations in the Cancer Biology programme will give me this opportunity. After having gained a broad overview, I will hopefully know which route I want to take for my Ph.D.

Johannes RIDINGER (Germany)

College/University Education
10/2010-present: pursuing M.Sc., Heidelberg University
10/2007-10/2010: B.Sc. in Molecular Cell Biology, Heidelberg University

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
RNA Diagnostik mit Hilfe von Exosomen aus Körperflüssigkeiten / RNA diagnostics via exosomes derived from body fluids

Internships
04/2010-10/2010: DKFZ, Research Group Translational Immunology (Prof. Dr. Altevogt)

Research Interests/Future Plans
As for cancer research, my interests are diverse und vary with time. However cell cycle and apoptosis regulation, as well as epigenetics belong to my primary interests,since for example deregulation of cell proliferation and/or programmed cell death represent important steps in carcinogenesis. In terms of epigenetics, I’m especially interested in “Imprinting” which can also become involved in the emergence of certain cancer types.
I am further interested in protein and RNA containing extracellular microvesicles (“exosomes”) which are secreted by a variety of cells including tumour cells. Since the proteins and RNAs which are secreted within these vesicles remain functionally active, they can have an influence on their recipient cells. For example, it could be shown that tumour-derived exosomes are capable of influencing the environment of the tumour and protecting the tumour from immune response.

Contact
j.ridinger(at)dkfz.de

Oscar Camilo SALGADO BARRERO (Colombia)

College/University Education
08/06–09/10: B.Sc. in Microbiology (Hons.) Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá

Highest Degree
B.Sc. Microbiolgy

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Evaluation of genetic polymorphisms of the 195 bp repeated satellite DNA within Colombian Trypanosoma cruzi DTU I isolates

Internships
01/09–05/10: “Tropical Microbiology and Parasitology Research Center” (CIMPAT), Universidad de los Andes (Prof. Felipe Guhl)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Even though my incipient research experience began in the fields of Parasitology and Phylogenetics, I have always realized I want to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease. It would not be easy to find such a disease complex that not only can produce so many different public health problems all around the world, but also represents a huge challenge for almost every discipline inside biological sciences, as cancer. That is why I chose it as my major research topic; and the DKFZ is giving me the opportunity to explore among a vast range of approaches to do so.
With respect to my specific interests, I could say I have special curiosity in the role played by non-coding RNAs in carcinogenesis and metastasis, but first I want to construct a solid background in cancer research to make an informed decision and to choose an area for an eventual Ph.D. degree.

Evelyn SAUTER (Germany)

College/University Education
10/2010-present: pursuing M.Sc. in Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2007–09/2010: B.Sc. in Biology, University of Tübingen

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analyse der Rolle von SRF bei der murinen Gastrulation/ Analysis of the role of SRF during murine gastrulation

Research Interests/Future Plans
My main interests within the large field of cancer research are to understand the alterations and mutations that cause the development of uncontrolled proliferating tumor cells. Therefore I am particularly interested in the alterations in molecular processes of signal transduction pathways and gene regulatory networks, which lead to inadequate regulation of the cell cycle and the avoidance of apoptosis in cancer cells. To develop new approaches in cancer treatment it is essential to understand the complex mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Furthermore, I am interested in the immunological aspects of cancer, particularly how tumor cells are able to evade the immune response. I am looking forward to gain a lot of knowledge and practical skills during the master course in order to pursue a Ph.D. program and finally work as a scientist in cancer research. My goal is to contribute in future development and improvement of therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment. 

Hsin-Chieh TSAY (Taiwan)

University Education
10/2010–present: MSc in Molecular Biosciences with major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg
09/2005-06/2009: BSc in Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science, Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology

Title of Thesis
The expression of neurodegenerative-related biomarkers TGF-Betas, TG2, NF-L, S100Beta, and GFAP in retinas of Ocular Toxocariasis.

Internships/Working Experience
Feb 2007-March 2009: Taipei Medical University (Taipei, Taiwan), the Department of Parasitology of the School of Medicine, Dr. Chia-Kwung Fan’s Laboratory; Volunteer; I conducted the project that was funded by Promoting Academic Excellence of University Students, National Science Council, Taiwan.
Aug 2008-Dec 2008: Cathay General Hospital (Taipei, Taiwan); Medical technician Intern; I worked as a medical technician.
Sept 2009-Apr 2010: National Yang-Ming University (Taipei, Taiwan), the Department and Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Shie-Liang Hsieh’s Laboratory; Assistant

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer cells are able to escape the immune surveillance and to change the environment that is suitable for them to growth. Those intriguing mechanism really stimulate my eagerness to know how they work. The research topic about immunotherapy of cancer really attracts my attention. Nowadays, the advanced radio and chemotherapy can save many patients’ lives, however, there are still nearly 50% patients die of cancers like leukemia. New therapies need to be developed as soon as possible. Since there are strong and excellent research groups working in German Cancer Research Center, I’ve believed that learning from them can solidify the knowledge about cancer biology, and at the same time, being inspired by their outstanding works. My future plan is to work with other elites in order to develop new therapies to cancer.

Gökçe ÜRENDEN (Turkey)

University Education
10/2010-present: pursuing M.Sc, University of Heidelberg
09/2006-07/2010: B.Sc in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, TURKEY

Highest Degree
B.Sc in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Reversal of BCRP-mediated multidrug resistance in breast cancer cell line, MCF-7

Internships
06/2008-10/2008: The increase in thermotolerance through the expression of a gene encoding a heatshock protein in Escherichia coli and plasmid isolation, Middle East Technical University, Department of Biological Sciences, Ankara, Turkey (Prof. Dr. Semra Kocabiyik)
06/2009-09/2009: Role of miRNAs in the feedback regulation of EGFR signaling in breast cancer. German Cancer Research Center, Division of Molecular Genome Analysis, Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Signaling Group Heidelberg, Germany (Dr. Özgür Sahin)

Research Interests/Future Plans
After studying molecular biology and genetics, I was quite interested in cancer research. Cancer is a wide-range disease in terms of variations and general therapies mostly are not able to prevent spread of tumors and unfortuntely many people cannot escape from inevitable death. For a successful therapy, every different type of cancer in different people should be investigated at molecular level separately and therapies should be adjusted according to it. My special interest is combination of cancer with pharmacology; so that for each person suffering from cancer, individualized drug treatment could be possible.

Lars VELTEN (Germany)

College/University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc., Heidelberg University
10/2007–07/2009: B.Sc. in Molecular Cell Biology, Heidelberg University

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (grade 1.0)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of the evolutionary potential in Escherichia Coli chemotaxis

Internships
02/2009-04/2009: Karsten Weis lab, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, UC Berkeley; Proteom-wide study of protein turnover as a regulatory mechanism in a SILAC-based approach.
05/2009–11/2009: iGEM team Heidelberg, Bioquant, Heidelberg Universit; Development of a PCR-based, in-silico-guided method for the creation of synthetic promoter elements in cancer cells. http://2009.igem.org/Team:Heidelberg/Project
03/2010-06/2010: Victor Sourjik lab, ZMBH, Heidelberg University; Analysis of changes in the bacterial motility gene regulatory network in cells subjected to evolutionary selection pressure for improved chemotaxis.

Research Interests/Future Plans
After having worked on quantitative biology (i.e. systems and synthetic biology) throughout my undergraduate studies, I am now looking forward to getting insights into the application of systems biology in cancer research. High-throughput methods, combined with mathematical modelling, allow for a precise and unprejudiced analysis of a wide range of biological phenomena. My special interests are signal transduction pathways, gene regulatory networks (with an emphasis on the organization of regulatory elements in promoters) and the role of biological noise in establishing stable phenotypes. I am convinced that a thorough understanding of a cell's signal transduction machinery will lead to advances in cancer treatment, esp. with respect to personalized medicine.

Laura WIEHLE (Germany)

University Education

Highest Degree

Title of Bachelor Thesis

Internships

Research Interests/Future Plans

Contact

Xiaoting WU (Germany)

University Education
10/2010–present: pursuing M.Sc., University of Heidelberg, Germany
09/2009-12/2009: Exchange at Imperial College London, UK
10/2007–07/2010: B.Sc. in Molecular Cellular Biology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Cellular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The role of cell adhesion molecules in axon navigation

Internships
08/2009-09/2009: Phenotype of Panc1/Panc02 cells as influenced by CD95L, German Cancer Research Center, Division of Translational Cancer Research, Dr. A. Martin-Villalba
03/2010-06/2010: The role of cell adhesion molecules in axon navigation, Institute of Zoology, Department of Developmental Neuroscience, Prof. G. E. Pollerberg
07/2010–11/2010: Genetherapy based on synthetic miRNA fine-tuning devices, delivered by modified adeno-associated viruses (in context of iGEM), Bioquant & German Cancer Research Center, Division of Structural and Functional Genomics, Heidelberg, Prof. R. Eils

Research Interests/Future Plans
Since there is often more than one deficiency responsible for a malignancy to arise, I would consider therapies hitting multiple targets as very promising. Viro- and immunotherapy are smart ways to confront the challenge. Those therapeutic approaches exploit general properties of cancer cells for eliminating malignant cells. Apart from this I am very excited about the “engineering” aspect of virotherapy. Modern concepts in virotherapy do not rely on wild type viruses, but rather on highly engineered strains. Biology has reached a stage where the de novo construction of small biological systems (such as viruses) has become possible.
A further interest of mine is systems biology of cancer, where the information of basic research comes together to form a whole picture and network. So I am enthused to gain a deeper insight into these fields.

to top