Major Cancer Biology Students 2011

15th November 2013: DKFZ-HIGS Graduation Ceremony

© dkfz.de

Student graduations, Fellowship awards, a Nobel laureate, PhD Hat competition, Student talk, Poster presentation awards, PhD Council  farewell and welcome, Science Slam,  Music from the "The Wild Types" - this year's annual DKFZ-HIGS Graduation Ceremony was a firework of events, lively and entertaining, but most of all a time to congratulate and celebrate the students who have sucessfully earned their University degrees, PhD or MSc, during the last year.

On Friday afternoon all DKFZ was invited to the Grand Lecture Hall, guided through the program by the Scientific Director of the DKFZ Board, Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler.

All happy faces: some of our successful graduates from the 2010 and 2011 Major Cancer Biology classes - Congratulations!
© dkfz.de

Welcome to the 24 international students who have joined Major Cancer Biology for the Winter Term 2011/2012:

On 11. October 2011 the new students were welcomed at the DKFZ by Dr. Jörg Hoheisel, Head of the Division of Functional Genome Analysis and Chairman of the Scientific Council of the German Cancer Research Center, and by the Program Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Ilse Hofmann.

download: Program of the 2011 Welcome and Introduction Events

© dkfz.de

Julia BUTT (Germany)

University Education
10/2011- present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscienes, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2008- 09/2011: BSc in Biomedical Science, Philipps-University Marburg

Highest Degree
BSc in Biomedical Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Regulation of MicroRNAs by Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor β (PPARβ) during Differentiation

Internships
03/2010: Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institute Stockholm (AG Kärre)
09/2010-10/2010: Institute of Molecular Biology and Tumor Research, Philipps-University Marburg (AG Müller)
02/2012-03/2012: “Effect of Urea Washes on the Specificity of HPV and Polyomavirus Antibody Analyses“, DKFZ Heidelberg (AG Pawlita)
10/2012-12/2012: „Functional Role of LY49A-H2Dd Cis Interactions for NK Cell Responses”, Karolinska Institute Stockholm (AG Sofia Johansson)

Research Interests/Future Plans
After studying Biomedical Science with the focus on Cancer Biology during my Bachelor studies I wanted to continue my studies in this field of research. One of my special interests in this context is the association of cancer development, infections and immunology. In my opinion it is fascinating how a simple infection can trigger the complex development of cancer. In the past years a lot of infectious agents had been identified that are potential carcinogens and this field is still ongoing. Additionally, it impresses me how the growing knowledge about infections and immunology can be used to treat tumors, either actively as targeted infections or immune stimulation or passively as preventive vaccination against a certain pathogen. The DKFZ and its Master program provide a large variety of research in these fields, which gives me the chance to broaden my knowledge and skills in these interesting topics.

Contact
j.butt (at) dkfz.de

Alexandra-Larisa CONDURAT (Romania)

University Education
10/2011 - present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscienes, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany
10/2008 - 06/2011: BSc. In Biology, orientation Experimental Biology, University of Bucharest, Romania  
01/2010 - 06/2010: ERASMUS mobility at University Paris Diderot – Paris 7, France

Highest Degree
Bachelor in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Testarea relației de asociere dintre cancerul de sân și mutații în genele BRMS1 și NAIP
- Testing the association between breast cancer and mutations in BRMS1 and NAIP genes -

Internships
04 - 29/07/2011: Department of Antiviral Therapy, Stefan S. Nicolau Institute of Virology (IVN), Bucharest - Romania
07 - 25/06/2010: Preparation of a column gel filtration: Run and calibration,  Institut Jacques Monod (IJM), Paris - France
15/03 - 15/05/2010: Purification and characterization of DNA Polymerases, Institut Jacques Monod (IJM), Paris - France

Research Interests/Future Plans
„What is the most important thing for you?”...Each one of us holds its own answer. My passion and dedication for biosciences came as a natural thing after I was prepared enough to find my own answer to this question.  I first heard about gene therapy in high school and I was totally captivated and intrigued about its potential in treating different genetic abnormalities. My interest regarding the possibility of discovering and engineering new biotherapies has never stopped growing since then. I think this is one of the main reasons why, today, I find myself more and more motivated to pursue the challenge of taking part in the discovery of new therapies in the treatment of cancer and also in the treatment of certain rare genetic disorders as epidermolysis bullosa.

Dyah Laksmi DEWI (Indonesia)

University Education
2001-2007: Medicine/Faculty of Medicine Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Highest Degree
Medical Doctor (M.D.)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Ecology and immature stage population of Aedes sp. mosquito

Internships/Work Experience
04/2009-09/2011: Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Japan (Prof. Masaki Mori) Project: Therapeutic resistance mechanism of liver cancer stem cell population, marked by CD13 (Aminopeptidase N), microRNA  in the generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
12/2007-03/2009: Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
10/2007-03/2009 : Molecular Biology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. Project: Detection of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation in breast cancer patients. Detection of ER1 and BRCA1 methylation in the serum of breast cancer patients

Research Interests/Future Plans
Acquaintance with cancer patients who usually come to hospital in a late stage, has strongly motivated me to study deeper about the molecular mechanism of cancer initiation and progression. Creating a strategy for identification of unique biomarkers for early diagnosis as well as a targeted therapy, with maximum efficacy and less adverse event will give a tremendous breakthrough in translational cancer research. I am also interested in revealing the mechanism underlying tumor cell phenotypic plasticity, as reprogramming like phenomenon might be involved during cancer progression. Since epigenetic and microenvironment factor might facilitate this process, how these factors contribute to the dynamic heterogeneity and plasticity and the acquisition of “stemness program” within the bulk of tumor will be an intriguing questions for my further research. I hope that during this master’s program, I can have a broad view in cancer research, improve my knowledge and skill and be ready for PhD.

Contact
d.dewi (at) dkfz.de

Christina ERNST (Germany)

University Education
10/2011- present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2008- 09/2011: B. Sc. in Molecular Cell Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Molecular analysis of microRNA expression and function in adipocytes

Internships
04/2011 – 07/2011: German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg, Division of Molecular Metabolic Control, University of Heidelberg (Dr. Stephan Herzig) – Bachelor thesis
11/2010 – 12/2010: German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg, Division of Molecular Metabolic Control, University of Heidelberg (Dr. Stephan Herzig) – Expression analysis of microRNAs in adipose tissue of different metabolic states and during adipocyte differentiation
07/2010 – 09/2010: Department of Plant Sciences, Division of Gene Silencing and Disease Resistance, University of Cambridge (Professor Dr. Sir David Baulcombe) – Investigation of the role of epigenetics in the regulation of cell cycle in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to work on epigenetic modifications as well as small non-coding RNAs, which sparked my interest in this regulatory network of gene expression. As changes in gene expression are the very basis of cancer development, I am particularly interested in the role played by epigenetics and non-coding RNAs during the transition of a normal cell into a cancer cell. Other aspects of cancer biology that I am interested in are for example the link between inflammation and tumor promotion as well as the interaction of cancer cells with the immune system. I am fascinated with the mechanisms by which cancer cells are able to evade the immune system and escape immune detection. The possible therapy approaches arising from this research area, such as immunotherapy, appear to me as very promising concepts. By doing my Master studies at the DKFZ focusing on cancer biology, I hope to deepen my knowledge in this area in order to pursue a PhD in cancer research afterwards.

Sarah FÖRSTER (Germany)

University Education
10/2011- present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2008- 09/2011: BSc in Biomedical Science, Philipps-University Marburg

Highest Degree
Bachelor in Biomedical Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
RNAi-screening to identify resistance mechanisms against MDM2-inhibitors

Internships
09/2010 Molecular Oncology, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena (AG Clement)
08/2010 Experimental Radiology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (AG Hilger)
07/2010 Molecular Oncology, Philipps-University Marburg (AG Stiewe)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Within the field of cancer biology I am particularly intrigued by the process of metastasis. The ability of cancer cells to penetrate and infiltrate surrounding normal tissues fascinates me. Furthermore I am interested in the whole topic of cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells may generate tumours through the stem cell processes of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell types. I believe that based on understanding the mechanisms in stem cells there are a lot of opportunities to develop feasible therapy strategies against cancer. During my internships I realised that I don’t want to investigate only the basic mechanism in these fields, I also would like to translate these findings into clinical approaches. I look forward to acquiring knowledge and gaining experience in these topics in order to be able to do a PhD in cancer biology afterwards.

Egon JACOBUS (Ecuador/Germany)

University Education
10/2011- present:pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany
10/2008 - 09/2011 B.Sc. in Biotechnology, Major in Applied Molecular Cell Biology, Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Isolation and characterization of desmoplakin deficient murine adult cardiomyocytes

Internships
04/2011-09/2011 Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Division of Molecular Genetics Berlin, Germany (Prof. Dr. Thierfelder) – Bachelor Thesis
06/2010-08/2010 Concepto Azul, Tumbes-Peru /Guayaquil, Galapagos-Ecuador (Ph.D. Virna Cedeño) – Agriculture and aquaculture biotechnology related to techniques applied in diagnosis of wild life diseases, genetic markers, disease vectors, pathology and immunology
12/2009-01/2011 Institute of Bioprocess Engineering IBVT, TU Braunschweig, Germany (Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franco-Lara) – Stress response in halophilic bacteria

Research Interests and Future Plans
During my first steps in scientific research I discovered the field of molecular medicine, where different disciplines of biology are combined with a great variety of methods to explain pathomechanisms. Cancer biology offers this interdisciplinarity and implies deep understanding of basic cell biology. Particularly, I am interested in the initiating cellular mechanisms responsible for the evasion of cell fate and involvement of RNA regulatory systems and epigenetic processes. The comprehensive study of cellular mechanisms is not merely relevant, but rather its application is of great importance, which ultimately exerts influence on society. Understanding how different phylogenetic organisms interact with each other not only reveals the tracks of evolution, but is also useful to develop new strategies to treat cancer. I’m keen on using my creativity and dedication to contribute to new approaches in gene therapy, therapeutic recombinant antibodies and cell therapy. During my master’s at the DKFZ, I hope to acquire solid knowledge and advanced practical skills in different areas of cancer research in order to pursue a PhD afterwards.

Danuta KORONA (Poland)

University Education
10/2011–present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
10/2007–03/2011: B.Sc. in Biotechnology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Identification and functional characterization of the novel WNT target genes

Internships
02/2010-06/2010: Departament for Molecular Biomedical Research, Ghent University, Belgium (Prof. Dr. Kris Vleminckx): identification of the WNT targets – Bachelor project
01/07/2010-06/08/2010: Departament for Molecular Biomedical Research, Ghent University, Belgium (Prof. Dr. Kris Vleminckx): summer trainee in molecular biology techniques
11/2010-07/2011: Laboratory of Neurodegeneration, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Poland (Dr. Tomasz Wegierski): screen for STIM interacting proteins, investigation of the interaction between APP (Alzheimer precursor protein) and the STIM/ORAI complex
01/08/2011-19/08/2011: Gulbenkian Institute of Science, Oeiras, Portugal: Volkswagen-Gulbenkian Summer School on Genome Biology and Evolution

Research Interests/Future Plans
My Bachelor project gave me the opportunity to acquire fundamental knowledge concerning the vertebrate genome, genes and the regulation ofgene expression. My research aimed at identifying new WNT target genes implicated in the cancer development that are expressed during embryogenesis. It is amazing how the subtle change can cause the irreversible cascade of events leading to the severe damages in the cell structure and function. This fascination has resulted in the seek to deepen of my knowledge about the cancer initiation and progression. I believe that DKFZ gives the best possibility to follow my passion and become in the future successful researcher in this field. Moreover, it provides a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the nature of cancer and to provoke creative thinking in cancer research. I am really enthusiastic about my studies in Heidelberg.

Contact
d.korona (at) dkfz.de

Marius KÜPPER (Germany)

University Education
10/2011 - present: MSc program 'Molecular Bioscienes with Major Cancer Biology' at Ruprecht-Karls-University and DKFZ in Heidelberg, Germany
04/2009 - 09/2011: BSc program 'Molecular Biomedicine' at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, Germany
09/2007 - 04/2009: BSc program 'Applied Biology' at Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in Rheinbach, Germany

Highest Degree
BSc in Molecular Biomedicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Studies on the TP53-Nanog-Gli1-network in glioblastoma

Internships
05/2011 - 07/2011: Laboratory of Prof. Steindler, Department of Neurological Surgery, Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida in Gainesville - USA
08/2010 - 03/2011: Laboratory of Prof. Scheffler, Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University of Bonn Medical Center - Germany
08/2006 - 07/2007: Laboratory of Prof. Schmidt-Wolf, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Bonn Medical Center - Germany

Research Interests/Future Plans
The biology of cancer is the main field of research that I am fascinated to work on right now and so I chose this master program to gain deep insight into the latest state of the art. In particular I am focused on the understanding of the spectrum of abnormalities that various cells display in a certain tumor and that renders them unique targets for new anticancer-drugs. A precise discrimination between the characteristics of neoplastic and healthy tissue can lead to the development of tumor-specific agents and effective combination-therapies. My goal is to work on the application of knowledge from basic research to develop novel drugs that act against cancerous cells and cause a minimum of undesirable side effects by damaging functional body tissue.

Franziska LORBEER (Germany)

University Education
10/2011–present: pursuing M.Sc., Heidelberg University
10/2008–09/2011: B.Sc. in Molecular Biomedicine, Bonn University

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Identification and validation of differential target molecule expression in Glioblastoma residual cells

Internships/Projects
12/2010-09/2011: Stem Cell Pathologies Group, Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, Life&Brain Institute, Bonn University (Professor Dr. Björn Scheffler)
07/2010-10/2010: Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Center, University of Texas, Health and Science Center, San Antonio, TX (Dr. Luiz Penalva)
03/2010: Biochemistry department, Bonn University (Professor Dr. Wolfgang Voos)
03/2009: Department for molecular medicine, University hospital Augsburg (Professor Dr. Dr. Ehret)
08/2008-09/2010: Alfred-Wegener-Institut for Polar and Marine Research – Mathematical modelling techniques in membrane physiology and biophysics (Professor Dr. Stephan Frickenhaus)

Research Interests/Future plans
One fascinating aspect of cells and especially cancer cells is their great heterogeneity and plasticity. That holds true for all cells but especially for cancer cells. In addition to genetic alterations I am personally intrigued by the thought of perceiving cells as dynamic and complex systems. To explore the intra- and intercellular signaling networks determining a cell’s fate is of special interest to me.

Ranjan MISHRA (Nepal)

University Education
10/2011- present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences at University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
08/2008- 06/2011: B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Jacobs University Bremen

Highest Degree
B. Sc.

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Mapping of tRNAAsp interaction site on human DNMT2

Internships
06/2010-08/2010: Summer Undergraduate Research Program, New York University School of Medicine; Project Supervisor: Dr. Joel G. Belasco; Project Title: 5’ Pyrophosphate Removal from mRNA by E. coli RppH

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my undergraduate education, I grew interest in the field of molecular biology, particularly in molecular biomedicine. I am interested in understanding bio-molecular basis of human diseases, especially in identifying associated genes of a disease and finding how those genes are dysregulated to alter cellular physiology. The findings from such can be translated to develop diagnostic tools and therapeutics for several diseases, even for life-threatening diseases like cancer. For cancer patients, survival hinges on the degree of spread of tumors rather than the primary tumor itself.A better understanding of tumor cell invasion and metastasis at molecular level can play a pivotal role to reduce millions of deaths. Therefore, as a cancer biology researcher in coming years, I would like to focus on identification of metastasis associated genes and investigating the mechanisms that contribute in metastasis. I am equally interested to understand how epigenetic mechanisms and microRNAs function in regulating the expression of these genes.

Sathya MURALIDHAR (India)

University Education
2007-11: Anna University; Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Biotechnology

Highest Degree
B.Tech

Title of Bachelor Thesis
A novel approach to understand the effect of CCN5/WISP2 and IκBα fusion gene in cancer cell lines

Internships
Summer Research project (June 2011) Expression analysis of K-ras and otherkey proteins in the transition of Chronic Calcific Pancreatitis to Pancreatic Cancer’, at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvanathapuram, India
Summer Internship (June 2009) Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Pvt. Ltd., Chennai  

Research Interests/Future Plans
My specific field of interest is Cancer Diagnostics, for I believe that a fast, efficient and cost-effective diagnostic technique is the first step towards the successful treatment of the disease. I am confident that a thorough understanding of the basic principles that govern cancer will help me get closer to investigating the possibilities of such techniques. During the course of any research undertaking, for every question that is answered, there emerges a fresh new set of questions that are waiting to be answered. When I am confronted with such a situation, I would like to focus my time, effort and dedication towards answering as many of these questions as possible, for inquisition is the mother of all discoveries. The Masters’ degree in Cancer Biology is the first step in this journey, which I hope to follow with a PhD program, to delve deeper into the field of Cancer Diagnostics.

Clifford NWAEBURU (Nigeria)

University Education
10/2011- present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscienes (Cancer Biology), Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
08/2002- 09/2006: BSc in Biochemistry, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria

Highest Degree
BSc. Biochemistry, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria

Title of Bachelor's Thesis
The effect of Petroleum wastewater on the Physio-chemical parameters of Nkissa River, surface water and sediments

Internships/Trainings
24.07.2011-30.07.2011: Application of chromatographic equipments (HPLC, GC, GC-MS, GC-FTIR) for laboratory analysis. The Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, Ibadan, Nigeria
09/2008-08/2011: Analytical laboratory, American University of Nigeria, Yola, Nigeria
12/2007-03/2008: Natural Sciences Laboratory, American University, Yola, Nigeria
05/2005-10/2005: Fatina Pharmaceuticals, Osisoma Industrial Layout, Aba, Nigeria

Research Interests/Future Plans
The body could be likened to a very efficient society with set laws and regulations. Cancer cells are trespassers or law breakers. The mechanisms of cancer intrigue me. I have great passion for the creation of new strategies/compounds to fight cancer and the improvement of the performance of current strategies/compounds used in diverse cancer treatment via better understanding of the cancer process.

Contact
c.nwaeburu (at) dkfz.de

Tim RATH (Germany)

University Education
2008 – 2011: Bachelor in Humanbiologie (Biomedical Science) with Major Tumor Biology; Philipps-Universität Marburg
2011 – present: Master in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Quantification and Characterization of Microvesicles Derived From the Plasma Membrane of Cancer Cells

Internships
09/2010 – 10/2010: Institute of Molecular Biology and Tumor Research (IMT, Marburg, Germany), Prof. Dr. Alexander Brehm. Affinity purification and ion exchange chromatography of His-tag or GST-tag fusion protein CHD5
11/2010 – 12/2010: Pharmakologisches Institut, Biochemisch-Pharmakologisches Centrum (bpc, Marburg, Germany), Prof. Dr. Robert Grosse. Formin-like Protein 2 (FMNL2)
04/2011 – 07/2011: Pharmakologisches Institut, Biochemisch-Pharmakologisches Centrum (bpc, Marburg, Germany), Prof. Dr. Robert Grosse. Bachelor thesis work
02/2012 – 03/2012: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Prof. Dr. Jörg Langowski. Biophysics of Macromolecules, Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS)
09/2012 – 12/2012: University College London (UCL, UK), Cancer Institute, Dr. Steven M. Pollard. Establishing the utility of TALENs for efficient genetic engineering of normal and glioblastoma-derived neural stem cells
01/2012 – present: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Dr. Manfred Schmidt. Transcriptional activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN)-mediated generation of cancer-specific BRAF and SF3B mutant alleles.

Research Interest/Future Plans
My greatest fascination is the understanding of how (human) life works on cellular and molecular level. Cancer biology therefore reflects my interest in the physiological as well as the pathological situation to provide more knowledge about disease development, progression and chances of treatment and curing. Understanding the pathological context often also provides new insights into functions in physiological state. Thus, such investigations are not only valuable for cancer research but also for many other fields of biomedical science. Only few of many fields that I would like to get more insight into are development of cancer and metastasis, epigenetics and therapeutic approaches.

Contact
t.rath (at) dkfz.de

Julian SCHLEGEL (Germany)

University Education
October 2007-August 2010: Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Tübingen

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The role of Serum Response Factor in endothelial cells of the murine brain

Internships
November 2010 – September 2011: Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Department for Genetics (Prof. Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard; Dr. Mitch Levesque)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Although being interested in most topics of cell biology and cancer biology in particular, I especially want to investigate and learn about cell contact dependant growth inhibition. The character as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon still remains elusive and I am eager to find out more about it. Another big area I would like to continue to work on is the epithelial-mesenchymal transition during tumor progression as well as the corresponding link to cancer stem cells. Hereby I also focus on specific signal transductions like the Wnt-pathway and their varying roles in certain tissues.Being not really happy with all the contradictory results presented in publications, I hope the DKFZ offers me the opportunity to unveil some truths by my own. By doing so I want to learn and work with people with the same interests and enthusiasm I have throughout my following career.

Contact
j.schlegel (at) dkfz.de

Lea SCHROEDER (Germany)

University Education
10/2011 – 10/2013: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany
10/2008 – 08/2011: B.Sc. in Human and Molecular Biology, Saarland University, Germany / Licence Sciences in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Strasbourg, France (Franco-German Dual Degree Program)

Highest Degree
Master of Science

Title of Master Thesis
Development of a novel therapy based on oncolytic parvovirus H-1PV and the BH3 mimetic ABT-737 against gliomas

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Evolution of human dCK through lentiviral vectors: Improving the system through RNA interference and directed evolution steps  

Internships
09/2012 – 10/2013: DKFZ, Division of Tumor Virology (Dr. Antonio Marchini) – Internship and Master Thesis
12/2012 – 01/2013: DKFZ, Division of Structural and Functional Genomics (Prof. Dr. Holger Sültmann)
11/2011 – 12/2012: DKFZ, Division of Genome Modifications and Carcinogenesis (Dr. Michael Pawlita) – Research assistant

02/2011 – 05/2011: Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC), Strasbourg, France, Division of Regulation of Gene Expression (Dr. Matteo Negroni) - Bachelor Thesis
07/2010 – 08/2010: Charité Berlin, Division of Translational Tumor Research and Molecular Pathological Laboratory for PCR-based Cancer Diagnostics (Prof. Dr. Carsten Denkert)
05/2010 – 07/2010: Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens (Dr. Brigitte Dorner)

Research Interests/Future Plans
My bachelor studies with a focus on molecular biology inspired my passion to explore diseases at the cellular and molecular level. I am most fascinated about cancer and how the cellular program is changed in tumor cells. Therefore I want to investigate novel strategies for cancer prevention, diagnostic and therapy. My particular interest is in tumor virology and targeting cancer stem cells. I like to make a strong contribution in translating scientific observations from the research bench to clinical care.  

Contact
lea.schroeder (at) dkfz.de

Jonas SCHUMACHER (Germany)

University Education
2008 to 2011: Bachelor of Science in Humanbiologie (Biomedical Science) at the Philipps-University Marburg; Major: Cell Biology 

Highest Degree
B. Sc. 

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Establishment of a siRNA screen to investigate the role of formins in epithelial cells in a three dimensional environment

Internships
Five week work experience in the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Bonn in the team of professor Voos: "Cloning and purification of HSP78" 

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer research is one of the most interesting fields in biomedical science for me. Nevertheless, to be able to better understand its biology and chemistry one needs to get in touch with several other actual research fields, which stand in close contact with cancer biology. So getting to know the interface of cancer research with other fields like inflammation and virology seems challenging for me. Another interesting field is the (de)regulation of cellular processes via endogenous RNAi. Alterations of miRNAs expression in cancer cells is one mechanism in cancer developement, which is yet not fully understood and therefore seems to be an interesting pathway beyond the alterations on protein- or DNA-levels.  

Julian SEFRIN (Germany)

University Education
10/2011–Present: Pursuing Master of Science degree in Molecular Biosciences, University of Heidelberg, Germany and DKFZ
10/2008–06/2011: Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
CD95 drives cell-cycle progression in cancer stem cells (CSCs) of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

Internships/Research programs
11/2010–Present: Pro-tumorigenic implications of CD95R in CSCs of PDAC, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division: Molecular Neurobiology of Brain Tumors, Prof. Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba

Research Interests/Future Plans
Within the broad field of cancer biology, I am particularly interested in cancer immunology. I am fascinated by the fact that despite such a sophisticated immune system, a single degenerated cell is able to potentially initiate such a disease. Currently, there are many approaches in cancer immunotherapy which hold promise. The suppression of regulatory T cells and other myeloid derived suppressor cells in the tumor microenvironment provides novel therapies for resensitizing cancer cells, allowing them to again be targeted by the immune system. In my opinion exploitation of the body’s own mechanisms is the most elegant and favorable way to fight cancer, aside from the possibility of negative side-effects.
Furthermore I am interested in virus-mediated cancer gene therapy as well as in novel signalling pathways that are altered and exploited by cancer cells.
In my current Master’s program I hope to gain more insight in the field of cancer biology to deepen my knowledge of cancer immunotherapy and to improve my practical skills. Subsequently, I hope to succeed in obtaining a PhD in Cancer Research after having finished my Master´s degree.

Hiromi SHIRATORI (Japan)

University Education
04/2006 - 03/2011. Bachelor of Science in Biology, Kobe University, Japan

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Title of Thesis
Analysis of Chromatin Components that Functionally Interact with Nucleotide Excision Repair System

Internships
04/2011 - 05/2011. Laboratory technician, Department of Structural Biology, Biosignal Research Center, Japan. Prof. Dr. Kaoru Sugasawa
04/2010 - 03/2011. Bachelor thesis. Department of Structural Biology, Biosignal Research Center, Japan. Prof. Dr. Kaoru Sugasawa
08/2009 - 03/2010. Traineeship in Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station, Ireland (Vulcanus in Europe project). Dr. Julie Maguire

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my undergraduate studies, I became interested in the molecular basis of diseases pathology, especially cancer; how cells lose biological balance at the molecular level. Cancer research is a very attractive field of study to me since numerous aberrations in molecular systems are involved; to understand the complicated molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development is both challenging and fascinating. I am pleased that I can study cancer from its molecular mechanism to the forefront treatment here in DKFZ. Among the field of cancer research, I am especially interested in epigenetic regulation of gene expression, for instance, DNA methylation and microRNA. I strongly believe that investigations of epigenetic gene regulation could lead to the discovery of novel aberrant molecular networks in cancer development and also hold a great potential to develop novel molecular targeted drugs.

Nike WALTHER (Germany)

University Education
10/2011 - present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences (Major Cancer Biology), Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2008 - 09/2011:  B.Sc. in Biochemistry, University of Bayreuth

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
A mitotic role of the nuclear export signal (NES) in Separase?

Internships
01/2013 – present: Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics, DKFZ Heidelberg (Prof. Dr. Boutros):“Methods for TALEN- and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome modifications in Drosophila”
09/2012 – 12/2012: The Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK (Prof. Dr. Pines): “Investigating different processes during the human cell cycle”
01/2012 – 03/2012: Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics, DKFZ Heidelberg (Prof. Dr. Boutros): “Generation of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs)”
05/2011 – 09/2011: Department of Genetics, University of Bayreuth (Prof. Dr. Stemmann): “A mitotic role of the nuclear export signal (NES) in Separase?”

Research Interest/Future Plans
During my Bachelor Thesis I got an insight into cell cycle regulation and was fascinated by the fact that a strict control of cell division is essential in order to prevent chromosome instability – a phenomenon which is strongly correlated with cancer. Thus, I developed a strong interest in cancer biology, in particular in the molecular basis of tumor development and processes altered in cancer. During several lab rotations at the DKFZ I gained a deep insight into these research areas and acquired a profound knowledge in cancer biology. Fascinated by the rapid development of technologies for genome engineering, I am currently developing and testing methods for TALEN- and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome modifications in Drosophila during my Master Thesis in the group of Prof. Dr. Boutros. Motivated by a highly inspiring internship in the group of Prof. Dr. Pines at the Gurdon Institute for Cancer Research in Cambridge, I want to further focus on cell cycle research in my future career, in particular on cell division, and, thus, contribute to cancer and medical research on a basic research level. To this end, I will join the group of Dr. Jan Ellenberg at EMBL Heidelberg for my PhD during which I will apply molecular and cellular biological, biochemical and biophysical methods in combination with cutting edge imaging technologies.

Meike WIESE (Germany)

University Education
10/2011 - present: pursuing MSc in Molecular Biosciences, University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2007 - 09/2010: BSc in Molecular Biotechnology, University of Heidelberg

Highest Degree
BSc in Molecular Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Phosphorylation dependent regulation of the deacetylase silent mating type information regulator 2 homolog 1 (Sirt1)

Internships
10/2010 – 04/2011: Group Pancreatic Cancer of Prof.Dr. Andrew Biankin, Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, NSW Australia): Primary xenografts as a preclinical model for testing individualized therapy in pancreatic cancer.
09/2009 – 10/2009: Group Molecular Tumor Pathology of PD Silke Laßmann, Institute of Pathology, University of Freiburg: Genetic instability of esophageal- and colorectal cancer.

Student Research Assistant
05/2009 - 08/2009: Group of PD Dr. Jochen Kuhse, Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Heidelberg

Research Interests/Future Plans
My Bachelor studies and the six months work in the lab of Prof. Dr. Biankin have given me a broad insight into cancer research. Based on those experiences I have developed a special interest in cancer therapeutics and mechanisms of chemoresistance in cancer. Identifying biomarkers of therapeutic responsiveness for individual cancers and the direct transfer of this knowledge into the clinics is a field I am fascinated by. The complexity and molecular diversity of cancer cells make the development of novel therapeutic strategies extremely complicated. Therefore, I believe it is important to define molecular phenotypes of individual cancers in order to develop individualized therapies. In this context molecular therapeutic approaches such as immunotherapy and virotherapy are essential techniques I would like to learn more about. I am sure this master program will provide me with a broad understanding of the full spectrum of cancer research and I am looking forward to the next two years at the DKFZ.

Jennifer WISCHHUSEN (Germany)

University Education
10/2011- present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
09/2007 – 02/2011: B.Sc. in Industrial and Environmental Biology, orientation Biotechnology University of Applied Sciences Bremen

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Organic Invert Sugar Syrup – A Feasibility Study: Quality Management

Internships
02/2010 – 07/2010: Contribution to Optimization of Biological Microparticle Analysis by Ultra-Sensitive Flow Cytometry, BioCytex SARL, department of research and technology, Marseille, France

Research Interests/Future Plans
Understanding the fundamentals of cancer and hereby developing new techniques of diagnosis and therapy for cancer patients is what I am interested in. Cancer is a genetic disease which occurs with accumulation of mutations. Hence, I hope to investigate some of the numerous molecular mechanisms that contribute to cancer formation and to learn how key pathways can be targeted for therapy. Here to mention, especially gene therapy fascinates me. Beneath fundamental research, I would like to learn how experiments are performed in-vivo in animal models and how an approach can finally be applied to human patients in clinical trials. I hope to learn a broad variety of methods currently applied in cancer research. My objective is to improve my scientific competences and soft skills so that I will be able to do a PhD after my Master’s studies.

Peer WÜNSCHE (Germany)

University Education
Oct 2010 – present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
Oct 2007 – Aug 2010: B.Sc. in Biology, University of Hamburg

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
“Identification of Irf8/Icsbp target genes in the murine B-cell development” at the Heinrich-Pette-Institute, Molecular Pathology, Ph.D. Carol Stocking, Hamburg

Internships
Aug 2010 – Oct 2010: Cancer Science Institute Singapore, National University of Singapore (Prof. Dr. Philip Koeffler)
Oct 2010 – Jul 2011: Research Assistant at the Cancer Science Institute Singapore, National University of Singapore (Prof. Dr. Philip Koeffler)    

Research Interests/Future Plans
The complexity of neoplastic disease is what makes cancer biology so interesting to study, but yet this is the very reason that hinders the development of effective therapeutics against human cancer in the preceding decades. To address this complexity and the difficulties in finding new treatments, a broad-based education with solid skills in a variety of disciplines is of great importance. Thus, I am looking forward to specialize in cancer biology and also use the opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation in molecular biosciences. In recent times, two innovative approaches have emerged - immunotherapy and oncolytic virotherapy. These therapies hold great promises, especially in combination with established antitumor therapies. Hence, I am interested in focusing on these topics and looking forward to work with different research groups at the DKFZ to gain further insights into these exciting fields of research.    

Contact
p.wuensche (at) dkfz.de

Laura Isabel ZIMMERMANN (Germany)

University Ecuation
10/2011–present: Pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Bioscienes, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
09/2010-02/2011: Erasmus scholarship, University of Manchester, U.K.
10/2008–09/2011: B.Sc. in Biology, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Germany 

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology (with focus Molecular Biology)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Candidate approach to identify the influence of vesicular transport on neuroblast polarity

Internships
11/2011-05/2012: Student research assistant in the Division of Systems Biology of Signal Transduction (Prof. Dr. Ursula Klingmüller, DKFZ)
10/2010-01/2011: Project "Brood size analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans as step towards a screen for drugs of the RAS-signalling cascade" (Poulin Lab, University of Manchester, U.K.)  

Publication
Halbsgut, N.; Linnemannstons, K.; Zimmermann, L. I.; Wodarz, A. (2011): Apical-basal polarity in Drosophila neuroblasts is independent of vesicular trafficking. Mol. Biol. Cell 22(22): 4373-4379

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer, as complex disease, comprises a lot of different types and still more types are discovered. Hence, new biomarkers and strategies need to be developed towards a new era of personalized medicine. For efficient therapies, understanding the variety of mechanisms in tumour formation and interactions with healthy tissues is crucial but still very challenging. Therefore, I am interested in all kinds of signalling networks. Furthermore, I am fascinated by stem cells and viruses, which are on the one hand implicated in cancer development but on the other hand used for cancer therapy. ncer but are also used to cure cancer. Studying at the DKFZ, I want to broaden my knowledge of cancer and experimental approaches to prepare for a PhD.

Katharina ZIRNGIBL (Germany)

University Education
10/2008 – 09/2011: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
10/2011 – present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
FTIR-spectroscopical investigations of the function of Gln69 in Ran

Research Interest/Future Plans
During my bachelor studies I developed a strong interest in structural biological methods, because the investigation of biological processes on the very basic molecular level fascinates me. In the context of cancer biophysical methods can contribute to the understanding of the role of single amino acids in the interplay of protein functions and interactions. In order to find starting points of manipulation for drug development this is the basic approach of my choice. Beside the concern developing new cancer drugs the development of new diagnostic tools as well as the improvement and facilitation of existing diagnostic methods to achieve a better early diagnosis interests me. This can also be done on a molecular level with for example spectroscopical methods, but also in a larger scale there are various possibilities given by modern imaging methods. Combining diagnose and therapy very fruitful with each other I think the detection of new biomarkers which could improve the diagnostic as well as providing new drug targets is a very promising research approach. Heidelberg and the DKFZ offer in this context a highly qualitative educational background in which one can get in touch with the current research in an international environment. I hope I can gain more insights in biophysical research methods and their useful application in cancer research and make my own contributions to research in the near future.

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