Major Cancer Biology Students 2014

20./21. June 2015: First retreat organized by Major Cancer Biology students

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"How to make young scientists think about their career?"

In June 2015 the DKFZ Cancer Biology students dedicated a weekend to their first retreat in Weil der Stadt. The event was jointly organized by the senior and junior students and it was a great success!

How to make young scientists think about their career? - Read their answers here …

14. October 2014: 24 new students have arrived at the DKFZ - Welcome!

Major Cancer Biology class of 2014 - with the Scientific Program Coordinator Prof. Ilse Hofmann and the Head of the Scientific Council of the DKFZ, Dr. Jörg Hoheisel (picture taken in front of the ATV Building on October 14)
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Caroline BOSSMANN (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 – current: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major: Cancer Biology, Ruprecht–Karls–University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
10/2011 – 09/2014: B.Sc. in Biology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Function of Bag-1L as a coactivator of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cell lines

Internships/Professional Experience
09/2015 - 02/2016: Internship Product management and Marketing in the division of Professional Diagnostics at Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH, Mannheim, Germany
07 – 09/2014: Internship with Dr. Francois Jean, Department of Microbiology and Immunology,  University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - Target identification of a novel indirect-acting antiviral peptide, which inhibits HCV and HIV infection
02 – 07/2014: Bachelor Thesis in the group of Prof. Dr. Andrew Cato, Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
09 – 11/2013: Internship with Prof. Cosima Baldari, Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, Italy - Investigation of the effect of IFT140 knock down on T-cell receptor recycling
07/2013: Internship with Prof. Dr. Peter Altevogt, Department of Translational Immunology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg, Germany
10/2012 – 06/2014: Student assistant, Department of Botany and Department of Zoology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany - Supervisor for undergraduate practical courses in botany and animal physiology

Research Interests/Future Plans
Even though striking research was performed in the field of cancer biology over the past decades, a high number of cancer-related death worldwide force research to delve further into revealing the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer. Next to the advanced understanding we gain about essential cellular processes, cancer research also aims to develop new therapeutic approaches. Ever since I got in touch with the broad field of cancer, I am fascinated by the idea of contributing to such important research. From my perspective the Master program in Molecular Biosciences in the Major of Cancer Biology offers the outstanding opportunity to receive a professional training of current knowledge in oncology as well as state-of the art techniques. Furthermore, it enables the students to become part of an international research community. Personally, I am highly interested in the investigation of early stages of cancer development as well as the interplay of hormones with cancer. However, as the program advances, I am eager to gain insight into other research areas as well. Within the Master program I wish to improve my practical as well as my personal skills in order to create a solid background for my future career.

Contact
c.bossmann (at) dkfz.de

Benjamin BUCHMULLER (Germany)

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University Education

10/2014 – today: pursuing M. Sc. in Molecular Biosciences (Major Cancer Biology), Heidelberg University and DKFZ Heidelberg (Germany)
10/2011 – 09/2014: B. Sc. Life Science, University of Konstanz (Germany)

Highest Degree

Bachelor of Sciences in Life Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Investigating the molecular targets of small bioactive compounds: Synthesis of a photo-affinity labelled probe and CRISPR/Cas knockout of putative target proteins

Internships
08/2014 – 10/2014: thesis at the Hauck Group, Cell Biology, in collaboration with the Böttcher Group, Biological Chemistry, University of Konstanz (Germany)
08/2013 – 09/2013: internship at the Summerer Group, Chemical Biology of the Genetic Code, University of Konstanz (Germany)
08/2011 – 09/2011: internship at the Herzig Group, Division of Molecular Metabolic Control, DKFZ Heidelberg (Germany)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancerous tumours develop for the most various reasons and take different, unique shapes in the course of the disease. Therefore, cancer biology is a challenging subject to understand how cells function in health as well as in disorder. During my graduate studies, I want to acquire a broad methodological background to identify and inquire the cellular components and circuits that underly the inner workings of a cell and its complex interplay in tissues, organs, and organisms. I am looking forward to be trained in both, chemical as well as biological research tools to acquire a comprehensive picture of tumourigenesis, and hence to contribute to effective prevention, diagonsis, and treatment of cancer.

Contact
b.buchmuller (at) dkfz.de

Christina COURRÈGES (France-Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 – today: M. Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major: Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
10/2010 – 08/2014: B. Sc. in Biology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Germany
09/2012 – 04/2013: University of Ottawa, Canada, Exchange Program, focus in Molecular Medicine

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Title of Bachelor thesis: Evaluation of CXCL16-Fc fusion protein for conditional depletion of hepatic Natural Killer T cells
Title of Project Report: The timing of the interaction between natural killer T cell, dendritic cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte in alternative cross-priming

Internships/Professional Experience
04/2014 – 09/2014: Student Assistant in the Institute for Experimental Immunology, Prof. Dr. Christian Kurts, University of Bonn, Germany
06/2013 – 03/2014: Bachelor Thesis in the Institute for Experimental Immunology, Prof. Dr. Christian Kurts, University of Bonn, Germany
07/2013 – 04/2013: Internship in the Comparative Physiology Laboratory at the University of Ottawa, Canada, of Prof. Dr. Walsh under supervision of Dr. Christophe LeMoine – Identification of the DNA and protein sequences of the urea transport of toadfish (Opsanus beta)

Research Interests/Future Plans
I am particularly interested in the subjects of tumor immunology, personalized medicine and epigenetics. For me, the most challenging opportunity lies within understanding the unique genetic, cellular and molecular components influencing the susceptibility and the progression of a disease. My aim is to use this knowledge to develop and improve therapeutic strategies by investigating how modifying the response of the immune system can affect a disease's outcome.
During the master's program, I intend to further deepen my knowledge in cancer biology and to combine my interests during the practical work in various laboratories.
I hope the master's program Cancer Biology at the DKFZ to be a strong basis for a follow-up PhD program and a scientific career in the field of cancer immunology.

Contact
c.courreges (at) dkfz.de

Christos EVANGELOU (Cyprus)

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University Education
10/2014 – Present: Pursuing Master of Sciences (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg (Germany)
10/2010 – 7/2014: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Molecular Biology and Genetics, at Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, School of Health Sciences, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis (Greece)

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Molecular cloning, heterologous expression, isolation and purification of human recombinant MEIS1 and analysis of its binding capacity within the promoters of certain chemokines

Internships
9/2013 – 7/2014: Diploma thesis project at Laboratory of Gene Expression, Molecular Diagnostics and Modern Therapeutics, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Alexandroupolis, Greece (Supervisor: Associate Prof. Raphael M. Sandaltzopoulos)
6/2013 – 8/2013: Practical Training - Paid internship in the context of the NSRF 2007-2013, Laboratory of Gene Expression, Molecular Diagnostics and Modern Therapeutics, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Alexandroupolis, Greece (Supervisor: Associate Prof. Raphael M. Sandaltzopoulos); Project: "Practical training on recombinant DNA techniques: Molecular cloning and recombinant protein expression, isolation and purification"
7/2012 – 6/2013: Undergraduate Research Trainee, Laboratory of Gene Expression, Molecular Diagnostics and Modern Therapeutics, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Alexandroupolis, Greece (Supervisor: Associate Prof. Raphael M. Sandaltzopoulos)
9/2011 – 10/2011: Laboratory Trainee, Laboratory of Immunogenetics and Molecular Haematology, Karaiskakio Foundation - The Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry, Nicosia (Cyprus); Techniques: DNA extraction, MHC Molecular typing (with PCR-SSP) and Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS).

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is a disease that poses enormous challenges to research, because every cancer is different and its course can vary immensely even from one patient to the next. The resultant changes in affected cells are highly complex and that's what makes it so appealing to me. I'm also fascinated by the 'cleverness' of cancer cells and the ways they find to evade immune surveillance. I believe that uncovering the tumor - immune system interactions will give a powerful tool to cure cancer. I believe that Cancer Biology is an astounding field that has a lot to offer to our society. I would like to play a role in the uncovering of the biological mechanisms in cancer, so that an effective treatment will be found.
After completing my Master's studies, I intend to pursue a PhD, which not only will boost my career in the field of Cancer Research, but it will also help me grow as a person and professional.

Contact
c.evangelou (at) dkfz.de

Judith FÖRSTER (Germany)

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University Education
10/14-present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
10/11-09/14: B.Sc. in Molecular Biology, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Signal transduction in the transmembrane sensor DcuS in Escherichia coli

Internships
03/14-08/14: Institute for Microbiology and Wine Research, Prof. Dr. Gottfried Unden, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz - Bachelor Thesis
11/13-12/13: Institute for Genetics, Prof. Dr. Gert Pflugfelder, Dr. Joachim Urban, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz - Teaching Assistant

Research Interests/Future Plans
Although a lot of research has been done over the past decades, cancer is still one of the most threatening diseases worldwide. Ever since I started my studies, I was impressed by the way cancer affects and eventually destroys the human body. Out of this “fascination” grew the aim to help people who are facing this disease by investigating and improving therapies against cancer. The Master’s Program Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology provides the perfect platform to get professional training in all different aspects of oncology and state of the art techniques. The practical part of the program enables me to get a deeper insight into different research projects at the DKFZ as I am interested in several parts of cancer research such as tumor immunology or virotherapy. After my Master's studies I plan to pursue a PhD in order to get a solid basis for my future career as a professional.

Contact
judith.foerster (at) dkfz.de

Tanja HÄGELE (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 – present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
10/2010 – 07/2014: B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany
09/2012 – 04/2013: Study abroad, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of nucleocytoplasmic transport of herpesviral tegument proteins VP16 and BGLF4

Internships
09/2014: Research assistant, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, department Molecular Biotechnology, working group Array Technology and Infectious Diseases, PD Dr. Susanne Bailer, Stuttgart, Germany
12/2013 – 03/2014: Bachelor thesis, Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, department Molecular Biotechnology, working group Array Technology and Infectious Diseases, PD Dr. Susanne Bailer, Stuttgart, Germany
08/2011: Internship, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, department Dermatology, working group Molecular Oncology and Aging, Prof. Dr. Mark Berneburg, Tübingen, Germany

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases because it is related to considerable pain and represents a leading cause of death worldwide. During my undergraduate studies in Molecular Medicine at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen I already dealt with several aspects of carcinogenesis. The more I learn about cancer biology the more I get interested in and fascinated by this specific field of research I want to focus on in the future. The master program Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and the DKFZ allows me to acquire a deeper understanding of oncology and to get into contact with cutting-edge cancer research. Especially, I would like to focus on the development of novel cancer treatment options as for instance virotherapy which uses oncolytic viruses for targeted destruction of tumor cells. Furthermore, I am interested in tumor immunology as well as epigenetic dysregulation in cancer.

Contact
t.haegele (at) dkfz.de

Laura HARTMANN (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014-present: Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
08/2012-01/2013: Semester abroad with Major Biology, Missouri Southern State University, MO, USA
10/2010-09/2014: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biotechnology, Ansbach University of Applied Science, Germany

Highest Degree
B. Sc. In Industrial Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Characterization of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in lower grade glioma

Internships
03/2014-08/2014: Bachelor Thesis at the Department of Experimental Neurosurgery (Prof. Dr. Herold-Mende), University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany
10/2013-01/2014: Tutor for undergraduate practical courses in Biochemistry, Ansbach University of Applied Science, Germany
03/2013-09/2013: Internship at the Department of Biotechnology Development, Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Penzberg, Germany (Development of diagnostic, monoclonal antibodies)

Research Interests/Future Plans
The molecular mechanisms of cancer – the probably most dreaded disease of human kind – always fascinated me the most during my diversified Bachelor Studies, my practical semester at Roche Diagnostics, as well as my Bachelor Thesis in Neuro-Oncology. The abundance of specific molecular and cellular changes inducing cancer, the mechanisms of the host’s immune system fighting cancer and the ability of tumor cells to escape these immune defenses, as well as the linkage between infection and cancer are just some topics I’m eager to deepen my knowledge during the DKFZ Master’s Program of Cancer Biology. Learning the theoretical principals together with state of the art technologies in the laboratory, I think, I will be perfectly prepared for conducting research on new therapeutic approaches as personalized medicine, immunotherapy, or oncolytic viral therapies.

Contact
laura.hartmann (at) dkfz.de

Selina JANSKY (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 - present:  Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany
10/2011 - 06/2014: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biomedicine, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biomedicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Influence of c-Kit activating mutation D816V on placental development

Internships
06/2014 - 09/2014: Department of Biology (Assistant Prof. Li), Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, MUC1 dimerization in bacterial membranes and breast cancer cells
11/2013 - 06/2014: Department of Developmental Pathology (Prof. Schorle), University of Bonn Medical School, Bachelor Thesis
07/2013 - 09/2013: Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Prof. Müller), University of Bonn, Pharmacological characterization of new ligands of G-protein coupled receptors
02/2013 - 03/2013: Department of Developmental Pathology (Prof. Schorle), University of Bonn Medical School

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my bachelor studies in Bonn I became aware of my interest in cancer biology. Especially alterations in various signal transduction pathways during tumor initiation and progression are fascinating to me and one possible future field of study. In addition there are many other fields of cancer research I am interested in, e.g. cancer immunology or epigenetics. The DKFZ provides a perfect opportunity to gain a deeper insight into this diverse and complex discipline and I am looking forward to finding a preference to continue my studies in. With obtaining deeper knowledge in cancer research I hope to contribute to development of new therapies.

Contact
s.jansky (at) dkfz.de

Kathrin JOSEF (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 – today: MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany
10/2011 – 08/2014: BSc. Molecular Biotechnology, Major Drug Discovery at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree
BSc. Molecular Biotechnology, Major Drug Discovery

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Validation of novel T cell target antigens in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Internships
05/2014 – 08/2014: Bachelor Thesis at University Hospital Heidelberg, division of Experimental Neurosurgery, group leader: Prof. Dr. Herold-Mende
04/2014 – 05/2014: Research Internship at University Hospital Heidelberg, division of Experimental Neurosurgery, group leader: Prof. Dr. Herold-Mende
07/2013 – 09/2013: Industrial internship at mivenion GmbH in Berlin, department drug discovery

Research Interests/Future Plans
Working on my Bachelor’s project I learned how to easily combine my favorite fields of research: tumor biology and immunology. To improve immunotherapeutic methods against Head and Neck Cancer, I investigated novel T cell target antigens in tumor cells and cancer associated fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment. The great influence of the tumor microenvironment on the tumor and vice versa gave me an idea about the complexity of tumors and how much more there is yet to be discovered.
The DKFZ creates an environment which unites fundamental cancer research and the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Therefore, it facilitates close collaboration and it is an excellent place to study. I am looking forward to take this opportunity to deepen my knowledge of tumor immunology and to approach my professional goal – working in the field of therapeutic cancer research.

Contact
k.josef (at) dkfz.de

Janine JUNG (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 - present: M.Sc. in 'Molecular Biosciences’ with Major 'Cancer Biology', Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
10/2011 - 9/2014: B.Sc. in 'Applied Biology', Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in 'Applied Biology'

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Regulation of epigenetically silenced long non-coding RNAs in lung cancer

Internships/Professional Experience
08 - 09/2014: Internship with Dr. Shobha Vasudevan at the Cancer Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School - 'Role of a long non-coding RNA in quiescent cancer cells'
02/2014 - 06/2014: Bachelor Thesis in the group of Dr. Sven Diederichs ('Molecular RNA Biology and Cancer'), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
08 - 09/2013: Internship with Prof. Dr. Meike Burow at the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology (University of Copenhagen) - 'Molecular characteristics of a long non-coding RNA and its role in glucosinolate biosynthesis'
05/2012 - 01/2014: Research Assistant with Prof. Dr. Peter Nick at the KIT (Botanical Institute I: Molecular Cell Biology) in Karlsruhe - 'Synthetic biology of Microtubules' - 'Molecular authentication of medicinal plants from TCM'
05 - 07/2013: Mentor of the practical 'Animal Physiology' for 2nd term students at the KIT
03/2011 - 08/2011: Technician with Prof. Dr. Vedat Schwenger at the Kidney Center in Heidelberg
09/2008 - 02/2011: Apprenticeship as Biology Laboratory Technician with Prof. Dr. Holger Puchta at the KIT (Botanical Institute II: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer belongs to the leading causes of death worldwide and has many different faces. This requires powerful tools to define the changed conditions in the respective tumor entity and to detect various types of cancer in their early stages, aiming at increasing the survival rate. Changed methylation patterns and altered expression levels of non-coding RNAs in cancer are valuable tools which allow to identify potential biomarkers and therapy targets. During my bachelor thesis, I was fascinated by the barely known role of long non-coding RNAs, the ample room that leaves for discoveries and the influence changed methylation patterns might have on their expression and on the emergence of cancer. I hope, therefore, to learn more about these topics to build a solid basis for a PhD thesis. Furthermore, I wish to enhance my scientific and personal skills in general, surrounded by the challenging and fascinating cutting-edge cancer research at the DKFZ.

Contact
janine.jung (at) dkfz.de

Arek KENDIRLI (Turkey)

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University Education
M.Sc., 2014 – Present: University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) / Heidelberg - GERMANY. Molecular Bioscience - Major Cancer Biology
B.Sc., 2009 – 2014: Middle East Technical University / Ankara - TURKEY. Department of Biological Sciences - Biology

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Prediction of chlorotoxin binding site on matrix metalloproteinase-2

Internships
2014 Summer: The Global Health Institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL), Supervisor: Prof. Bruno Lemaitre, http://lemaitrelab.epfl.ch. Project: The role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in Drosophila larval hemocytes during parasitic wasp infestation.
2013 - 2014: Department of Biotechnology, Middle East Technical University, Supervisor: Dr. Can Ozen, http://syborg.btec.metu.edu.tr. Project: Structure and function relationship of bioactive peptides from animal venoms. Thermodynamic characterization of peptide - protein interaction (SPR, ITC) and computational works (docking). Screening venomic peptide libraries to discover new therapeutics.
2013 Summer: Department of Biochemistry/Enzymology, University of Groningen, Supervisor: Dr. Armagan Kocer, http://www.kocerlab.com. Project: Studying gating mechanism of MscL ion channel of E.coli.

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer has been called the most relentless and insidious enemy among human diseases because of its terrible effect on humankind. Although it has been thought as being curable for many years our biggest struggle is going on to understand and cure cancer. One of the major problem in cancer is its recurrence. Thus, as scientists we need to find a solution to inhibit its recurrence as well. In my opinion, immunomodulation may be one of that. Moreover, drug delivery is as another remarkable point as much as finding novel drugs. I also have an interest in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My future plan is combining treatment approaches for immunological diseases and cancer. After all, as Jacob Bronowski said ‘‘The commonplace of the schoolbooks of tomorrow is the adventure of today, and that is what we are engaged in.’’ It is also what I am engaged in.

Contact
a.kendirli (at) dkfz.de

Klara KLEIN (Austria)

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University Education
10/2014 - present: M. Sc. Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg (Germany)
10/2011-08/2014: B.Sc. in Biomedicine and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Austria)

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biomedicine and Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
STAT1 isoform specific function in NK cell activation and antitumor response

Internships
08/2014 – 09/2014: Internship at the Institute of Cancer Research, Medical University (Vienna, Austria), Group leader: Prof. Dr. Sibilia – Project: “Investigating the role of EGFR in macrophage function”
02/2014-07/2014: Bachelor thesis at the Institute of Animal breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine (Vienna, Austria), Group leader: Prof. Dr. Müller – Project: “STAT1 isoform specific function in NK cell activation and antitumour response”
10/2013-04/2014: Student Assistant for undergraduate practical courses in molecular biology, University of Veterinary Medicine (Vienna, Austria)
09/2013: Internship at the Institute of Animal breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine (Vienna, Austria), Group leader: Prof. Dr. Müller – Project: “The role of STAT1 isoforms in IL-27 stimulated CD4 positive T-cells”
08/2013: “French-German Summer School” on “Membrane Proteins; from cloning to function” at the Justus Liebig University (Giessen, Germany)
07/2013: Internship at Max F. Perutz Laboratories (Vienna, Austria), Group leader: Prof. Dr. Baccarini – Project: “Raf kinases in epidermal inflammation”
10/2012-10/2013: Research Assistant and Student Assistant for practical courses in molecular and cell biology, VetCORE – Facility for Research, University of Veterinary Medicine (Vienna, Austria), Group leader: Prof. Dr. Klein

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my undergraduate studies, I developed a deep interest in cell signaling, immunology and tumor biology. While working on my Bachelor’s thesis, I was able to combine my interests, studying signaling pathways participating in NK cell mediated tumor surveillance. I am fascinated by the complex interaction of tumor cells with their microenvironment. Within this Master’s program, I want to further expand my knowledge on tumor immunology and get additional insights in different fields of cancer research. Studying at a thriving research environment at DKFZ, I wish to gain further scientific and personal experience helping me to pursue a career in a field I am passionate about. I wish to work in cancer research towards a better mechanistical understanding of the complex yet to be investigated processes in cancerogenesis, thereby participating in finding new therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Contact
klara.klein (at) dkfz.de

Karin LAABER (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 – present: Pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2011 – 08/2014: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biomedicine, Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg
10/2010 – 09/2011: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Forensic Science, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Rheinbach (2 semesters)

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biomedicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of proliferative signaling pathways in vascular smooth muscle cells

Internships
03/2014 – 08/2014: Internship and Bachelor Thesis, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Würzburg, Prof. Dr. Kristina Lorenz
08/2013 – 09/2013 Department of Structural Biology, Rudolf-Virchow Zentrum Würzburg, Dr. Ingrid Tessmer, “Investigation of interactions between the human O6-Alkylguanyl DNA Alkyltransferase and DNA with atomic force microscopy”

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my studies in Biomedicine at the University of Würzburg I gained first insights into the very broad field of cancer research. Attending the cancer biology program at the biggest institute of biomedical research in Germany is an excellent opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge about a disease that affects the life of many people. I am looking forward to learning more about the research done at the various groups of the DKFZ. One of my main interests right now would be the field of determining risk factors for tumorigenesis. However, I am also very curious to learn more about the development of new therapeutic tools for the treatment of cancer.  In addition to gaining more theoretical knowledge I am also looking forward to improving my practical skills during the numerous practical courses offered in this program.

Contact
k.laaber (at) dkfz.de

Alaa MADI (Egypt)

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University Education
10.2008 - 07.2013: Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Biotechnology, German University in Cairo (GUC)

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (with highest honors)

Internships/Research Experience
2013 - 2014: Teaching and research assistant at the Pharmaceutical Biology department, Dr. Khaled Abou-Aisha, German University in Cairo (GUC), Egypt.
07.2012 - 09.2012: Intern at the Molecular Genetic Epidemiology lab, Dr. Kari Hemminki, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany.
07.2011 - 08.2011: Intern at the Pharmaceutical Biology Department, Dr. Iman Gomaa, German University in Cairo (GUC), Egypt.

Research Interests/Future Plans
Rigorous understanding of the various molecular events and the biochemical features that regulate their specific interactions and enforce a normal phenotype is imperative to truly appreciate the yet intractable complexity of cancer. Equally vital is the analysis of the molecular deficits characteristic of cancer which, retrospectively, tell us about the normal workings of the cell. I am immensely intrigued by both partners of this symbiotic relationship, for the Achilles heel of cancer can only be realized through a multidisciplinary approach. I am especially interested in biochemically charting different signaling pathways as well as in understanding the epigenetic regulation of gene function and in how RNAs help balance the equation that is cellular homeostasis. I am eagerly looking forward to exploring and further nurturing these interests and discovering new ones.

Contact
a.madi (at) dkfz.de

Edurne MUGARZA STROBL (Spain)

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University Education
2010-2014: BSc. in Biochemistry, University of Navarra, Spain

Highest Degree
BSc. in Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
T cell co-stimulation and epigenetic reprogramming

Internships
June-August 2014: Navarrabiomed Fundación Miguel Servet (Pamplona, Spain). Oncohematology area. Supervision by Dra. Natalia Ramírez
June -August 2013: University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL, USA). Department of Medicine. Digestive diseases and Nutrition. Intestinal Transport Group. Supervision by Pradeep K. Dudeja, Ph.D.
July-September 2012: Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada (Pamplona, Spain). Oncology area. "Role of PP2A and SET in Acute Myeloid Leukemia". Supervision by Dra. Mª Dolores Odero

Research Interests/Future Plans
Ever since I started my degree in Biochemistry, I had the idea of becoming a Cancer researcher. It's a disease that affects many people and a major health issue worldwide, and I felt like I wanted to do something about it. Furthermore, during my bachelor's, I got to get an insight of the biology of Cancer from a molecular point of view, which I found fascinating, specially everything related to the the behavior of the immune system, epigenetics, immunotherapy and translational oncology. In addition, the internships I have done during the past years also made me realize that I enjoy working in a lab. All of this made me decide to pursue a MSc. in Cancer Biology, and to do so in one of the top Cancer Research centers, like the DKFZ. My future plan is to obtain a Ph.D. in some field of Cancer Research.

Contact
e.mugarza (at) dkfz.de

Aparna PANDEY (Nepal)

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University Education
10/2014 - present: Pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
09/2011- 06/2014: B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Jacobs University Bremen

Highest Degree

B. Sc. Degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis

Studying the RNA polymerase – IMP dehydrogenase molecular interaction
09/2013-05/2014: Lab Rotation for Bachelor's thesis, Prof. Dr. Georgi Muskhelishvili's Lab, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Internships

07/2013-08/2013: Université de Lausanne, Centre intégratif de génomique, Lausanne, Switzerland. Summer Undergraduate Research (SUR) Program Participant, Dr. David Gatfield's Lab. Research project on ‘Regulation of circadian gene expression by microRNAs.’
06/2012-08/2013: RWTH Aachen University, Lehrstuhl für Biotechnologie, Aachen, Germany. Intern in the group of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg. Research project on ‘N or C terminal Cysteine modification of a protein variant fro covalent incorporation in carrier.’

Research Interests/Future Plans

My undergraduate education at Jacobs University provided me with a repertoire of knowledge previously unbeknownst to me especially in the field of molecular biology, biomedicine and cancer which piqued my interest. During my master’s education at DKFZ, I am eager to gain further insight into the various fields of cancer research for better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms leading to tumor development, metastasis and evasion of immune system.  I am equally interested in exploring how regulatory mechanism can be exploited to potentiate therapeutic tools against cancer. I further hope to take advantage of the world class research facilities and diverse intellectual community of scholars at DKFZ and identify the field that fascinates me the most for doctoral training.

Contact

a.pandey (at) dkfz.de

Benedikt RECHMANN (Germany)

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University Education
Since 08/2016: PhD student at the Division of Redox Regulation, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg (with PD Dr. Tobias P. Dick)
2014 – 2016: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2011 – 08/2014: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biomedicine, University of Würzburg (Germany)

Degrees
M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology
B.Sc. in Biomedicine

Title of Master Thesis
Functional dissection of a redox switch in metabolic reprogramming

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Vulnerability of triple negative breast cancer cells to RNAi-mediated knock-down of selected metabolic genes

Internships/Professional Experience (selection)
since 11/2015: Division of Redox Regulation, DKFZ Heidelberg (with PD Dr. Tobias P. Dick);
Master Thesis and PhD studies
08-10/2015: Cancer metabolism group, MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (with Dr. Christian Frezza)
01-03/2015: Division of Redox Regulation, German Cancer Research Center (dkfz) Heidelberg (with PD Dr. Tobias P. Dick)
03-08/2014: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Theodor-Boveri-Institute, Biocenter, University of Würzburg (with Prof. Dr. Almut Schulze and Prof. Dr. Martin Eilers); including bachelor thesis
08-09/2013: Internship at a Patent and Trademark Attorneys office
11/2008: Department of Plant Developmental Biology, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIZ) Cologne

Research Interests/Future Plans
Benedikt is a curious person and an open-minded thinker interested in basically all natural sciences, especially the mechanisms establishing ‘life’. He is particularly fascinated by the biology of cancer and focuses his scientific interest on cancer metabolism and its interplay with cellular signalling. He is eager to understand how alterations in cellular metabolism contribute to cancer development and how such alterations render cancer cells vulnerable to therapeutical intervention.
Benedikt holds a BSc in biomedicine from the University of Würzburg and a MSc in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology from the University of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg. He focussed on cancer metabolism for his experimental bachelor thesis and then decided to enter the MSc programme ‘Cancer Biology’ at DKFZ. To further develop his theoretical background and experimental skills in cancer metabolism, he joined the MRC Cancer Unit at University of Cambridge for a research internship at the Cancer Metabolism group. Since November 2015, he is part of the Division of Redox Regulation at DKFZ, where he wrote his master thesis and now performs his PhD studies on the redox regulation of cellular metabolism.

Contacts
b.rechmann (at) dkfz.de
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rechmann

Carmen ROTHMUND (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 – present: M. Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Heidelberg University and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
10/2011 – 09/2014: B. Sc. in Biomedical Science with Major Tumor Biology, Philipp University of Marburg, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The role of transcription factor CUX1 in hypoxia response of hepatocellular cancer

Internships
04/2014 – 08/2014: Bachelor Thesis at the Department of Gastroenterology, Prof. Dr. med. Patrick Michl, University Hospital Marburg, Germany
01/2014 – 03/2014: Internship at the Department of Gastroenterology, Prof. Dr. med. Patrick Michl, University Hospital Marburg, Germany
08/2013 – 10/2013: Volunteer with AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales), english language teaching and work experience in the laboratory and pharmacy of the National Health Care Center in Accra, Ghana
06/2013 – 07/2013: Internship at the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Prof. Dr. Ralf Kinscherf, Philipp University of Marburg, Germany

Research Interests/Future Plans
Within the field of cancer biology I am particularly interested in molecular metabolic control and how mal-functions in glucose, fat and protein metabolism increase the susceptibility to metabolic diseases. What I find very striking is the fact that approximately 50 percent of all cancer cases can be prevented and that most people don’t know that overweight, alcohol abuse, infections, and exposure to the sun increase the risk of cancer drastically. Over the next two years I hope to enlarge my knowledge in this field of research, as it is of high scientific interest for me and as it builds a bridge between science and public relations work. I also want to get an insight into several other fields of research, make use of workshops and seminars offered by the DKFZ and become a part of an international research community.

Contact
c.rothmund (at) dkfz.de

Mariam SAFAVI (Germany)

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University Education
10/2010-07/2014: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany
09/2012-06/2013: ERASMUS at University of Sussex, England

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Functional Investigation of the Tip60-Brd4-Interaction

Internships
04/2014-07/2014: Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany, Bachelor Thesis

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my studies abroad at University of Sussex in England I participated in courses about cell regulation and cancer. I was fascinated by the property of cancer cells to evade cellular control mechanisms, including evasion of apoptosis and cell cycle control, and their ability to make the body supply their needs e.g. by enforcing angiogenesis. During the master program at the DKFZ I hope to learn much more about cellular signalling pathways and their role in the development of cancer. I am also looking forward to broaden my knowledge of cancer by getting an insight into fields like tumour-immunology and virus-related cancers.

Contact
m.safavi (at) dkfz.de

Fatma Çiğdem SELÇUK (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2014 – present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences; Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht–Karls–University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
09/2009 – 06/2014: B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Ihsan Dogramaci Bilkent University, Turkey

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Discovering gene biomarkers for novel Src inhibitors in primary melanoma cells

Internships
01/2014 – 06/2014: Internship, Sentegen Biotechnology (Şükrü Atakan), CyberPark Cyberplaza, Turkey
09/2013 – 06/2014: Bachelor Thesis, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (Asst. Prof. Ali Osmay Güre), Ihsan Dogramaci Bilkent University, Turkey
06/2012 – 09/2012: Internship, Division of Biophysics of Macromolecules (Dr. Katalin Tóth) German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
01/2011– 06/2014: Research Assistant, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (Asst. Prof. Ali Osmay Güre), Ihsan Dogramaci Bilkent University, Turkey

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my Bachelor in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Ihsan Dogramaci Bilkent University, I realized that I have a deep interest in cancer biology. I am fascinated by cancer biology which encourages me to ask further questions about this field. My fascination to the field has nourished my ambition to conduct research and to gain experience throughout my undergraduate education. My current scientific interests in cancer biology are cancer epigenetics and gene biomarker detection which I have better understanding and talent for. I am willing to focus on cancer biology in my future science career and I want to complete my PhD about my interest. By having experiences from my previous research and being knowledgeable about cancer biology, I feel ready for further scientific challenges.

Contact
c.selcuk  (at) dkfz.de

Can SÖNMEZER (Turkey)

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University Education
2011-2014: University of Heidelberg – BSc in Biological Sciences

Highest Degree
BSc in Biological Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The  crosstalk between Wnt signaling and extracellular vesicle secretion

Internships/Work Experience
01.08.2012 – present: Student Researcher – Drukker Lab – Helmholtz Centre Munich

Research Interests/Future Plans
For over two years I have been working in Drukker Lab at Helmholtz Centre Munich where we study the single cell biology of human cancer and stem cells. Single cell analysis techniques can help resolve cellular heterogeneity both in vivo and in vitro. Employing these techniques, we aim to determine the mutational landscape of breast and lung tumors, as well as to investigate the transcriptional network that governs the exit from human pluripotency, both on single cell resolution. To this end we developed a novel procedure that increases the throughput and decreases the cost of sequencing-based single cell analyses by introducing molecular barcodes to sequenced DNA molecules, thereby enabling pooled sequencing of numerous single cells.
Furthermore, I am interested in the molecular biology of stem and cancer stem cells, especially in the development of novel methods that will enable the translation of biological research into public health care.

Contact
c.soenmezer (at) dkfz.de

Gintvile VALINCIUTE (Lithuania)

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University Education
Oct 2014 – present: pursuing M. Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and DKFZ, Heidelberg (Germany)
Sept 2012 – Jan 2013: ERASMUS Exchange studies at University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
Sept 2010 – June 2014: B. Sc. in Genetics at Vilnius University (Lithuania)

Highest Degree
B. Sc. in Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
APC, RUNX3 and TBX2 DNA methylation in prostate tumors

Internships
Jan 2013 – Jan 2014: Human Genome Research Centre, Vilnius University (Lithuania). Project “DNA methylation in prostate tumors” in the group of Prof. Dr. Sonata Jarmalaite
Feb 2014 – June 2014: Human Genome Research Centre, Vilnius University (Lithuania). Bachelor thesis project in the group of Prof. Dr. Sonata Jarmalaite

Research Interests/Future Plans
Since I was a child I was dreaming about doing something meaningful and helping people. I believe this dream grew stronger with every year of my bachelor studies at Vilnius University where I became extremely interested in cancer genetics and epigenetics. Being at DKFZ and joining “Cancer Biology” program will help me grow as a scientist, a cancer researcher, will help me fulfill my dream and, I hope, will provide me with opportunity to better understand not only genetics and epigenetics of the disease, but also broaden my knowledge about other fields of cancer research, such as radiology, impact of virus, cancer stem cells, therapy and others. After my master studies I plan to pursue PhD at DKFZ and continue my scientific career in Academia.

Contact
g.valinciute (at) dkfz.de

Sophia WILD (Germany)

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University Education
10/2014 - present: Master of Science in Molecular Bioscience Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2011 - 10/2014: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biotechnology Major Drug Discovery, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
shRNA-Mediated proteasomal gene knockdown in primary human colon cancer initiating cells

Internships
05/2014 - 08/2014: Bachelor Thesis in the Group of Prof. Dr. Hanno Glimm, Department Translational Oncology, Section Applied Stem Cell Biology at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg
04/2014 - 05/2014: Research Internship in the Group of Prof. Dr. Hanno Glimm, Department Translational Oncology, Section Applied Stem Cell Biology at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg
08/2013 - 09/2013: Industrial Internship in the Group of Uwe Rufer, Department DNA-Analytic at the BASF, Ludwigshafen
06/2011 - 07/2011: Research Internship in the Group of Prof. Dr. Axel Ulrich, Department Molecular Biology at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried (Munich)
11/2012 - present: Student Research Assistant in the Group of Prof. Dr. Hanno Glimm,
Department Translational Oncology, Section Applied Stem Cell Biology at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is one of the major causes of death in both men and women worldwide. Developing strategies and identifying novel therapeutic targets turns out to be a huge challenge due to the complexity and molecular variety of cancer cells. Recent studies have postulated that only a small subpopulation of cancer cells, termed tumor-initiating cells, are responsible for long-term tumor formation, drug resistance and self-renewal. Thus, tumor-initiating cells represent a promising new molecular target for anticancer drug development. In this context I would like to focus on tumor- initiating cells in lung and breast cancer which both stand out due to their poor diagnosis. Furthermore, I am interested in immunotherapy and virotherapy which, in my opinion, are both highly promising therapeutic strategies. The master program „Cancer Biology“ gives me the opportunity to pursue and further develop my knowledge and interest in cancer research and to work in a highly motivated, international community. I am looking forward to the next two years at the DKFZ.

Contact
sophia.wild (at) nct-heidelberg.de

Eugenie Soon May WONG (Malaysia)

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University Education
10/2014 - present: pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and DKFZ, Heidelberg (Germany)
09/2010 – 07/2014: B.Sc. in Life Sciences, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan)

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Life Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Identification of up- and down-regulated proteins in doxorubicin-resistant uterine cancer cells: Reticulocalbin-1 plays a key role in the development of doxorubicin-associated resistance

Internships
07/2012 – 07/2014: Laboratory of Dr. Hong-Lin Chan, Institute of Bioinformatics and Structural Biology, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) – Bachelor Thesis

Research Interests/Future Plans
Life Science includes a large field and among these fields, I am more interested in cancer biology which cancer is one of the most threatening diseases in our life. With those practical laboratory experiences on cancer research using proteomic analysis technique for my bachelor thesis, I am always fascinated about signal transduction, mechanism of drug resistance and epigenetic regulation in cancer cells, relationship between small non-coding RNA and cancers and so on. I would also like to gain more understanding about translational research. I believe that research is the fundamental way to understand those complicated diseases such as cancer and can also improve medical treatment for cancer patients by identifying more markers for early diagnosis of cancers and having greater and more specific drug for cancer patients when we have more understanding.

Contact
e.wong (at) dkfz.de

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