Major Cancer Biology Students 2015

2nd Retreat of Major Cancer Biology:

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11.-12. June 2016 - Burg Liebenzell

 

After the great success of the first student retreat in 2015 we decided to make this an annual event and integral part of the Major Cancer Biology program.

 

"Our future, our career" - read about the 2016 retreat here...

13. October 2015: Our new students have arrived at the DKFZ - Welcome!

Very international - the Major Cancer Biology class of 2015 (picture taken in front of the TP3 Building on October 17)
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Yasmin DEMERDASH (Egypt)

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University Education
10/2015 – present: Pursuing Master of Science in "Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology" at Ruprecht-Karls-University and DKFZ in Heidelberg, Germany
10/2010 - 7/2015:  Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Biotechnology, German University in Cairo (GUC), Egypt

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Pharmacy and Biotechnology (Highest Honors)

Title of Bachelor Thesis

 

Internships/Professional Experience
July 2012: Internship in environmental microbiology in the German University in Cairo under the supervision of Dr. Mohamed El-Azizi
March 2013 - May 2013: Junior Teaching assistant in Microbiology lab in the German University in Cairo
June - July 2014: Intern in the research group of Prof. Dr. Albert Jeltsch in the institute of Biochemistry, Stuttgart University, Germany
August 2014:  Awarded a scholarship to attend a drug design workshop in Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
September 2015-October 2015: Teaching assistant in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department, German University in Cairo

Research Interests/Future Plans
When I decided to start a career in the research field, there were so many different research topics to choose from but it wasn’t hard for me to choose. Cancer research was my first choice with no doubt. Cancer has always shaped a great curiosity that I have had all my life and I have always been intrigued by the complexity and diversity of this disease. I am looking forward to gaining a deeper knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying these cellular changes, along with the associated risk factors. Additionally, I’m interested in learning about, the role of our immunity in fighting tumors, with an ultimate goal of taking part in the process of developing personalized treatments, early diagnostic markers and new preventive methods. My future goal is to go on with my PhD after finishing my master studies and then with my post-doctoral studies.

Contact
y.demerdash (at) dkfz.de

Timothy M. DEMERS (USA)

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University Education
2011-2015: Bachelors of Science: Biology; Elon University, USA
 
Highest Degree

Bachelors of Science: Biology

Undergraduate Research Experience
Oil dispersant disrupts zatp 1a1a.1 ATPase expression within the skin and gills of zebrafish

Intern or work:
2015: Genetics Laboratory Teaching Assistant: Elon University, USA
2014: Cell Biology Laboratory Teaching Assistant: Elon University, USA

Research Interests/Future Plans
Through the completion of the cancer biology masters program at the DKFZ, I intend to gain a solid foundation in the practical application of modern cancer research methods. This will allow me to continue to the PhD level and explore the specific topics that I find academically and personally simulating. These include the use of viral vectors for specific targeting in cancer treatments. Additionally the alteration of stem cells when presented with cancerous growth. The DKFZ provides a professional and perfect climate to achieve these academic goals.

Contact
t.demers (at) dkfz.de

Rana FETIT (Egypt)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: Pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
10/2010-06/2015: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), German University in Cairo (GUC)

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Pharmacy and Biotechnology (Highest Honours)

Internships/Professional Experience
1 Sept - 31 Oct 14: Lab Intern - Determining IC50 of potential anti-cancer drugs on HepG2, A-549, MCF-7, HCT-117 cancer cell lines. Tissue Culture and Cell Engineering lab, Molecular and cellular Biology research group (MCB) Dr. Iman Omar Gomaa, GUC
1 Aug 14 - 25 Aug 14: Lab Intern - Synthesis, structure-activity relationships of (SERMs) selective oestrogen receptor modulators; Tamoxifen Pharmaceutical and Analytical chemistry Department, Prof. Dr. Ashraf Abadi, GUC
1 Aug 13 – 28 Aug 13: Lab Intern- MyD88 fusion constructs/ GATFU-Embryos genotyping/ RFP expression analysis Immunology Department, Prof. Hans Jeorg Fehling , University Clinic Ulm, Germany
Mar 2013 – May 2013: Junior Teaching Assistant, Microbiology Lab - GUC
1 Jul 2012 – 30 Jul 2012: Intern- Microbial degradation of selected Xenobiotics in different Egyptian ecosystems; Bio-Remediation and Bacterial Training Microbiology and Instrumental Analysis labs, Prof. Dr. Mohamed El-Azizi - GUC

Research Interests/Future Plans
Genetics; the expression and repression, complex webs of interconnected signalling that, I believe, holds the key to understanding ourselves, and the life around us. With understanding the proper functioning of genes, comes the urge to understand what goes wrong; eliciting mutations. I have developed an interest in Cancer Biology since the beginning of my undergraduate studies. Whilst the focus of my course was on a different domain, I have tried to orient my research internships parallel with my research interests. Here I am at DKFZ; the heart of cancer research, exposing myself to different aspects of the field I find equally interesting! Research is challenging, but I am determined to continue all the way to PhD, taking part in conferences and publishing papers in high-impact journals. I want my work to matter. I want to see our contributions transferred to the public health care. Cancer Biology is a field I enjoy; and what is better than working on something one is truly passionate about!

Contact
r.fetit (at) dkfz.de

Özge GIZLENCI (Turkey)

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University Education
2015 - Present: M.Sc., Molecular Biosciences - Major Cancer Biology,German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg / Heidelberg - GERMANY
2010 – 2015: B.Sc., Molecular Biology and Genetics, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University / Ankara - TURKEY
 
Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Investigation of tumor suppression systems in long-lived mammalian transcriptomes

Internships
2015 August - 2015 September: Haploid screens on embryonic stem cells by CRISPR/Cas9 System. Dr. Ulrich Elling, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), Campus Vienna Biocenter (CVBC)
2014 September - 2015 July: 1. Investigation of tumor suppression systems in long-lived mammalian transcriptomes. 2. The effect of induced chronic stress on aging by measuring the short term memory and analysis of telomere length of mice model. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Somel, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Middle East Technical University
2014 June - 2014 September: The role of trh gene in tracheal development of Drosophila melanogaster. Dr. Boris Adryan, Department of Genetics and Cambridge System Biology Centre, University of Cambridge
2013 October - 2014 April: Characterization of therapeutic drug peptide chlorotoxin (CTX) on MCF-7 cells. METU SYBORG, Assoc. Prof. Dr, Can ÖZEN, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University
2012 September - 2013 April: Relation between the colon cancer and expression of estrogen receptors. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sreeparna Banerjee, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University
2012 August - 2012 September: Comparison of miRNA expression of mice brains exposed to Wi-Fi and radiofrequency signal. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin Erdal, the Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Mersin University Medical School

Research Interests/Future Plans
By the help of courses I enrolled and research experiences, my research interest in cancer biology has developed in meantime. Of particular interest, I have gained a curiosity toward cell and tumor biology while dealing with cell growth and formation of systems of the organism during my internships. I set out further to increase my knowledge about the tumor formation and interaction with the environment by taking developmental biology and immunology courses. In that process, I have been fascinated by the stem cells and their excellent potential to become any cell when manipulated. Hence, I aimed to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the formation of tumor cells via stem cells and to go further for the novel cancer therapy by using these intriguing cells and their mechanisms.

Contact
o.gizlenci (at) dkfz.de

Florian GRÜNSCHLÄGER (Germany)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: Pursuing M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht–Karls–University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
10/2012 - 08/2015: B.Sc. in Human- and Molecular Biology, Saarland University

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The impact of T helper 17 cells and their cytokines on HPV infected keratinocytes

Internships
05/2015 - 08/2015: Bachelor Thesis, Department of Virology / Immunology at Saarland University Hospital (UKS), Saarland University
04/2015 - 05/2015: Internship, Department of Virology / Immunology at Saarland University Hospital (UKS), Saarland University

Research Interests/Future Plans
First and foremost I was intrigued by the artful defense mechanisms, which the immune system uses to locate and fight infectious agents as well as cancer cells. During my course of studies I then learned how pathogens as well as cancer cells can outsmart the immune system by even more artful mechanisms. Especially the hallmarks of cancer proposed by Hanahan and Weinberg aroused my interest. Working on my bachelor’s thesis I deepened my knowledge in the field of tumor immunology, especially regarding the recruitment and alternation in signal transduction of immune cells, eventually leading to pro-tumorigenic responses within the tumor microenvironment. Over the next two years of study I intend to acquire a deeper knowledge in the various fields of cancer research conducted by the DKFZ, leading to a better understanding of tumor development, immunology, and treatment. After my Master’s degree, I aim at pursuing my PhD in cutting-edge cancer research in order to allow a greater understanding in the biology of cancer and thereby hopefully help to develop a more refined way of diagnosis and therapy.

Contact
f.gruenschlaeger (at) dkfz.de

Ignacio HERAS MURILLO (Spain)

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University Education
10/2015 – current: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology, Universität Heidelberg and DKFZ, Germany
09/2011 – 06/2015: B.Sc. in Health Biology, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

Highest Degree
Bachelor’s Degree in Health Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
The role of SOD3 in tumor vasculature

Internships/Professional Experience
06/2013 - 07/2013: Summer internship in the group of Dr. Germán Rivas Caballero, Biological Research Centre (CIB-CSIC, Spain). ‘Biochemical analysis of proteins involved in bacterial division’
01/2014 - 06/2014: Research Initiation Grant (Universidad de Alcalá, Spain) in the group of Dr. Mª del Mar Royuela García, Department of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Universidad de Alcalá. ‘Localization and distribution of members of TNFα/NF-kB transduction pathway in prostate cancer, and its relation with PSA levels’
02/2015 – 06/2015: Research Initiation Grant (JAE intro, CSIC, Spain) in the group of Dr. Santos Mañes Brotón, Department of Immunology and Oncology, National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC, Spain). ‘Role of SOD-3 in tumor vasculature’
07/2015 – 09/2015: Summer Research Grant (Spanish Association Against Cancer, Spain) in the group of Dr. Santos Mañes Brotón, Department of Immunology and Oncology, National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC, Spain). ‘Role of SOD-3 in tumor vasculature’

Research Interest/Future Plans
I have always been interested in cancer since I first realized the increasing incidence it has in our environment. Additionally, throughout my degree in Health Biology, I have become increasingly fascinated by the ability of cancer cells to avoid our defenses and pursue their goal of proliferation.
Now, I have particular research interest in the crosstalk between cancer cells and immune cells. I find the immune system and its efficient modulation as the essential tool to battle different types of cancer and therefore, I think a better understanding of the tumor immunology is crucial for the development of new therapies.
Through this program, it is my intention to gain a deep understanding of cancer biology as well as in state-of-the-art techniques, both essential for succeeding in my next academic goal, the PhD.

Contact
i.herasmurillo (at) dkfz.de

Tobias HERRMANN (Germany)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
08/2014 - 12/2014: Study abroad at the California State University Channel Islands, USA
10/2012 - 06/2015: B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, Johann-Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biological Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Characterization of recombined Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara

Internships
02/2015 - 07/2015: Bachelor Thesis, Department of “AIDS, new and emerging pathogens” at Paul-Ehrlich Institute in Langen
02/2014 - 03/2014: Internship, at biotechnological research group of Prof. Boles at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main

Research Interests/Future Plans
Growing knowledge about molecular mechanisms of human cancer progression is one of the most fascinating aspect of my biological studies. During my study abroad program I was getting first insights into cancer biology making me eager to deepen my knowledge in the field of cancer immunology. During my bachelors I was characterizing a recombined virus strain in order to use it as a tool against cancer. This remarkable strategy makes me focus on establishing further oncolytic virus therapies. Therefore, I want to get a broad knowledge about tumorigenesis and its crosstalk to the human immune system. Learning those theoretical principals and combine them to the state of the art technologies in the laboratories of the DKFZ can perfectly prepare me for the future work within the cancer research.

Contact
tobias.herrmann (at) dkfz.de
https://de.linkedin.com/in/tobias-herrmann-38930510a

Zhivka HRISTOVA (Bulgaria)

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University Education
10/2015 – current: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major: Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
8/2011 – 5/2013: Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA
8/2009 – 5/2011: Associate of Science in Biology and Chemistry, Cottey College, Missouri, USA

Highest Degree
BA in Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
How Drosophila melanogaster larval fat body escapes early cell death: repression of apoptotic gene E74A by βFTZ-F1

Internships
6/2013 – 9/2015: Research Assistant, Simon John Lab, The Jackson Laboratory, Maine, USA
5/2012 – 5/2013: Thesis Research Student, Craig Woodard Lab, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA
1/2012 – 5/2013: Teaching Assistant, Organic Chemistry Lab, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA
5/2010 – 7/2010: Research Assistant, Forensic Chemistry, Cottey Colege, Missouri, USA
8/2009 – 5/2011: Laboratory Worker, Chemistry Department, Cottey College, Missouri, USA

Research Interests/Future Plans
A complex and multifactorial disease such as cancer requires an interdisciplinary research approach. Thus I chose the Molecular Biosciences program as a way to look at the broader picture before I decide on a particular research focus. In general, I am interested in studying the molecular basis of cancer, the fine balance between cell survival and cell death which makes the difference between homeostasis maintenance and disease development. My main areas of interest are cell death, tumor immunology, and translational oncology. The questions I am searching answers for are how a cancerous cell escapes programmed cell death, why some cancer patients seem to respond better to traditional treatments than others, and can we use the patient’s own immune system to specifically target only tumor cells. Finally because every cancer patient’s case is different, I hope one day to be able to contribute to the currently developing field of personalized medicine.

Contact
z.hristova (at) dkfz.de

Md. Saiful ISLAM (Bangladesh)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: Pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg and DKFZ
01/2010 - 09/2014: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), University of Chittagong, Bangladesh

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis

Internships
05/2015 - 09/2015: Research Assistant at Phytochemistry Lab, Mohammad Abu Bakar, BCSIR Laboratories, Chittagong
06/2014 - 08/2014: Summer Research Intern at Tumor Suppression lab, Dr. Manuel Serrano, CNIO-Spain
10/2013 - 02/2014: Research Assistant at PRTC lab, Prof. AMAM Zunaed Siddiki, CVASU,Chittagong

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my Bachelor studies I had opportunity  to study the various aspects of Cancer Development although these were in brief. Really I felt fascination for cancer research while studying Cell signalling and signal transduction.
Finally my interest for cancer biology concentrated after my summer internship on Molecular Oncology program. Now ,my target for the next two years is  to the better understanding of various mechanisms of cancer development and also to develop my practical skills by working under the guidance of especlized  scientists during practical courses and internships here at DKFZ.
As I am from a developing country like Bangladesh where early and proper diagnosis of cancer is still a big concern as well as the expenses of cancer treatment. So I would like to work for the development of cost effective cancer diagnostic tools and cancer immunotherapy.
After completing Masters course at DKFZ I plan to get a PhD and also to pursue a career of cancer research.

Contact
mohammedsaiful.islam (at) dkfz.de

Jeyan JAYARAJAN (India)

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University Education
2015 - Present: Master of Science: Molecular Biosciences (Major: Cancer Biology) / Heidelberg University & DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center), Heidelberg, Germany
2011 - 2015: Bachelor of Technology: Biotechnology / SRM University, TamiNadu, India

Highest Degree
B.Tech Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Effect of curcumin on multi-drug resistance in HT-29 colon cancer cell line

Internships
May 2012: Biozone research Lab, Chennai, India
May 2014: Sundaram Medical Foundation Hospital Lab, Chennai, India

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is soon about to overtake diabetes as the leading cause of death, but we still do not have a definitive cure for it. This instilled the interest in me to fight against this dreadful disease that takes away so many lives worldwide. Each type of cancer and the different subtypes have their own molecular mechanisms to proliferate and survive indefinitely. My main aim is to work towards the study of various molecular pathways and the factors responsible for tumour progression and to identify potential targets for effective treatment. I am also interested in studying the various barriers to effective treatment with existing chemotherapeutic drugs, such as Multi-Drug Resistance. I believe that my Masters studies would provide me the necessary knowdledge and techniques to move towards that aim, and also prepare me to pursue a Ph.D.

Contact
j.jayarajan (at) dkfz.de

Oguzhan KAYA (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
10/2014 - 06/2015: Magister of Science in Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Sweden
09/2010 - 06/2015: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul Arel University, Turkey

Highest Degree
Magister of Science (Swedish) in Molecular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Dissecting Alternative Strategies to Target Polycomb Group Proteins to Drosophila Genome

Internships/Professional Experience
10/2015 - present: Student aid (HiWi) at the DKFZ Career Service. German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
10/2014 - 06/2015: Degree Thesis Project, “Dissecting Alternative Strategies to Target Polycomb Group Proteins to Drosophila Genome” with Dr. Yuri Schwartz, Supervisor. Umeå University, Sweden
03/2014 - 08/2014: Undergraduate Research Trainee, “Functional Characterization of HNF1A Candidate Mutations and Exploration the Causative MODY Gene in the Turkish MODY Suspected Patients by Exome Sequencing” with Dr. Ozlem Yalcın Capan, Faculty Mentor. Istanbul Arel University, Turkey
07/2013-02/2014: Vocational Internship, “Bioengineered Normal and Disease Kidney Tubules for High-throughput Studies.” with Dr. Jing Zhou, Faculty Mentor. Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women`s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
06/2012-09/2012: Summer Internship, “Role of Cell Adhesion Molecules and Glial Cells in Olfactory System of Drosophila” with Dr. Arzu Celik, Faculty Mentor. Bogazici University, Turkey
09/2011-06/2013: Undergraduate Researcher, “Analysis of the Genetic Etiology of MODY in Turkish Diabetic Patients” with Dr. Ergul Berber, Faculty Mentor. Istanbul Arel University, Turkey

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my bachelor’s program, I tried to experience many research areas to get a better feeling about what I would like to do after graduation. In the meantime, the Tumor Biology course I have taken in Sweden greatly aroused my interest in Cancer Biology. In my opinion, although there are available treatments which aim to cure cancer, tissue specific molecular methods should be used to modify these therapies with respect to the patients’ genotype rather than respect to the cancer type to maximize the possible response rate. In vitro human cell line models could be one of the approaches. In future, I would like to eventually pursue an academic career through my deep interest in Cancer Biology. I believe that the MSc program at Heidelberg University and DKFZ will provide me the ideal opportunity to start and built-up my graduate adventure in Cancer Research.

Contact
o.kaya (at) dkfz.de

Umut KILIK (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
09/2010 - 6/2015: B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Istanbul Technical University (I.T.U)

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Investigation of effect of IFN-β on JAK-STAT mediated BAFF production in Helicobacter pylori G27 sonicate treated KATO-III cells

Internships
09/2014 - 06/2015: Bachelor thesis with the group of Dr. Ayça Sayı Yazgan (ITU Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, Molecular Immunology Laboratory at Istanbul Technical University MOBGAM Research Center)
09/2014 - 05/2015: Student Assistant in I.T.U Molecular Biology and Genetics Department for Biochemistry I & II laboratory courses
06/2014 - 08/2014: Internship with the group of Christian Buchholz (Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Gene Therapy, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Frankfurt, Germany) Combination of promoter targeting and microRNA detargeting approaches for lentiviral transduction to liver sinusoidal endothelial cells
03/2014 - 06/2014: Practice in Molecular Biology Course under supervision of Marie Louise Hammarström (Department of Clinical Microbiology, Immunology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden) In vitro study of bacterial influence on intestinal epithelium in celiac disease
06/2013 - 08/2013: Internship with the group of Dr. Evren Alıcı (Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet) Immunomodulation of NK-92 cell line and human natural killer cells for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my undergraduate studies I was involved in different branches of molecular biology research including cancer, gene therapy, molecular immunology and infection biology apart from my courses. In light of these experiences I realized I would like to contribute to human welfare through the knowledge of cancer biology. At that point DKFZ was my choice due to its well-respected and extensive faculty. My future goal is to elaborate my research skills by practicing cutting-edge research for establishing efficient and novel immunotherapies.

Contact
u.kilik (at) dkfz.de

Miriam MELAKE (Germany)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences (Major Cancer Biology), University of Heidelberg and the DKFZ
10/2012 - 09/2015 – B.Sc. in Molecular Biomedicine, University of Bonn, Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biomedicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Identification of differentially expressed genes following melanoma-endothelial cell interactions

Internships
07/2015 - 09/2015: Internship at the Simpson Querry Institute for Bionanotechnology at Northwestern University in Chicago, United States. Project: The effects of synthetic high density lipoprotein-like nanoparticles and human melanoma cell derived exosomes on human endothelial cells
08/2014 - 06/2015: Internship and bachelor thesis at the Department of experimental Dermatology at the University Hospital in Bonn, Germany. Project: Identification of differentially expressed genes following melanoma-endothelial cell interactions in a co-culture setting and the generation of a melanoma cell line deficient in a differentially expressed candidate gene (via CRISPR/Cas9)
06/2012 - 07/2012: Internship at the Helmholtz institute for Applied Medical Sciences in the department for Tissue Engineering at RWTH University in Aachen, Germany

Research Interests/Future Plans
To my mind the most intriguing aspect of cancer research is that one can approach the underlying disease mechanisms from various different angles. Due to identified cancer causes a broad variety of interesting starting points for therapies arise. I am interested in the development of such cancer-type specific therapies that require deep studies of the molecular dysregulation leading to aberrant cell phenotypes. Apart from studying the molecular changes within cancer cells I am also keen on understanding how cancer cells interact with cells in the tumour microenvironment, e.g. immune cells or endothelial cells, and which mechanisms underlie the generation of a cancer-promoting environment. During my master studies at the DKFZ I aim at gaining the scientific skills to unmask potential targets involved in cancer development and spread in order to develop new innovative and specific therapies.

Contact
m.melake (at) dkfz.de

Julia MESSMER (Germany)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
10/2012 - 08/2015: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biomedicine, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biomedicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Targeted point mutagenesis of the endogenous Trp53 gene in murine tumor cell lines using CRISPR/Cas9

Internships
02/2015 - 08/2015: Bachelor thesis in the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology (Prof. Hölzel), University Hospital Bonn, Germany 11/2014 - 12/2014: Department of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology (Prof. Hölzel), University Hospital Bonn, Germany

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my bachelor studies in Bonn I have discovered my passion for cancer research. I am fascinated by the heterogeneity and diversity of tumor diseases. Especially, I am interested in the investigation of the mechanisms of interaction between cancer and the immune system, and in genomics. For me, it is important to focus on a subject of which I really believe to be of value for the public. I want to contribute to a better understanding of tumor diseases in order to improve their treatment. I hope the master’s program at the DKFZ will provide a solid training on current methods and it will allow me to get insight in the latest discoveries in the field of cancer biology, so I can pursue a PhD program afterwards.

Contact
j. messmer (at) dkfz.de

Deepthi NAGALLA (India)

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University Education
2015 - PRESENT: Master of Science: molecular (Major in cancer biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
2011-2015: Bachelor of technology: Biotechnology, SRM university, Tamil nadu, India

Highest Degree
B.TECH biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Facile synthesis of pH sensitive chitosan enclosed mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) and their application in drug delivery

Internships
May 2014: Madras Veterinery College, Chennai, Training in Department of Animal Biotechnology
May 2013: Geomairine biotechnologies, Chennai, Training in industrial biotechnology
May 2012:  DNA Labs India, Hyderabad, Proficiency in industrial microbiology 

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is an incredibly variable set of disease, reckless malignant growth of cells of which, despite intense amounts of research remains poorly understood. Having been exposed to the various facets of Biotechnology, I have found Medical biotechnology most intellectually satisfying and stimulating. Courses like ‘cancer biology’, ‘theory of stem cells’, have been my firm favourites. At the same time, cancer is now one of the most leading problems affecting many with a never ending research. This adds to their appeal and my keen interest to work in this field. During my bachelor’s degree exposure to several guest lectures on cancer treatment triggered me to develop more interest in cancer biology. And the 15 year old teen Jack Thomas Andraka who discovered the tests for detecting pancreatic cancer with help of carbon Nano tubules at its early stage has always been an inspiration to me. Also due to certain limitations in my bachelors I was not able to pursue my thesis in cancer field and I hope DKFZ will prove immensely fruitful and facilitate my development as an individual researcher in the field of cancer biology with their cutting edge laboratories and extensive faculty.

Contact
d.nagalla  (at) dkfz.de

Tijana PEROVIĆ (Serbia)

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University Education
2011-2015: Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Physiology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
 

Internships
08-10/2015: Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona
08-09/2014: Max Planck for Infection Biology, Berlin

Research Interests/Future Plans
I am genuinely interested in understanding the conditions and cellular milieu which lead to tumor development as well as the ones that contribute to its diminishment. I would like to explore how tumor cells survive and what cross-talk takes place among them. Moreover, I am interested in the mechanisms underlying cancer cell's ability to "corrupt" the surrounding tissue, especially immune cells. Throughout this master program I wish to have a closer look on the lives on cancer cells and ways of exploring them, so that my master thesis could be a small contribution to better understanding of this dazzling phenomenon.

Contact
t.perovic (at) dkfz.de

Gemma PIDELASERRA MARTÍ (Spain)

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University Education
10/2015 - Present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biology with a Major in Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (Germany)
09/2010 - 06/2015: B.Sc. in Biotechnology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), including an ERASMUS Exchange Program (08/2013 - 06/2014) at Universitetet i Bergen (Norway)

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

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Cancer-associated fibroblasts: key drivers of tumorigenesis

Internships
07/2014 - 08/2014: Research Assistant on FAS alternative splicing regulation (Group Leader: Dr. Juan Valcárcel), at the Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, Barcelona, Spain
02/2014 - 05/2014: Research Assistant on Mucosal Immunology at the Broegelmann Research Laboratory, Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, Norway
07/2012 - 08/2012: Laboratory Technician’s Assistant on Renal Immunology at the Nephrology Laboratory, Bellvitge Hospital, Barcelona, Spain
07/2009 - 09/2009: Research Assistant on Microbiology (as part of the Baccalaureate’s Thesis), at the Dept. of Animal Health and Anatomy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Research Interests/Future Plans
I regard cancer as a set of multifactorial diseases, all meeting general hallmarks, but reaching them through different molecular alterations. The pathways impaired on cancer development and metastasis are of such variety and complexity, that general treatments cannot face the heterogeneity of the disease.
Thus, to my understanding, development of personalized treatments by taking advantage of our immune system’s specificity is a powerful tool to give each patient the chance to overcome cancer and reduce therapy resistance. I am willing to contribute to this field by taking part in the development of specific immune responses towards aberrant factors up-/down-regulated in cancer cells or cells from the tumour microenvironment.
Taking my Master at DKFZ will deepen my knowledge on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying cancer, provide me with current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and help me improve the technical skills required to accomplish a PhD in the near future.

Contact
g.pidelaserramarti (at) dkfz.de

Lopamudra SADHU (India)

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University Education
2015-present: Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences with majors in Cancer Biology at Dkfz, University of Heidelberg
2010-2014: Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) in Biotechnology from M.S RAMAIAH INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Bangalore, India

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Engineering (B.E), First class with Distinction

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Role of IGFBP2 in glioblastoma progression. (I was trying to investigate whether IGFBP2 regulates the beta catenin signalling pathway through 'Wnt' and other molecular players and the possible mechanism of cancer progression attributed by it.)

Internships
Aug 2014-Aug 2015: Worked as a Junior research fellow in the lab of Prof. Kondaiah, Department of MRDG at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. I was working on finding the epigenetic modifications that leads to the Oral Submucous Fibrosis & Oral squamous cell carcinoma progression. Additionally, I have also been associated with projects related to the TGF-beta signalling pathway and its role in cancer.
Jan-May 2014: Project Trainee during my bachelor's thesis work in the lab of Prof. Kondaiah, Department of MRDG at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
July-Sept 2013: Summer intern in the laboratory of Prof. Kondaiah, Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Research Interests/Future Plans
I am interested in understanding the functional links between epigenetic domains, chromosome conformation and gene expression in the context of cancer. DNA strand breaks, change in conformation of the 3D chromatin organization and the various genetic and epigenetic factors that influence these, forms some of the important hallmarks of cancer. Along with the knowledge of how the chromatin three-dimensional structure affects gene expression and how in cancer this process gets altered, I would also like to explore more about the non-coding RNAs that have been found to be key regulators of the protein signalling pathways underlying carcinogenesis in the past few years. But the modes of action of most of these remain unclear. A broader understanding of the mechanisms of action of non-coding RNAs, and the regulatory pathways, hierarchies and networks in which they operate, will greatly increase our understanding of their functions in cancer and open new therapeutic interventions to control their function and would also enable personalised treatment and targeted therapy.

Contact
l.sadhu (at) dkfz.de

Raisatun Nisa SUGIYANTO (Indonesia)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
09/2014 - 09/2015: Pharmacist, Pharmacy Professional Course, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
09/2010 - 08/2014: Bachelor of Sciences in Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Highest Degree
Pharmacist (certified)

Title of Bachelor or other Thesis
Secang (Caesalpinia sappan L.) heartwood as DNA damage prevention through antigenotoxicity activity based on MNPCE assay
Ethanolic extract of papaya (Carica papaya) leaf exhibits estrogenic effects In vivo and in silico
Ethanolic extract of papaya (Carica papaya) leaf improves blood cholestrerol profile and bone density in ovariectomized rats
Combination of Caesalpinia sappan, Brucea javanica extract, and cisplatin induces synergistic cytotoxic effect on WiDr cells
Antitumor effects of cinnamon bark’s oil (Cinnamomum burmannii) in human breast tumor xenograft mouse model

Internships
2014 - 2015: Cancer Chemoprevention Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Gadjah Mada as research assistant staff
2014 - 2015: Indonesian Journal of Cancer and Chemoprevention as Bussiness Manager and Editorial Staff
2015: Internship student at “IFARS” Indonesia, Pharmaceutical Industry: Division of Quality Assurance
2014: Internship student at “Biofarma” Indonesia, Industry of Life Sciences: Division of sera production

Research Interests/Future Plans
Being a pharmacist has opened my eyes that the key to a successful therapy is not only the correct diagnose from the physicians at the bedside but also the hard work from people who work at the bench to develop the medicine. I found the topics related to cancer especially engaging. Moreover, in recent years, the approach for the development of effective therapies are based on biological and molecular studies. Learning on how the cell cycle is regulated, the signalling pathway between the processes in the cell, how cancer cells escape from immune system, and spread to other organs through metastasis mechanism are some knowledge and research experience which I want to gain. Besides, I also interested in the field of translational oncology. By having a deeper understanding on the molecular and specific targets of therapy, it would encourage high quality research on the drugs development.

Contact
r.sugiyanto (at) dkfz.de

Chin Leng TAN (Malaysia)

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University Education
2015 - Present: MSc Molecular Biosciences (Major Cancer Biology) Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
04/2015 - 07/2015: Visiting Internship Student, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
09/2011 - 03/2015: BSc (Genetics and Molecular Biology) (Hons) University of Malaya, Malaysia

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (Genetics and Molecular Biology) (Hons)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Circular RNA: Validation and kinetic study of immunologic genes mUBE2D2, mPLCL2 and mCCL5.

Internships
04/2015 - 07/2015: Internship at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
09/2014 - 03/2015: Research Assistant at University of Malaya, Malaysia
07/2014 - 08/2014: Internship at University of Science, Malaysia
09/2013 - 06/2014: Bachelor Thesis at University of Malaya, Malaysia
07/2013 - 08/2013: Research Assistant at University of Malaya, Malaysia

Research Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is a phenomenon of biological disorder. It has no single etiology but rather arises from multiple aberrations. Although much research has been done to connect the puzzle, there are still a plethora of unknowns waiting to be answered. I am particularly interested in the molecular basis of tumorigenesis. Without knowing the underlying mechanism, it is difficult to devise effective treatments. With the cutting-edge research here in DKFZ, I have no doubt that I will be better equipped for a PhD position especially in multifaceted cancer research.

Contact
c.tan (at) dkfz.de

Dominik VONFICHT (Germany)

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University Education
10/2015 - today: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major: Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
10/2012 - 07/2015: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), French-German Bachelor in Human- & Molecular Biology, Saarland University, Germany & University of Strasbourg, France

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Effects of stromal RANKL deficiency on lymphocyte and macrophage homeostasis in secondary lymphoid organs

Internships
06/2014 - 07/2014: Internship at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IBMC), Strasbourg, CNRS UPR 3572, Group of Immune-microenvironment interactions in health and disease, Group leader: Dr. Christopher G. Müller
03/2015 - 07/2015: Bachelor Thesis at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IBMC), Strasbourg, CNRS UPR 3572, Group of Immune-microenvironment interactions in health and disease, Group leader: Dr. Christopher G. Müller

Research Interests/Future Plans
Throughout my whole studies I have been interested in the immune system and it's mechanisms to deal with pathogens as well as threats coming of one's own cells. I think that especially the interactions between cancer cells and immune cells are fascinating processes, particularly the mechanisms by which cancer cells avoid being detected as abnormal cells by the immune system. Moreover I want to learn more about the various causes and ways how healthy cells escape the cell cycle control caused by mutations or defective signaling pathways to ultimately undergo unhindered proliferation. In addition, I would like to have further insights into mechanisms by which oncogenic viruses like HPV or EBV can influence cells to become cancerous. The development of new anti-cancer drugs, which are highly specific for cancerous cells but not for sane cells is also a challenging mission, which I would like to be part of. I hope that this study program at the University of Heidelberg and the DKFZ will offer a great education and great opportunities for me to gain ground in the field of cancer biology. Furthermore the participating institutions offer a great scientific perspective, ranging from the assistance when writing the master thesis and supplementary support when I want to continue with a PhD after having finished the master's degree.

Contact
d.vonficht (at) dkfz.de

Vinona WAGNER (Germany)

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University Education
10/2012 - 09/2015: B.Sc. in Biomedical Science with Major Tumor Biology, Philipps University Marburg, Germany
10/2015 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biomedical Science

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Small non-coding RNAs as potential biomarkers for pancreatic cancer and neuroendocrine tumors

Internships
09/2011 - 04/2012: Internship at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) in Brisbane, Australia, Prof. Dr. Dietmar W. Hutmacher
09/2014 - 10/2014: Internship at the Department of Visceral, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery at the University Hospital Marburg, Germany, Dr. Emily P. Slater
02/2015 - 07/2015: Bachelor thesis at the Department of Visceral, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery at the University Hospital Marburg, Germany, Dr. Emily P. Slater

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my course of studies I developed a strong interest for the highly complex and diverse mechanisms that lead to the formation of cancer. I am particularly fascinated by the involvement of regulatory RNAs and their potential for diagnosis or treatment of cancer.
Over the next two years, I hope to gain an insight into the fascinating and cutting-edge research that is conducted in the DKFZ, in order to broaden my horizon and to discover new interests. I am also looking forward to expanding my theoretical knowledge and improving my practical skills, so that I can contribute to the field of cancer research.

Contact
vinona.wagner(at) dkfz.de

Ikra Gizem YILDIZ (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2015 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg / GERMANY
10/2009 - 06/2014: B.Sc. in Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Ankara / TURKEY

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis

Internships/Research Experience
08/2014 - 07/2015: Research Assistant, Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology - National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM), Bilkent University, Ankara / TURKEY
09/2013 - 06/2014: Special Project Student, Molecular Microbiology and Proteomics Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara / TURKEY
06/2013 - 09/2013: Intern, Microorganism and Enzyme Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center (MAM), Kocaeli / TURKEY

Research Interests/Future Plans
It was only a matter of which branch, as I consider all the aspects of molecular biosciences interesting. Then, I decided to focus on cancer biology since I believe cancer is a puzzle waiting to be resolved. Each single day, we encounter with new dimensions of cancer biology that we did not even imagine their existence before. In order to be a part of creating a more scientifically advanced tomorrow, I decided to continue my professional life with studies in cancer biology in DKFZ. I strongly believe that enlightening mysteries of tumorbiology is one of the best means of contributing to society. I am personally fascinated by how body’s own immune system fights against cancer, how tumor microenvironment affects the fate of the tumor mass and the individual cells in it and how immunotherapy can contribute to treatment of cancer.

Contact
i.yildiz (at) dkfz.de

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