Dr. Lars Feuerbach

Dr. Lars Feuerbach

Dr. Lars Feuerbach


Group Leader


Team Leader Comparative Cancer Genomics





Research interests:

The direct and indirect footprints of evolutionary forces in the genome are most fascinating. In the early stages of my career I focused my studies on the impact of DNA methylation on the CpG content of functional elements during the evolution of vertebrate genomes. For instance, the resulting signatures are strong enough to predict the methylation levels of ALU repeats or to identify the promoters of miRNAs in the human genome.

More recently, I also became interested in the somatic evolution of cancer cells, in particular prostate cancer. Here, similar processes take place, but instead of several million years the results become apparent within the lifespan of our patients and impact their health. Moreover, the etiology of cancers is complex but follows certain patterns that imply that a multitude of different mutations all converge on a very narrow set of evolutionary trajectories tumor cells do follow.

To this end, my team develops and applies computational methods to analyze the sequenced genomes, epigenomes and transcriptomes of large cohorts of patients to identify similarities and difference between the subtypes of cancer.


Curriculum vitae

Research Positions:

04/2014- today Team Leader Comparative Cancer Genomics Department of Applied Bioinformatics German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

10/2011-03/2014 Bioinformatician Computational Oncology, Theoretical Bioinformatics German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

10/2007-09/2011 Graduate Research Assistant Computational Biology and Applied Algorithms Department Max-Planck Institut für Informatik, Saarbrücken, Germany



01/2014 PhD degree (Dr rer. Nat.) University of Saarland

10/2005 – 08/2007 Master of Science (MSc) with Honor’s Degree - Bioinformatics Center for Bioinformatics, University of Saarland, Germany

09/2002 – 07/2005 Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Bioinformatics Free University of Berlin, Germany


Selected publications

Lars Feuerbach, Rune B. Lyngsoe, Thomas Lengauer, Jotun Hein
Reconstructing the ancestral germline methylation state of young repeats
Molecular biology and evolution 2011;28(6):1777-84

Lars Feuerbach, Konstantin Halachev, Yassen Assenov, Fabian Müller, Christoph Bock
Analyzing epigenome data in context of genome evolution and human diseases
Methods Mol. Biol. 2012,856:431-67

Bhattacharyya M, Feuerbach L, Bhadra T, Lengauer T, Bandyopadhyay S.
MicroRNA transcription start site prediction with multi-objective feature selection
Stat Appl Genet Mol Biol. 2012 Jan 6;11(1):Article 6.

Joachim Weischenfeldt*, Ronald Simon*, Lars Feuerbach*, Karin Schlangen*, Dieter Weichenhahn*, Sarah Minner*, Daniela Wuttig* et al.
Integrative Genomic Analyses Reveal an Androgen-Driven Somatic Alteration Landscape in Early-Onset Prostate Cancer
Cancer Cell, 2013, 23(2):169-170

Brocks D, Assenov Y, Minner S, Bogatyrova O, Simon R, Koop C, Oakes C, Zucknick M, Lipka DB, Weischenfeldt J, Feuerbach L, Cowper-Sal Lari R, Lupien M, Brors B, Korbel J, Schlomm T, Tanay A, Sauter G, Gerhäuser C, Plass C, ICGC Early Onset Prostate Cancer Project.
Intratumor DNA methylation heterogeneity reflects clonal evolution in aggressive prostate cancer
Cell Rep. 2014 Aug 7;8(3):798-806.

Alioto TS, Buchhalter I, Derdak S, Hutter B, Eldridge MD, Hovig E, Heisler LE, Beck TA, Simpson JT, Tonon L, Sertier AS, Patch AM, Jäger N, Ginsbach P, Drews R, Paramasivam N, Kabbe R, Chotewutmontri S, Diessl N, Previti C, Schmidt S, Brors B, Feuerbach L, Heinold M, Gröbner S, Korshunov A, Tarpey PS, Butler AP, Hinton J, Jones D, Menzies A, Raine K, Shepherd R, Stebbings L, Teague JW, Ribeca P, Giner FC, Beltran S, Raineri E, Dabad M, Heath SC, Gut M, Denroche RE, Harding NJ, Yamaguchi TN, Fujimoto A, Nakagawa H, Quesada V, Valdés-Mas R, Nakken S, Vodák D, Bower L, Lynch AG, Anderson CL, Waddell N, Pearson JV, Grimmond SM, Peto M, Spellman P, He M, Kandoth C, Lee S, Zhang J, Létourneau L, Ma S, Seth S, Torrents D, Xi L, Wheeler DA, López-Otín C, Campo E, Campbell PJ, Boutros PC, Puente XS, Gerhard DS, Pfister SM, McPherson JD, Hudson TJ, Schlesner M, Lichter P, Eils R, Jones DT, Gut IG.
A comprehensive assessment of somatic mutation detection in cancer using whole-genome sequencing
Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 9;6:10001.

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