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Cell Biology and Tumor Biology

Research Program

Cell Biology and Tumor Biology

Research Program

Cell Biology and Tumor Biology

Coordinator Prof. Dr. Andreas Trumpp

The Research Program (FSP-A) concentrates the basic cell and tumor biology-focused research groups at the Center. The FSP-A groups focus on either the molecular, cellular and functional analysis of the mechanisms leading to tumor initiation, tumor promotion and tumor progression including metastasis or tackle fundamental discipline-independent biological questions. The scientists of the Research Program “Cell and Tumor Biology” pursue towards this end the following specific aims:

  • They investigate how genome stability is ensured, as inherited or acquired alterations in the genome are causative for tumor initiation and progression. The experimental program also focuses on epigenetic mechanisms and RNA biology.
  • They study cell surveillance and damage control mechanisms, which allow cells to monitor molecular processes and respond to pathologic damage. This includes the control of protein stability and turnover.
  • They unravel critical signaling pathways and networks that enable cells to perceive and correctly respond to information and to govern cellular processes. Scientists in this research program investigate how dysregulation of these mechanisms is linked to malignancies.
  • They analyze cell differentiation pathways and the biology of stem and progenitor cells, taking into consideration that perturbed cell differentiation and dysregulated stem cell programs are at the heart of many oncological and non-oncological diseases.
  • They exploit the complexity of tumor cell interactions with their microenvironment to analyze a tumor not just as a clump of tumor cells leading to local disease, but rather as a complex pathologic organ causing systemic disease. Metabolic changes are studied as risk factors and consequences of tumorigenesis and tumor progression.
To tackle these issues, the scientists employ a broad array of highly specialized molecular, cellular and organismic tools and techniques. With scientific excellence being the primary recruitment criterion, outstanding groups are affiliated with the FSP-A. Thus, their cutting- edge basic cell and tumor biology research establishes the knowledge-based foundation for rational translation and exploitation into medical application for some of the most devastating human diseases. For a conceptually broader basic science appreciation beyond its primary tumor biology focus, DKFZ’s Cell and Tumor Biology Research Program is part of the DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, a strategic partnership between the FSP-A and the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH), which was established in 2007 in order to overcome the classical boundaries between the two strong university and non-university institutions on the Heidelberg campus. Details about research projects of the individual FSP-A research groups can be found on the following pages.


Topic Locator

Find research groups by research areas or browse through all research groups and PI names.


The DKFZ-ZMBH-Alliance is a strategic alliance between the Research Program Cell and Tumor Biology and the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University.

Research Results

Here you can find our latest press releases.

Junior Research Groups

At German Cancer Research Center the following Junior Research Groups have been established.

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