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Samantha Zottnick, PhD

PhD Student, then Postdoctoral Scientist

Scientific CV

Since Aug 2022
Postdoctoral scientist, Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention, DKFZ, Heidelberg

2017 - 2022
PhD student, Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention, DKFZ, Heidelberg

2014 - 2017
MSc Biology, Major ‘Molecular Cell Biology & Immunology’, University of Tübingen

Apr 2016 - Oct 2016
Master’s thesis at the Cancer Science Unit, Southampton, UK

2011 - 2014
BSc Biology, University of Tübingen

Research Project

Analysis of factors that facilitate trafficking of vaccination-induced T cells to tumor sites

Human papillomaviruses can cause different malignancies, such as anogenital as well as head and neck cancer. In the search for a therapeutic HPV vaccine, promising preclinical data often fail to translate to a clinical setting. One of the major hurdles of therapeutic vaccination is to target the induced antigen-specific T cells to the tumor site. This is in part due to complex tissue-specific homing signals that T cells need to receive and recognize in order to migrate to the tumor site, and in part to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. In this project, an orthotopic HPV16 tumor model in the genital mucosa has been established in a mouse model expressing human MHC classes I and II. This model will be used to examine how vaccination-induced, HPV16-specific T cells can be attracted to the tumor site. Possibilities include mucosal vaccination routes, irradiation or application of immunomodulatory substances.

Resulting Publications

Development of an Orthotopic HPV16-Dependent Base of Tongue Tumor Model in MHC-Humanized Mice.
Schifflers C, Zottnick S, Förster JD, Kruse S, Yang R, Wiethoff H, Bozza M, Hoppe-Seyler K, Heikenwälder M, Harbottle RP, Michiels C, Riemer AB.  *Equal contributors.
Pathogens. 2023; 12(2):188.

Inducing immunity where it matters: orthotopic HPV tumor models and therapeutic vaccinations.
Zottnick S, Voß AL, Riemer AB.
Frontiers in Immunology 2020, 11: 1750.

Therapeutic vaccination using minimal HPV16 epitopes in a novel MHC-humanized murine HPV tumor model.
Kruse S, Büchler M, Uhl P, Sauter M, Scherer P, Lan TCT, Zottnick S, Klevenz A, Yang R, Rösl F, Mier W, Riemer AB.
OncoImmunology 2018, 8(1): e1524694.

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