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Jonas D. Förster, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist


Phone: +49 6221 42 3823

Orcid ID: 0000-0003-3437-6738


Scientific CV

Since Dec 2023
Postdoctoral Scientist, Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention, DKFZ, Heidelberg

PhD student, Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention, DKFZ, Heidelberg

2017 - 2018
Research assistant, Junior Research Group Biological Information Processing, BioQuant, Heidelberg

2011 - 2017
MSc Molecular Biosciences, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg

2008 - 2011
BSc Molecular Cell Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg

Research Project

Mass spectrometry-based identification of HPV16 target epitopes for therapeutic vaccine design

The overall aim of the group is to develop a therapeutic vaccine against malignancies and precursor lesions caused by high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Identification of T-cell epitopes which are presented to the immune system on the surface of transformed cells is essential for rational vaccine development. A highly sensitive targeted nano-flow liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nanoLC-MS) methodology has been developed in our group for the detection of low-abundant viral epitopes.
This PhD project is aimed at identifying novel HPV16 epitopes for the major human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types, namely HLA-A2, HLA-A3/A11, HLA-A24, HLA-B7 and HLA-B15/A1, which together cover >95 % of the world's population. To this end, the immunoprecipitation assay for epitope purification and detection is being adapted to allow for flexible targeting of peptides relevant to any assayed cell line. This necessitates the development of software assisting the selection of peptides, identification of optimal LC-MS acquisition parameters specific to each peptide and the evaluation of peptide detection. The resulting validated HPV16 epitome map can facilitate future immunotherapy design.

Resulting Publications

Transcriptome-based identification of tumor-reactive and bystander CD8+ T cell receptor clonotypes in human pancreatic cancer.
Meng Z*, Rodriguez Ehrenfried A*, Tan CL*, Steffens LK, Kehm H, Zens S, Lauenstein C, Paul A, Schwab M, Förster JD, Salek M, Riemer AB, Wu H, Eckert C, Leonhardt CS, Strobel O, Volkmar M, Poschke I, Offringa R. * Equal contributors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023; 15(722):eadh9562.

Light contamination in stable isotope-labelled internal peptide standards is frequent and a potential source of false discovery and quantitation error in proteomics.
Salek M*, Förster JD*, Lehmann WD, Riemer AB. * Equal contributors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2022, 414(8): 2545-2552.

Effects of hypoxia on antigen presentation and T cell-based immune recognition of HPV16-transformed cells.
Mohan N*, Wellach K*, Özerdem C, Veits N, Förster JD, Föhr S, Bonsack M, Riemer AB. * Equal contributors.
Frontiers in Immunology 2022, 13:918528

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