Head: Prof. Dr. Holger Sültmann

Senior Scientists and Postdocs: Prof. Dr. Peter Altevogt, PD Dr. Sabine Klauck, Dr. Steffen Dietz, Dr. Arlou Kristina Angeles

PhD students: Simone Bauer, Ann-Kathrin Daum, Florian Janke, Chiara Dalle Fratte (DAAD scholar)

MD students: Lisa Gu, Louise Appenheimer

MSc/BSc students:  Saskia Müller, Alessa Klär, Niclas Flosdorf

Technical assistants: Sabrina Gerhardt, Simon Ogrodnik


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Holger Sültmann
DKFZ and NCT Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Tel.: ++49 6221 565934 
Fax: ++49 6221 565382
E-Mail: h.sueltmann@dkfz.de

Many cancer cells differ from normal cells by their microenvironment, altered (epi)genomes, as well as gene and protein expression. The characterization of such changes in tumors and tumor stages is essential for understanding the mechanisms of tumor progression and the definition of molecular markers for diagnosis and prognosis. To this end, the division is working on projects in three different areas of research:

(Epi)genomics and transcriptomics of cancer

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The initial step in many of our projects consists of applying genomics and epigenomics technologies to identify molecular signatures and genes for tumor stratification. To this end, we have successfully established and contributed to interdisciplinary cancer research projects (e.g. ICGC), and analyzed multiple high throughput data sets. Our focus is on the application and data analysis of ultra-high throughput DNA- and RNA-Seq for DNA mutation and RNA (mRNA, lncRNA miRNA) expression, respectively. We also investigate the contributions of epigenomic alterations (DNA methylation, histone modification) to malignant progression and therapy resistance.

Analysis of gene and protein function

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To characterize the functions of the genes emerging from our screening studies, we apply cellular functional assays in cellular models from selected tumor backgrounds to overexpress or silence (RNAi, CRISPR/Cas9) selected mRNAs or miRNAs and to investigate their impacts on tumorigenic processes. In order to elucidate the global functions of selected RNA and protein molecules, we apply chromatin isolation (ChIP, ChIRP) followed by NGS and mass spectrometry.

Clinical translation of biomarkers

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In order to advance our research results into clinically useful applications, we identify DNA, tissue mRNA, and miRNA signatures in cancer. We have also implemented panel-seq and digital PCR to quantify circulating nucleic acids (DNA mutations, miRNA abundance) in blood plasma (“liquid biopsy”). The aims of these analyses are to detect small tumors and to monitor tumor therapy by less invasive procedures. The long-term objective is to translate lqiuid biopsy markers into the clinical setting.

Former group members:
Dr. Doreen Heckmann-Nötzel, Sebastian Weingart, Lisa Gu, Sabrina Müller, Dr. Leonie Ratz, Anja Riediger, Dr. Vladimir Kuryshev, Clementine Mercé, Dr. Julia Romic-Pickl, Dr. Sajo Kaduthanam, Dr. Uwe Schirmer, Denise Keitel, Dr. Ruprecht Kuner, Dr. Helen Hülsmann, Dr. Holger Armbruster, Dr. Mark Laible, Dr. Daniela Wuttig, Dr. Julia Starmann, Jennifer Metzger, Marina Gonzalez, Dr. Lukasz Kacprzyk, Dr. Stephan Gade, Sara Myers, Dr. Maria Fälth, Tatjana Andrasiuk, Dr. Rainer Will, Dr. Marc Johannes, Dr. Jan Christoph Brase, Dr. Stephanie Wittig-Blaich, Dr. Melanie Bewerunge-Hudler, Rita Schatten, Angelika Wörner, Thorsten Kühlwein, Dr. Nicole Chui Pressinotti, Dr. Caroline End, Prof. Dr. Tim Beißbarth, Dr. Alberto Calabró, Dr. Mark Fellmann, Dr. Christian Löbke, Dr. Markus Ruschhaupt, Dr. Van Duc Luu, Dr. Michael Stojanov, Andreas Buneß, Dr. Claudia Heine, Prof. Dr. Holger Fröhlich, Prof. Dr. Achim Tresch, Dr. Jörg Schneider, Dr. Katharina Finis, Dr. Wolfgang Huber, Dr. Markus Vogt, Prof. Dr. Florian Haller, Gabi Rottsahl, Claudia Grosser


German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)

German Center for Lung Research (DZL)

German Federal Ministry for Science and Education (BMBF).

Bruno und Helene Jöster Stiftung

Deutsche Krebshilfe

Heidelberg Institute for Personalized Oncology (HIPO)

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