Major Cancer Biology Students 2017

Welcome! - The new students were introduced to the DKFZ by Prof. Michael Boutros and the Coordinator, Prof. Ilse Hofmann
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Bianca Balzasch (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
10/2014 - 07/2017: B.Sc. (Biochemistry) at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Isolation and Characterization of O-mannosylated folding variants of ER-targeted GFP

Internships
07/2017 - 10/2017: "Arrestin interaction with cScr-related non-receptor tyrosine kinases", DAAD Rise worldwide scholarship at the Gurevich group, Pharmacology department, at the Vanderbilt University, USA
04/2016 - 07/2017: "Isolation and Characterization of O-mannosylated folding variants of ER-targeted GFP" (Bachelor thesis), Strahl group, Centre of Organismal Studies (COS), Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany
10/2016 - 01/2017: "Synthesis of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor Favipiravir and related compounds", Klein group, Institute for Pharmacology and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB), Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany

Research Interests/Future Plans
Every cell in our body is constantly receiving and processing information from surrounding cells and its environment. I´m fascinated by the complex orchestra of interaction systems starting with receptors on the cell surface down to a genomic level of regulation. Cancer cells reroute the integration of signalling pathways on various stages leading to a reprogramming of the cell and its microenvironment including immune cells. I´m interested in the biochemical mechanisms of this reprogramming with the objective to understand cell-cell communication and information processing. This knowledge can then be used to identify drug targets and design novel cancer therapies.

Contact
b.balzasch (at) dkfz.de

Toman Bortecen (Germany)

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University Ecuation
10/2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg / Molecular Biosciences (M. Sc) – Major Cancer Biology
09/2015 - 05/2016: University College Cork (Erasmus)
10/2013 - 02/2017: Universität zu Köln / Biochemistry (B.Sc)

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of the extracellular matrix in the cartilage of Mirc24-deficient mice

Internships
09/2016 – 01/2017: Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Experimental Neonatology, Center for Biochemistry II, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne

Research Interests/Future Plans
In the course of my undergraduate studies I developed a great interest in the complex biochemical mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis. I now hope to gain a deeper understanding of the the inner workings of cancer cells and their microenvironment. The role that signalling molecules and the extracellular matrix play in cancer is especially fascinating to me. My personal goal is to contribute to the cancer biology research field, by helping to identify novel factors and interactions influencing the multistep process of carcinogenesis. I also hope to apply this knowledge to support the development of new treatment strategies for cancer patients.

Contact
t.bortecen (at) dkfz.de

Víctor Campos Fornés (Spain)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg), MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology
9/2013 - 7/2017:  University of Barcelona, Faculty of Biology (Barcelona, Spain)

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Validation of new molecules as activators of mitochondrial fusion

Internships/Working Experience
2/2017 - 7/2017: Bachelor Thesis “Validation of new molecules as activators of mitochondrial fusion” in the group of Dr. Zorzano, Research program of Molecular Medicine, Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Barcelona (IRB), Barcelona, Spain
7/2015 - 8/2015: Internship at CRAG: Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics, in the group of Dr. Campos, Research program of Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering, Barcelona, Spain. “ER biogenesis in Arabidopsis Thaliana
6/2015 - 7/2015: Internship at IBMB: Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (CSIC), in the group of Dr. Fita, Structural Biology Unit, in Barcelona, Spain. “Crystaline proteic structure resolution”

Research Interests/Future Plans
There are many molecular biology fields that catch my attention, but cancer research has always appealed me: the changes the cell suffer during carcinogenesis, the uncontrolled and uneven replication and spread of the carcinogenic cells, and their ability to evade the natural defense mechanisms of the organism are some of the traits that make this disease so dangerous and unpredictable, but at the same time fascinating. Recent publications show great results in cancer recess and elimination when using immunotherapy or gene therapy adapted to each case and individual, but progress in this “personalized medicine” has still to be made: we still do not fully understand the underlying molecular mechanisms which differ from one patient to another that enhance different responses to the same treatment and that, if known, could help us design more specific treatments for patients. Carrying out a PhD in such topics is my desired plan for the future.

Contact
v.camposfornes (at) dkfz.de

Martha Carreño González (Mexico)

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University Education
10/2017 - Present: MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
8/2010 - 03/2016: Bachelor degree, Pharmaceutical Chemist Biologist, Faculty of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY), México

Highest Degree
BSc. Pharmaceutical Chemist Biologist (Highest honors)

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Interleukin-6 polymorphism (-174 G/C) and mRNA levels in Yucatecan patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Internships
01/2015 - 03/2016, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales (CIR) Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, UADY, Mexico, Laboratory of Hematology and Genetics Thesis (Interleukin-6 polymorphism (-174 G/C) and mRNA in Yucatecan patients with SLE)
06/2014 - 08/2014: Summer internship at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, Laboratory of Immunology and Genetics, project "Percentages of TCD8 + PD-1 lymphocytes in patients infected with HIV-1 in chronic phase"
01/2014 - 12/2014, CIR, Hideyo Noguchi, UADY, Mexico, Laboratory of Hematology, Project "Variation in copy number of gene encoding TLR-7 and SNP rs179008 in Yucatecan patients with SLE"

Research Interests/Future Plans
I am fascinated by how a lot of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms could be involved in the development of complex diseases like cancer. Such modifications alter the correct patterns for gene expression as well as the function of proteins which are responsible to regulate cellular mechanisms; this is reflected with an abnormal cell growth regulation. Many types of cancer, a variety of ethnicity and a lot of genes involved in its development, reveal the amount of work that needs to be done. Thereafter, I want to deepen my knowledge in cancer research in the field of Cell Biology and Tumor Biology. I agree that a better understanding of the causes of cancer results in improving prevention, the early diagnosis and specialized treatment of this disease. After my master program, I would like to pursue a PhD, and afterwards; I see myself working in a cancer research center.

Contact
m.carreno (at) dkfz.de

Beatrice Casati (Italy)

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University Education
October 2017 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg, DKFZ
October 2013 - May 2017: Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS), Biomedical Sciences, Pavia
October 2013 - July 2016: B.Sc. in Biotechnology, University of Pavia

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology

Title of Theses
Bachelor: Differential diagnosis between Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Fanconi anemia
IUSS Diploma: Molecular characterization of a cohort of patients with Dercum's disease

Internship
October 2016 - July 2017: Medical Genetics Laboratory, Pavia. Performed the following tasks: DNA and RNA extraction from biologic samples, fluorospectrometrical and spectrophotometrical quantification of nucleic acids, purification, PCR, gel preparation and electrophoresis, analysis of maternal contamination, Sanger sequencing, Next generation sequencing techniques, CGH/SNP array, results interpretation. Supervisor: professor Orsetta Zuffardi.

Research Interests/Future Plans
I developed my interest for cancer research during my past studies and internships. Although statistics about cancer morbidity and mortality are shocking and disheartening, it is evident that cancer research is doing it right: the survival rate and the chance of cure of many cancers have increased thanks to early diagnosis and specific treatment. Therefore, I feel stimulated to devote myself to further understanding the causes and mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to finding new strategies to fight, treat and hopefully prevent cancer. I am particularly interested in cancer genomics, immunology and virology. I am eager to investigate the genetic basis of cancer and how our immune system and some viruses can be used to fight and treat it. After my Master studies, I plan to join a PhD program. My passion for science and research will bring me where I can help the most and do something good for humanity.

Contact
b.casati (at) dkfz.de

Miray Çetin (Canada & Turkey)

University Education
10/2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg / Molecular Biosciences (M. Sc) – Major Cancer Biology
2012 - 2016: Bachelor of Science in Biology at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science, Honours in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis 
Characterization of PHF6, a Plant Homeodomain Finger protein, that is associated with histone variant H2A.Z and mutated in T-ALL

Internships
7/2016 - 9/2016: Internship at Bagci-Onder Lab “Epigenetic modifiers for GBM sensitization to TRAIL”, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
9/2015 - 5/2016: Bachelor Thesis at Peter Cheung Lab at York University “Characterization of PHF6, a Plant Homeodomain Finger protein, that is associated with histone variant H2A.Z and mutated in T-ALL”, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
7/2014 - 5/2015: Research Practicum at Hilliker Lab at York University “Oncogene- specific effects of abnormal systemic metabolism on tumor growth and metastasis”, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Research Interests/Future Plans
Throughout my undergraduate studies, I gained curiosity towards cancer.  I want to learn more about the underlying mechanisms in cancer cells and get involved in development of effective treatment strategies in patients.  During my masters at DKFZ, I want to deepen my knowledge and get the best hands-on experience so that I can pursue my career in Cancer Research.

Contact
m.cetin (at) dkfz.de

Tasneem Cheytan (Mauritius)

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University Education
10/2017 - Present: MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology; Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
08/2009 - 06/2013: BSc. (with Honours) Life Sciences, National University of Singapore

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Interplay between actomyosin complex and osmotic pressure drives bile canalicular contraction

Internships/Work Experience
07/2016 - 03/2017: Laboratory executive, group of Dr. Yvonne Tay, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (Role of long non-coding RNAs and microRNAs in cancer)
07/2013 – 02/2016 : Laboratory analyst, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore (Biochemical analysis of patient samples)
06/2012 - 04-2013: Honours student, group of Professor Hanry Yu, Mechanobiology Institute of Singapore (Structural basis and mechanics of bile canalicular contraction in hepatocytes)
05/2011 – 07/2011: Attachment student, group of Dr. Lih Wen Deng, Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore (Chemical therapeutics in HPV-associated cervical cancer)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Dubbed as 'The Emperor of All Maladies', cancer has been at the forefront of many research ventures over the past decades. Despite considerable advances made in the field, the complexity of the disease is still not completely unraveled, and I am keen to understand better some of its underlying mechanisms. I am especially interested in exploring further on tumor heterogeneity and how it can be applied in the context of personalized medicine. Additionally, I want to investigate how immunotherapy can be used to combat tumors. This breakthrough therapy has revolutionized the field of cancer medicine using weapons such as immune checkpoint blockade or cell therapy. I hope to understand better the intricacies of tumor immunology at DKFZ using the cutting-edge experimental tools available. Thereafter, I would like to pursue a PhD in the field and make my contribution in the development of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.

Contact
t.cheytan (at) dkfz.de

Elisa Facen (Italy)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Master of science in Molecular Biosciences - Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
09/2014 - 07/2017: Bachelor of science in Science and Biomolecular Technology, University of Trento, Italy

Highest Degree
Bachelor of science in Science and Biomolecular Technology

Title of Thesis
Characterization of a BAP1 mutant in zebrafish and its involvement in uveal melanoma.

Internship
02/2017 - 07/2017: Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Biology, Center for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento. Project: "Characterization of a BAP1 mutant in zebrafish and its involvement in uveal melanoma."

Research Interests/Future Plans
I know that, nowadays, cancer is one of the most common causes of death, most of all in young people, and this is particularly dramatic. It shows up in such a variety of forms which seems impossible to fight and control, and that is why I feel the need to give my contribute to research. The fight against cancer starts from the deepened knowledge of the disease, the prevention and the study of its hereditariness, in which I am particularly interested. In my opinion the best way is to intervene at DNA level, and with new approaches as CRISPR/Cas9 this seems more possible every day. I aim during this master to increase my knowledge in the cancer development and in the technique to control it, and after this master to continue my career in the field of cancer research pursuing a PhD.

Contact
e.facen (at) dkfz.de

Stephanie Gehrs (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg), Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology
10/2014 - 09/2017: Bielefeld University, Bachelor of Science in Molecular biology

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Molecular biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Detection of transgenerationally inherited piRNA factors and piRNAs

Internships
05/2017 - 09/2017: Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Internship in the group of Prof. Dr. Friedemann Kiefer (Münster, Germany)
10/2016 - 03/2017: Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Internship in the group of Prof. Dr. Gregory Hannon (Cambridge, UK)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Over the past decades, remarkable research was performed in the field of cancer biology. Since I got in touch with the wide field of cancer, I am fascinated by the idea of contributing to such important research. In my view, the Master program in Molecular Biosciences in the Major of Cancer Biology offers the outstanding opportunity to learn state-of the art techniques and pioneering technologies.
One of my special interests within the field of cancer biology is the tumour angiogenesis and its progression and metastasis. During my masters at the DKFZ, I hope to acquire solid knowledge from the experts in the field of angiogenesis and oncology in order to pursue a PhD afterwards.

Contact
s.gehrs@dkfz.de

Kinam Gupta (India)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
08/2013 - 05/2017: B.Tech in Biotechnology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Jaypee University of Information Technology, India

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of biofilm formation and identification of gene(s) involved in biofilm formation in Mycobacterium fortuitum

Internships
06/2016 - 08/2016: Internship, group of Prof. Das, Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, India (To understand the role of Mithramycin A in sensitizing drug resistant Breast Cancer Stem Cells towards Doxorubicin)
05/2015-06/2015: Industrial Training, Orbit Biotech Private Limited, India (Bioinformatics: In-Silico drug designing and PERL programming)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Tumor heterogeneity has always fascinated me which has led to my interest in detection of genetic variations occurring in cancerous cells. Variations in different cells isolated from different parts of the same tumor can be detected in order to check the genetic diversity within a single type of cancer. This may help to decipher the origin of disease and identify the genetic factors which allow cancerous cells to grow unchecked, to spread to new environment or to evade a specific drug. Using the knowledge gained through the master's program at DKFZ, I would like to work on tumor heterogeneity in PhD studies and will try to improve cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

Contact
k.gupta (at) dkfz.de

Vanessa Gutmann (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany
09/2016 - 12/2016: Semester abroad at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada
10/2013 - 09/2017: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Molecular Medicine at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Molecular Medicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Influence of Carboplatin and Rad51 Inhibitor B02 treatment on MAPK Inhibitor Sensitive and Resistant Metastatic Melanoma Cells

Internships
12/2016 - 04/2017: Bachelor Thesis "Influence of Carboplatin and Rad51 Inhibitor B02 treatment on MAPK Inhibitor Sensitive and Resistant Metastatic Melanoma Cells" in the group of Dr. Schittek, Dermatological Oncology, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Germany
03/2016 - 07/2016: Internship "Investigating in vitro folding and processing of E. coli autotransporter Hbp and mutant Hbp derivatives" in the group of Dr. van Ulsen, Molecular Microbiology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Research Interests/Future Plans
The development of cancer does not only depend on a degenerative transformation of cells but rather it is a complex interaction of various factors involving the fields of immunology, stem cell biology, virology and many more. The wide range of research objectives in cancer biology resulting from these various aspects makes cancer biology an interesting area to investigate. More importantly, cancer represents an increasing major health problem and in my undergraduate studies I experienced the great impact new cancer medications can have on improving quality of life and survival of patients. I am excited to experience cutting-edge research and gaining further insight in novel research techniques in my master studies here at the DKFZ. Moreover, I like to get in touch with different research groups and continue my academic career in my field of interest tumor immunology.

Contact
v.gutmann (at) dkfz.de

Kevin Jimenez-Cowell (USA & Spain)

University Education
​October 2017 - Present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg, DKFZ
August 2012 - May 2016: B.Sc. in Biological Sciences with a Minor in Philosophy, Fordham University

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Biological Science

Publications
Wu, D., Zhu, X., Jimenez-Cowell, K., Mold, A.J., Sollecito, C.C., Lombana, N., Jiao, M., Wei, Q. (2015) Identification of the GTPase-activating protein DEP domain containing 1B (DEPDC1B) as a transcriptional target of Pitx2. Experimental Cell Research, 333(1), 80-92.
Wu, D., Jiao, M., Zu, S., Sollecito, C.C., Jimenez-Cowell, K., Mold, A.J., Kennedy, R.M., and Wei, Q. (2014) Intramolecular interactions between the Dbl-homology (DH) domain and the carboxyl-terminal region of myosin II-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor (MyoGEF) act as an autoinhibitory mechanism for the regulation of MyoGEF functions. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(49), 34033-48.

​Internship/Working Experience
​January 2014 – May 2016: Research Assistant, Fordham University, Department of Biological Sciences; Principal Investigator: Dr. Qize Wei, PhD, MD, MS. Investigated & analyzed the role myosin II-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor (MyoGEF) has on the invasive mechanisms of breast cancer cells.
April 2017 – September 2017: Postgraduate Associate, Yale University School of Medicine, Internal Medicine, Endocrinology; Principal Investigator: Dr. Raimund I Herzog, MD, MHS. Investigated & analyzed alternative methods of treating hypoglycemia in an effort to prevent iatrogenic hypoglycemia associated autonomic failure (HAAF) induced by intensive insulin therapy.

Research ​Interests/Future Plans
My objective is to learn as many tools and research methods available in the molecular cancer biology field as possible. I intend to combine my background in cancer biology with clinical oncology in order to bridge the gap between the biological discoveries that occur in the laboratory with the medical treatments that occur in the hospital. In the future, I envision myself obtaining a MD/PhD and working in translational medicine. It is my goal to improve how we treat cancer by developing more targeted treatments that account for the unique epigenetic alterations and mutations within each patient's DNA.

Contact
k.jimenez-cowell (at) dkfz.de

Ramya Lakshmana Iyer (India)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg), MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology
09/2012 - 06/2016: M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology (Bangalore, India)

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Fabrication of Chitosan based Anti-bacterial films incorporated with Ferric oxide nanoparticles for food packaging applications.

Traineeships
01/12/2017- present: Research Assistant (HiWi) at DKFZ, Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology
06/2015 - 07/2015: Indian Institute of Science, Department of Molecular Reproduction Development and Genetics (MRDG), Bangalore, India

Research Interests/Future Plans
I want to explore how the regenerative capacity of stem cells are involved in the repair of injured or diseased tissues and I am interested in understanding in-depth about how the signals trigger the differentiation of stem cells into various specialized cells that has distinct functions and forms. Also, curious to conduct research on mutation that leads to aggressive nature of cancer stem cell to hijack normal stem cell's self-renewal mechanisms and use them to multiply uncontrollably. I would orient my research to analyse and identify the characteristics that are responsible for the genetic changes or the action of specific molecules that causes the cancerous cells to divide. Hence, I want to sincerely contribute my mastery on anticancer therapies and to mitigate the side effects arising due to therapies.

Contact
r.lakshmanaiyer (at) dkfz.de

Manisha Manojkumar (India)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences (Major Cancer Biology), Ruprecht-Karls-
Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg,
Germany
09/2012 - 05/2016: B.E Biotechnology, B.M.S College of Engineering, Bangalore, India

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma High throughout data using Integrated Omics
approach

Internships
16/7/2014 - 6/8/2014: Columbia Asia Referral hospital (Bangalore, India), Internship in
Department of Microbiology
1/7/2015 - 31/7/2015: Micro Advanced Research Centre (Bangalore, India), Internship in
Analytical Development Department

Research Interests/Future Plans
My future plan, like any other cancer biologist is to find a novel way to treat cancer by
improvising on my bachelor thesis and on many more aspects, which I am going to learn
in the duration of my course and make personalized medicine available to the world, a
reality. With this motivation of creating a difference in the medical world and coming up
with a solution to treat cancer and to save as many lives as possible, I have taken up the course of major cancer biology in this extremely prestigious university and foundation.

Contact
m.manojkumar (at) dkfz.de

Živa Modic (Slovenia)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
10/2013 - 04/2017: B.Sc. in Biotechnology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Use of bacteria in cancer treatment

Internships
2/2017 - 9/2017: National Institute of Biology, National Reference Laboratory for GMO detection; group of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jana Žel, Student assistant in the proccess of GMO detection (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
9/2016 - 12/2016: Leiden University Medical Centre, group of Prof. Dr. Peter ten Dijke, »Characterisation of ALK1 inhibitors that have the potential to inhibit tumor angiogenesis« (Leiden, The Netherlands)

Research Interests/Future Plan
In the course of my Bachelor studies, I was always interested in numerous health conditions, their onset, progression and different strategies for helping our body defeat them. The topics that interest me the most are cancer genetics, immunology and angiogenesis. During my Master studies, I wish to expand my knowledge in various fields of cancer biology as well as other aspects of medical sciences that could help develop new strategies for cancer diagnostics and treatment. After my Masters, I would like to pursue a Ph.D. and continue working in cancer research.

Contact
z.modic (at) dkfz.de

Lena Nitsch (Germany)

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University Education
2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg), MSc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology
2014 - 2017: Georg-August-University Göttingen, BSc. Molecular Medicine

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Medicine

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Ykt6 in Exosomal Wnt Secretion

Internships
04/17 - 08/16: Developmental Biochemistry (Göttingen), group of Dr. Groß (Ykt6 in Exosomal Wnt Secretion, Bachelor Thesis)
08/16 - 09/16: Max Planck Institut for Experimental Medicine (Göttingen),  group of Dr. Willig (Evaluation of new dyes for STED Microscopy)
06/16: Experimentelle Urologie, UMG (Göttingen), group of Dr. Thelen (Evaluation of different chemotherapeutics for use in prostate carcinoma)
03/16: Robert-Koch-Institut (Wernigerode), group of Dr. Werner (Evaluation of GenomEra MRSA/SA Diagnose including genotypical and phenotypical characterization of bacteria)
06/14 - 09/14: Twincore (Hannover),  group of Dr. Pessler (Prokineticins as potential biomarkers for infectious diseases)

Research Interests/Future Plans
I chose Molecular Medicine as my bachelors, because I wanted to know what is happening in our body. Throughout my studies I have learned about the variety of cancer. I became curious since cancer is - to be more precise - a wide group of different diseases and every case is as unique as the person suffering from it.
During my master studies, I would like to broaden my knowledge to understand mechanisms how the human body itself fights against cancer and how we can support the immune system in this matter. Also, I would like learn more about the possibilities of different biomarkers to detect cancer in the human body as quick and accurate as possible. After finishing my master degree, I would like to pursue a PhD and a career in cancer research.

Contact
l.nitsch (at) dkfz.de

Julia Puchan (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Master of Science in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and the DKFZ
08/2015 - 03/2016: Semester abroad, Universidad de Málaga, Spain
10/2013 - 03/2017 Bachelor of Science in Biology, LMU Munich

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Functional analysis of the putative mating type genes HD1-like and HD2 from Rhizophagus irregularis

Internships/Working Experience
01/2017 - 03/2017: Lehre@LMU research award for student research projects, group of Dr. Brachmann, Faculty of Genetics, LMU Munich (Establishment of a yeast system for the identification of DNA binding sequences of proteins from Rhizophagus irregularis)
08/2016 - 12/2016: Lab assistant, group of Dr. Brachmann, Faculty of Genetics, LMU Munich (Detailed analysis of the putative mating type genes HD1-like and HD2 from Rhizophagus irregularis)
05/2015 - 08/2015: Lab assistant, group of Dr. Brachmann, Faculty of Genetics, LMU Munich (Effector proteins in symbiosis between Lotus japonicus and Rhizophagus irregularis)
07/2013 - 08/2013: Internship, group of Dr. Sudhop, Center for Applied Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University of Applied Sciences Munich (Tissue printing of human breast cancer cell lines)

Research Interests/Future Plans
Two subjects that were always of particular interest to me are epigenetics and virology. Epigenetics, because it offers an additional layer of information besides the genetic code which changes throughout the life of an individual and influences not only normal development but also the generation of diseases like cancer, and is still much less understood than the genetic code. And virology, because I find it striking how some viruses can trigger the development of cancer while others are now used in gene therapy and might result in a cure for certain types of cancer. These are areas which I want to learn more about and maybe even study myself in the future. After finishing this Master’s program I would like to stay in academia and work in cancer research and I think that the Major Cancer Biology offers the best possible preparation for this step.

Contact
j.puchan (at) dkfz.de

Franziska Ragaller (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
09/2015 - 05/2016: University College Cork (Erasmus)
10/2013 - 02/2017: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Biochemistry, Universität zu Köln

Highest Degree
B.Sc in Biochemistry

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Biochemical studies on proteins co-regulated with the U32 peptidases YhbU/YhbV

Internships/Working experience
06/2017 - 08/2017: research assistant in the group of Prof. Dr. Baumann (Protein Crystallography) at the Institute of Biochemistry, Universität zu Köln

Research Interests/Future Plans
The field of cancer research fascinates me. During the stay abroad in my undergraduate studies I had the chance to learn a lot on how cancer cells evade the immune system and how they reach immortality. In this Master programme I would like to deepen my understanding of the molecular mechanisms of emergence and proliferation of cancer cells. As cancer is such a variable and individual disease of our cells, I am also interested in the therapeutical approaches to treat cancer patients – especially immunotherapy as an important emerging field of personalized medicine. Another topic that I would like to focus on during my studies is how certain viruses such as HPV can cause cancer. After my Masters degree I would like to pursue a PhD and work in the field of cancer research.

Contact
f.ragaller (at) dkfz.de

Darius Schenk (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences with the Major in Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
08/2015 - 05/2016: Study abroad, Michigan State University, USA
10/2013 - 09/2017: B.Sc. Biology Plus International, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Cloning of a DNA suicide gene under control of a ZEB1 Promotor to target glioblastoma stem cells

Internships
03/17 - 08/17: Clinic for Neurosurgery, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. med. Jaroslaw Maciaczyk
08/16 - 09/16: Clinic for Neurology, Molecular Neurobiology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. Hans Werner Müller
01/16 - 05/16: Institute for Integrative Toxicology, Immunotoxicology, Michigan State University, USA, Prof. Dr. Norbert E. Kaminski
09/15 - 12/15: Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, USA, Prof. Dr. Catherine W. Ernst
04/15 - 07/15: Institute for Neurobiology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. Christine R. Rose

Research Interests/Future Plans
During my bachelor I was always interested in biomedical research because I wanted to know how our body is struggling with diseases and which kind of treatment options are available. I decided to focus on oncology because cancer is one of the most deathful diseases in industrial countries and it shows a high resistant potential against therapeutics. In my bachelor thesis I worked on a project which bypasses the apoptotic resistance mechanism of glioblastoma and therefore I want to continue my career in this field. I am fascinated about the tumor microenvironment and how cancer cells can evade the immune response. Especially, I am interested in new coming up approaches in cancer treatment like immunotherapy and gene therapy. The Major Cancer Biology will give me the opportunity to learn more about tumorigenesis and to get more practical experience at cutting edge research to be best qualified to pursue to Ph.D.

Contact
d.schenk (at) dkfz.de

Nathalie Scheu (Germany)

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University Education
10/2017 - present: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology at Heidelberg University and DKFZ in Heidelberg, Germany
10/2013 - 01/2017: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany 

Highest Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Signaling cascades and gene expression in liver tumor cells


Internships/Work Experience

11/2016 - 02/2017: Internship and scientific assistance at the University Hospital in Tübingen, Internal Medicine VIII, Department for Clinical Tumorbiology (Prof. Dr. med. Lars Zender)
2014 - present: Freelancer at Georg Thieme Publishing Group in Stuttgart

Research Interests/Future Plans
What really fascinates me in the field of cancer biology is its complexity and the variety of molecular mechanisms. One the one hand it is impressive how the body regulates so many different functions but on the other hand how tumor cells are able to escape the immune system and survive. I am looking forward to being able to apply the achieved knowledge of this master's program since I am especially interested in biomedical and translational research. So far I worked with liver cancer (especially HCC) most of the time but nevertheless it is too early to focus on only one topic. I am keen to learn more about all types of cancer and the various connections to other diseases, genetics and its therapies.

Contact
n.scheu (at) dkfz.de

Alina Siebenmorgen (Germany)

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University Education:
2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), MSc. in Molecular Biosciences; Major Cancer Biology
2016-17 University of Aberdeen, Scotland, BSc. with Honours Degree in Genetics (Immunology)
2014-17 Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, BSc. in Applied Biology

Highest Degrees
BSc. in Applied Biology and BSc. with Honours Degree in Genetics (Immunology)

Title of Bachelor Theses
The role of human protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) in susceptibility to fungal infection

Internships/Work Experience
Miltenyi Biotec GmbH (2014-present: Student Research Assistant; 2011-14: Apprenticeship;
2010: Internship)
Cologne University, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene (2008)
BioGenius GmbH (2007)

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
My research interest lays in the field of Tumour Immunology. I want to be professional in understanding the immunological mechanisms attacked by cancerous tissue and its strategies to evade immunity. Later, I want to translate my expertise into the ability to successfully research this discipline and develop anti-tumour immuno therapies.

Contact
a.siebenmorgen (at) dkfz.de

Leonie Uhl (Germany)

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University Education
2017 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg), Master of Science (M.Sc.) Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology
2014 - 2017: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Molecular Biotechnology

Highest Degree
B.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
Analysis of platelet aggregation in TMEM1 (Wu1) and TMEM2 (Wu2) deficient platelets of male mice.

Internships
03/17 - 07/17: Institute of Pharmacology, University Heidelberg, group of Prof. Dr. Freichel (The role of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis in platelet activation and aggregation in mice)

Research Interests/Future Plans
What fascinates me the most is the complexity of mechanisms cancer cells use. Although there are various defence mechanism that normally should prevent abnormal cell growth, cancer cells manage to control and often destroy a previously healthy organism. The way tumour cells get into this state of immortality and the strategies that enable them to grow and proliferate unhindered, are of great interest.
During my master studies at the DKFZ, I hope to acquire a deeper understanding of these mechanisms. Further on, I´m keen to learn about new and outstanding techniques to translate this knowledge into clinically practicable therapies as well as improved detection methods.

Contact
l.uhl (at) dkfz.de

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