Major Cancer Biology Students 2018

16. October 2018: Welcome to DKFZ!

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9.-11. October: group of new students at the Frontiers in Cancer Research Conference at DKFZ

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Sanjana BALAJI (India)

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University Education
10/2018 - Present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences with a Major in Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
07/2014 - 05/2018: B.Tech Biotechnology, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, India

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Biotechnology
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Effect of Sesquiterpene Lactone, Zaluzanin-D, on the expression of genes involved in the apoptotic pathway

Internships/Working Experience
08/2017- 04/2018: Bachelor Thesis "Effect of Sesquiterpene Lactone, Zaluzanin-D, on the expression of genes involved in the apoptotic pathway", Interdisciplinary Institute of Indian System of Medicine (IIISM), SRM Institute of Science and Technology, India, Dr.M.R. Ganesh
06/2017- 07/2017: Research Internship Summer Program, Department of Islet Biology, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait, Dr. Shaima Al-Beloushi
12/2016- 05/2017: Undergraduate Researcher, Plant and Tissue Culture Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, India, Dr. D.V.L Sarada
05/2016- 06/2016: Internship, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait, Dr. Ziauddin Khan

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
The organization of our living systems is so highly regulated and efficient that any breakdown in the system throws it into massive disarray. One such disease to arise from this disarray is cancer. Cancer research has been baffling scientists for years and despite all the knowledge gained so far, we have only just begun to scratch the surface. My aim, therefore, is to contribute my efforts into understanding cancer and its mechanisms, with a special interest in cancer stem cells and immunotherapy. Cancer stem cells present a unique outlook on cancer progression and hence, in the future, I would like to study the mechanisms that contribute to the formation of a cancer progenitor cell. I would also like to integrate knowledge from these two fields and work towards finding potential therapeutic target areas that can be used to aid cancer treatment. I wish to carry out such work by pursuing a PhD degree to help further advance my academic career.

Contact: s.balaji (at) dkfz.de

Alina BOLLHAGEN (Germany)

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University Education
10/2015 – 09/2018: B.Sc. Biological Sciences at the University of Constance, Germany
10/2018 – present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science (Biology)
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Characterization of the interaction between AIPL1, FAT10 and FAT10 substrates

Internship
07/15 – 08/15: Internship at the patent attorney's office Schiweck Weinzierl Koch GbR, München

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Heterogeneity. This might be the best word to describe cancer, not only referring to its cell composition, but also to the variety of involved pathways. By covering a wide range of different subjects, cancer research is located at the interface of clinical medicine and fundamental research besides being one of the most relevant topics in a world of rising life expectancy. As I became especially interested in cell biology, immunology and biochemistry during my bachelor studies, I am now looking forward to combining these interests in an unique manner. I think that the power of our own immune system is a very elegant way to fight cancer. Here, I am especially interested in applying underlying immunological mechanisms in personalized medicine as e.g. CAR-T cells. In future, I envision myself as a PhD in the field of tumor immunology aiming for an academic career and life without cancer.

Contact: a.bollhagen (at) dkfz.de​

Maria BOULOUGOURI (Greece)

University Ecuation
15/10/2015-26/07/2018: Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, Biosciences

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science
Title of Bachelor Thesis:
The role of redox proteins in translation control

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Despite encountering numerous cellular processes during my undergraduate studies, it is oncogenesis that intrigues me the most. The staggering variability in those affected, as pertains to factors such as age, sex and exposure to risk factors, seems to be one of the characteristics particular to cancer and highlights to me the complexity of this disease. No less captivated am I by the phenomenal variability of cancer itself, the sheer number of different signaling pathways that result in the same physiological reaction. Over the course of this program, I hope to learn more about the various signaling networks, whose disruption is associated with the emergence of this vicious disease. I'm particularly interested in pathway components, which could potentially be used as biomarkers in diagnostics or in the development of therapeutics, as, in the future, I hope to contribute to a better collective understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind cancer, as well as to the development of translational research. ​

Contact: m.boulougouri (at) dkfz.de

Alicia BUCK (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 – present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
02/2016 – 07/2016: semester abroad at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
10/2014 – 08/2018: B.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences at Reutlingen University

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biomedical Sciences
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Reactive Oxygen Species from Phagocytic Cells as Regulators of Inflammation – Evaluation of Pharmacological NADPH-Oxidase Inhibitors

Internships/Working Experience
03/2018 – 08/2018: Bachelor thesis "Reactive Oxygen Species from Phagocytic Cells as Regulators of Inflammation – Evaluation of Pharmacological NADPH-Oxidase Inhibitors" in the group of Prof. Dr. Johan Bylund, Department of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
02/2017 – 08/2017: Internship "KP1339, a Ruthenium Drug, that Interferes with ER Homeostasis" in the group of Dr. Petra Heffeter, Institute of Cancer Research, Medical University Vienna, Austria

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer cells are an unique entity throughout the body, not only because of the complexity of characteristics they entail but also due to the variety of mechanisms they utilize to evade the immune system or other control pathways of the human body. This complexity that not only covers one research area but includes several fields of biomedical research, as well as the cleverness of this cell type fascinates me most about cancer research. I am excited to get a deeper understanding of the pathways they tackle, the mechanisms that underlay tumorigenesis and of course how this fundamental research can get translated into clinical practice for cancer treatment. I am very passionate about science and am deeply convinced that cancer research offers great progress in future years. I am eager to contribute to that process while continuing towards a PhD and an academic career in an interdisciplinary environment in medical research.

Contact: a.buck (at) dkfz.de
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Maximiliane FINKBEINER (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany and German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
10/2015 - 07/2018: B.Sc. Biosciences at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany

Highest Degree: BSc in Biosciences
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Clonal Analysis of Adult Neural Stem Cells

Internships/Working Experience
03/2018 – 09/2018: Internship at the Division of Molecular Neurobiology headed by Prof. Dr. Ana Martin-Villalba at German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
I developed a fascination for cancer research during my past studies. I'm excited by the possibilities and approaches in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and the clinical application to use results from basic research directly in clinic. My main motivation is to be able to contribute to progress in basic research and thereby contributing to the cure and rehabilitation of patients. I am thrilled to get the chance and opportunity to study in the interdisciplinary environment of the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and to be able to acquire a deeper understanding of cancer biology and the causes and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. My goal is to be able to pursue a future career in the field of cancer research and biomedicine.

Contact: m.finkbeiner (at) dkfz.de
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Alessia FLOERCHINGER (Germany & Switzerland)

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University Education
10/18 – present: Master of Science: Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology, University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
10/15 – 09/18: Bachelor of Science: Molecular Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Medicine
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Monitoring Rac1 as a potential therapeutic target in metastatic breast cancer

Internships/Working Experience
04/2018 – 08/2018: Bachelor Thesis and internship, Timpson Lab at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia
04/2016 – 04/2018: Student research assistant and internship, Pfanner/Becker Lab at the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Freiburg, Germany
08/2015 – 09/2015: Internship, Wagner Lab at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
The heterogenous types of cancer in their entirety are one of the deadliest diseases in our aging society and appropriate therapy is far from always available. The complexity of carcinogenesis - being at the same time live-threatening and fascinating - encourage me to get involved in cancer research. In the broad field of interacting disciplines which are all relevant in cancer biology, I am especially interested in tumour immunology and the opportunities of immunotherapy as well as cancer stem cell research. Nevertheless, it seems essential to me to reach fundamental knowledge in various research topics first, so that working in an interdisciplinary environment and the combination of findings from different approaches can be achieved later. I am passionate about science and willing to contribute to the progress of cancer research with a following PhD and academic career striving for better treatment and quality of life of cancer patients.

Contact: a.floerchinger (at) dkfz.de
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Valerie GRIESCHE (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
08/2014 - 05/2018: B.Sc. Biology at Wingate University, North Carolina, USA

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science (Biology)
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Localization of Phosphorylated AMPK during Cell Migration Using Immunofluorescence

Internships/Working Experience
08/2017 - 05/2018: "Localization of Phosphorylated AMPK during Cell Migration Using Immunofluorescence" (senior research project), Dr. Melissa Fox, Wingate University, USA
08/2016 – 05/2017: "Evaluation of mRNA Expression of AMPKα Isoforms in MCF-7 Cells Transfected with AMPKα2 and GFP Gene Plasmids" (research project), Dr. Melissa Fox, Wingate University, USA

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is a fascinating yet dreadful disease. Even though one out of three people will be affected by cancer in the course of their lives, there is still not an ultimate cure. However, the findings of 2018 Nobel Prize winners James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo demonstrate a promising treatment against a particular set of cancer. Releasing the breaks of the immune system by targeting checkpoint inhibitors allows the body's own defense mechanisms to attack cancer cells. Exploring cancer immunity is the future of cancer therapies. Therefore, I would love to contribute to the growing knowledge and understanding in this field during my academic career.

Contact: v.griesche (at) dkfz.de

Katia GÜNTHER (Germany)

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University Education
since 2018: University of Heidelberg/DKFZ: Master's in Molecular Bioscience, Cancer Biology
2016: Semester Abroad at the University of Cape Town, South Africa
2014 - 2018: University of Tübingen: Bachelor's in Molecular Medicine

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Medicine
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Development of a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated model of schizophrenia in iPSC

Internships
2018 (January-August): Research assistant and Bachelor Thesis at the Institute for Natural and Medical Sciences, Tübingen, Department: Molecular Neurobiology
2017 (January-May): Internship at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Cape Town
Main tasks included Data Analysis and Laboratory work (patient's sample collection to analysis)
2015 - 2016: Research assistant at the department of experimental and clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Tuebingen

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
What fascinates me about cancer research is its interdisciplinarity: To tackle the multitude of diseases that are collectively referred to as 'cancer', a knowledge of the molecular basis, the genetic background, the immune system, pharmacology and much more is required. While all cancers share certain features, the varying entities, alterations in signaling pathways, drug targets and patient's prognosis make cancer an incredibly wide field in biomedical research. My aim for this Master's degree is to get an insight into the various disciplines and expand my knowledge to apply it to cancer research. I hope that this wide base of knowledge will be a good fundament to continue towards a PhD and help me decide what discipline or direction is of most interest to me.

Contact: katia.guenther (at) dkfz.de
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Kevin Brooks HENRY (USA)

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University Education
10/2018 - Present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology, DKFZ/University of Heidelberg
08/2014 - 05/2018: B.Sc. in Biology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Highest Degree: B.Sc. in Biology

Research/Working Experience
05/10/2016 - 01/05/2018: Undergraduate Directed Research Program, Center for Drug Design, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Geraghty, PhD. Conducted independent research project investigating novel small molecule inhibitor binding to a viral terminase protein in human cytomegalovirus
19/02/2015 - 25/03/2016: Research Assistant, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; Principal Investigator: Dr. Ashok Saluja, PhD
15/05/2013 - 12/01/2016: Research Assistant, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Iowa; Principal Investigator: Dr. Kevin Campbell, PhD
28/05/2012 - 17/08/2012: Research Assistant, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Iowa; Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Henry, PhD

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
The astounding processes by which malignant tumors can evade the defenses of the body through equilibrium and escape stand as a stark exception to the normally controlling and watchful immune system. Understanding this delicate dance between cancer and the immune system has given us fundamental insights that have lead to incredible new technologies such as CAR-T cell therapy and T-VEC and have stoked a desire in me to contribute to this rapidly expanding field of research. Through studying at the DKFZ I aim to refine my technical proficiency and gain the knowledge necessary to make meaningful progress in the search for more effective and precise cancer therapies. After completing my Master's I would like to go on to work in the biotechnology industry and use the experience gained at the DKFZ to identify and develop effective anticancer therapies, potentially focusing on oncolytic viral immunotherapies.

Contact: k.henry (at) dkfz.de

Deniz Dilay KARAYEL (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2018 – present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
03/2016 – 10/2016: Erasmus Student in Biological Sciences at the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
09/2013 – 02/2018: B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Boğaziēi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics
Title of Bachelor’s Thesis:
Identifying novel mutations in Charcot-Marie-Tooth patients

Internships
07/2017 – 09/2017: Internship at the Institute of Metabolic Physiology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Lammert
06/2016 – 09/2016: Internship at the Cologne Center for Genomics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, Prof. Dr. Dr. Michal-Ruth Schweiger
2015 – 2017: Student Assistant and Bachelor’s Thesis at the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Laboratory, Boğaziēi University, Istanbul, Turkey, Prof. Dr. Esra Battaloğlu

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death and needs to be approached in an interdisciplinary way. During my studies and internships, my interest grows towards the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, which are substantial fields through the patient-based treatments. On this basis, I am eager to study on novel therapeutic targets. My aim is to deepen my knowledge and broaden my horizons as well as learning new techniques and acquiring a thorough understanding of this enormous area of cancer research. I am thankful to be studying at the German Cancer Research Center, which I wholeheartedly believe is the right place to achieve my goals and to lead me to pursue a PhD degree.

Contact: d.karayel (at) dkfz.de

Akash Srivaths KOLINJIVADI RAMAKRISHNAN (India)

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University Education
10/2018- present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences (Major in Cancer Biology), Heidelberg University and German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany
07/2014- 07/2018: B.Tech. in Genetic Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Chennai, India

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Genetic Engineering
Title of Bachelor's Thesis
Point-of-care Detection of Disease Biomarkers Using Nanomotors

Internships/Working Experience
01/2018- 06/2018: Bachelor's thesis "Point-of-care Detection of Disease Biomarkers Using Nanomotors" in the research group of Dr. Hadi Shafiee, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
01/2017- 09/2017: Undergraduate Researcher at Molecular Modeling Lab, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, India. Project Title- "Insights from the Molecular Modelling and Docking Analysis of Apoptosis Inducing Factor-Nuclear Localization Signal complex to infer Nuclear Translocation of the Protein"
06/2016-07/2016: Trainee at Biozone Research Technologies Private Limited, India. Project Title- "Apoptotic Induction Potential of Petroselinum crispum and Azadirachta indica Against Melanoma"

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer has been the chief cause of mortality worldwide. The complex and intriguing nature of cancer cells never ceases to amaze me! I developed a keen interest in the modern approaches for treating cancer like gene therapy. Therefore, I believe that understanding the cellular signaling system is fundamental to identify novel therapeutic targets. I also wish to gain a deep insight on various research fields in oncology during the course of my Master's program which will serve as a foundation for pursuing a Ph.D. degree, after which I am planning to build a career in academia with an aim to improve the quality of cancer treatment.

Contact: a.kolinjivadiramakrishnan (at) dkfz.de
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Annina KURZAY (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), MSc. in Molecular Biosciences; Major Cancer Biology
09/2017-06/2018 University of Aberdeen, Scotland, BSc. with Honours Degree in Genetics (Immunology)
09/2015-08/2018 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 Thesis
Evaluating the mechanism of action of a novel paclitaxel conjugate in cancer cells that express the αvβ3 integrin

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer Biology has been one of the fields I have always been fascinated to work on. For my Honours Thesis I could choose from a range of different topics and decided to work in an oncology-based lab. So, I chose this master program to gain deeper insight into the latest developments in cancer research. I am particularly interested in the abnormalities that cancer cells develop in tumours, which makes them suitable targets for new anti-cancer drugs. The development of tumour-specific agents depends on the precise discrimination between cancerous and healthy tissue, which thereby helps to reduce the systemic toxicity of current chemotherapy treatments. My future goal is to apply knowledge from basic research to novel approaches in generating anticancer drugs that cause a minimum of undesirable side effects by targeting deregulated cells only.

Contact: a.kurzay (at) dkfz.de

Tereza LAUSOVĮ (Czech Republic)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology, at the University of Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
09/2015-06/2018: Bachelor studies in Molecular and Cell Biology at Palackż University, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Highest Degree: Bachelor (Bc.) in Molecular and Cell Biology

Title of Bachelor Thesis
MiRNA Profiling in Meningiomas

Internships/Working Experience
29/1/2018-9/2/2018: Internship in a diagnostic molecular biology laboratory at Public Health Institute in Ostrava, Czech Republic
31/7/2017-5/9/2017: Participation in a project evaluating the effects of X-ray irradiation on mouse follicular and fibroblast cells at the Institute of Molecular nad Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palackż University, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer interests me because of the spectrum of possible ways through which it can arise. It shows both the fragile balance the cells must preserve, but also the powerful mechanisms they deploy to maintain it. I am interested in learning about how accumulation of mutations and epigenetic changes contributes to the development of a cancerous cell. And I am especially keen to know more about the consequences of molecular damage that occurs in cells during radiotherapy, affecting not just the targeted cancer cells but also healthy surrounding tissue.
I believe studying Major Cancer Biology at DKFZ is a tremendous opportunity to expand my knowledge and gain experience in a cutting-edge interdisciplinary research environment. In the future, I want to pursue a PhD in life sciences.

Contact: t.lausova (at) dkfz.de

Andrew LINDSAY (Canada)

Lasse MEYER (Germany)

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University Education
present: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg, GER - MSc Molecular Biosciences – Major Cancer Biology, in Cooperation with Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg
09/2017 – 01/2018: University College London London, UK - Postgraduate Certificate in Cancer
09/2016 – 01/2017: University of California at Santa Barbara, USA - Exchange Program during Bachelor of Science
10/2014 – 09/2017: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg Heidelberg, GER - Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry / Postgraduate Certificate in Cancer
Title of Thesis
Role of ACBP in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Initiation and Development

Internships
04/2017 - 07/2017: German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Clinical Neurobiology - Bachelor Thesis; Topic: Role of ACBP in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Initiation and Development
02/2017 - 04/2017: National Center for Tumour Diseases (NCT), Molecular and Gene Therapy - Research Internship; Topic: High-resolution insertion-site analysis of recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAV)
03/2012-04/2012: Roche Diagnostics, Biotechnology Development – Internship

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." (Carl Sagan)
This quote reflects the curiosity that drives me to explore and understand the world and its inhabitants. The sophisticated network of more than 1013 cells in humans is finely geared to each other, but small errors can accumulate and disrupt the natural balance of the system ultimately leading to cancer. By studying cancer I would like to deepen my knowledge about involved pathways, novel treatment approaches and genetic causes behind this heterogeneous disease. In particular, I am intrigued by the field of neuro-oncology and paediatric cancer research and would like to translate my academic skills into these fields during my PhD.

Contact: l.meyer (at) dkfz.de
LinkedIn profile

Anindhita Meena MURALIDHARAN (India)

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University Education
10/2018- present - M.Sc Molecular Biosciences- Major Cancer Biology. German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
2014-2018 - Bachelor of Technology- Major Biotechnology. SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India

Bachelor Thesis
Evaluation of apoptotic activity of RA-V, a naturally occurring cyclic peptide on human cancer cell lines

Internships/Work Experience
December 2015 - Nano-Biotechnology Lab at Sankara Nethralaya Hospital, Chennai, India
June 2016 - Genetics Department at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, India
January - May 2017- Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India. Project Title: 'Extraction and Identification of Cyclic Peptides from the Selected Plants of the Solanaceae Family'
June - August 2017 - McGill University Health Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital- Glen Site, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Project Title: 'Genetic Analyses of BRCA1 Mutations in a Canadian Ovarian Cancer Cohort.'

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer, with its accompanying shock and devastation, has hit close to home more than once as a tragic personal experience. The sheer inability to intervene while witnessing the disease take its course left no doubt in my mind. My path was paved towards striving to make a breakthrough in this field. The complexity of the carcinogenesis and the innumerable role players resembled a thrilling screenplay unfolding before my eyes. The cross talk between the immune system and cancer cells has in specific been a cause of intrigue to me. I am very keen to work on tweaking the components of the immune system with the available tools, in order to alter/ improve their influence/response to cancer cells. In the impending years, the support of a Masters and Ph.D education would enable me as a researcher in the field of Cancer Biology, while also engaging in educational aspects. It is my dream to become a professor and impart my knowledge to the next generation, as the quest for scientific improvement is never-ending.

Contact: a.muralidharan (at) dkfz.de

Masooma RAJPUT (Pakistan)

Fabian ROSING (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018-present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences, Major Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg
10/2014-08/2017: B.Sc. Molecular Biotechnology at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biotechnology)
Title of Bachelor Thesis
The role of chromatin state in BRCA1 and 53BP1-mediated DNA damage response

Internships/Working Experience
08/2016-10/2016: internship at Siemens Healthcare in Princeton, New Jersey (USA), focusing on medical imaging
09/2015: internship at the division of pediatric neurooncology, DKFZ

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
From the beginning of my studies cancer research has been my main field of interest. I have mostly worked with genomic approaches, for instance using CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out proteins of interest. This new tool has a lot of potential and despite the current controversies it will be a valuable tool both for research and possibly therapy of cancer, i.e. in gene therapies.. During the course of my Bachelor‘s program I also gained interest in bioinformatics which provides powerful new tools to gain the most insight from the huge amount of sequencing data that is available nowadays.
After my Master‘s degree I will pursuit a career in academic research, maybe contributing to the progress in the understanding and treatment of cancer first as a PhD student and later as a postdoc at the DKFZ.

Contact: f.rosing (at) dkfz.de

Laura SCHOPPE (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
10/2015 - 09/2018: B.Sc. Biosciences at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biosciences
Title of Bachelor Thesis
The contribution of SLM2 to alternative splicing of structural protein variants and disease related RNAs in dilated cardiomyopathy

Internships/Working Experience
09/2016-present: Student Assistant at DKFZ Heidelberg HT Sequencing Unit
03/2018-09/2018: Research Internship at Institute for Cardiomyopathies Heidelberg (ICH) at University Clinic Heidelberg Molecular Genetics Lab

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer does not emerge spontaneously, it is the result of a long process of genetic mutation, cellular malfunction, epigenetic modification, and many other processes not yet full understood. By studying cancer at the DKFZ I would like to participate in the scientific progress of resolving the details of the disease and contribute to the development of better treatment and prevention methods.
I am highly interested in the molecular processes as well as the genetic and epigenetic alterations that lead to the transformation of healthy proliferating cells to malignant ones. I am thankful for the opportunity to work at this institution, broaden my view, and get insight in the multitude of research being done here.
In the future I want to pursue a PhD and continue contributing to the field of biomedical research throughout my career.

Contact: l.schoppe (at) dkfz.de
LinkedIn profile

Öykü Ece TOSUN (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2018 – Present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences, with a Major in Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), in Heidelberg, Germany
09/2013 – 06/2018: B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Molecular Biology and Genetics
Title of Bachelor Project:
The Effects of Hyperglycemia on Bone Formation in vitro

Internships/Research Experience:
02/2018 – 06/2018: Undergraduate Research Assistant in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Mesut Muyan, in the Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey
06/2017 – 08/2017: Undergraduate Research Assistant in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. John E. Davies, in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto, Toronto/ON, Canada
06/2016 – 10/2016: Visiting Student Researcher in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. David L. Kaplan in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford/MA, USA
10/2014 – 10/2015: iGEM 2015 Team Member of METU

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer is one of the most common and deadliest disease in the world. Although there are certain treatment options according to the cancer type, these options are usually harmful also for healthy tissues in patient's body and most of the times they are not enough for the complete treatment. Therefore, I would like to focus more on unusual therapeutic techniques such as oncolytic virotherapy, which specifically targets tumor cells. Moreover, my undergraduate training in molecular biology and accompanying research/internship experiences in biomaterials field increased my motivation and interest greatly on doing an interdisciplinary research. I would like to study on anti-tumor immunotherapies by using biomaterials. My ultimate goal is to pursue Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in my future career and I believe Major Cancer Biology Program in DKFZ and University of Heidelberg would provide an excellent academic ground for me to realize my goal.

Contact: o.tosun (at) dkfz.de
LinkedIn profile

Marie-Elen TUCHEL (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 – present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences with Major in Cancer Biology at Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, Germany and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg)
10/2015 – 08/2018: B.Sc in Biochemistry at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Screening for novel therapeutic options to treat lymphoma

Internships/Working Experience
03/2018 – 08/2018: Bachelor thesis "Screening for novel therapeutic options to treat lymphoma" in the group of Dr. Stephan Hailfinger at the Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry (IFIB) in Tübingen, Germany
10/2017 – 11/2017: Internship at the Department of Biochemistry – Posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression headed by Prof. Dr. Elisa Izaurralde at the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for developmental biology in Tübingen, Germany

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Cancer research excites my curiosity due to the complexity it features: Cancer cells arise by various genetic and epigenetic modifications, reprogramming the cell to escape from intracellular and extracellular control mechanisms. This variety of ongoing mechanisms in cancer cells characterize cancer as an unique entity. Cancer research therefore combines a wide range of distinct research objectives, which makes it so interesting, but at the same time so challenging to investigate. Furthermore, it is the astonishing way of how tumor cells evade the immune system, which intrigues me. I am eager to gain deeper insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms of cancer cells, especially within the context of immunology, as a premise to use this fundamental knowledge to evolve new therapeutic approaches to treat cancer.
In my occupational future, I want to pursue a PhD and to continue my academic career by contributing new insights to the field of biomedical research.

Contact: m.tuchel (at) dkfz.de
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Berk ULUĞ (Turkey)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: M.Sc. in Molecular Biosciences with Major Cancer Biology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
09/2014 - 06/2018: B.Sc. in Genetics and Bioengineering at Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey

Highest Degree: B.Sc. with High Honors Degree in Genetics and Bioengineering
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Role of tissue transglutaminase short isoform in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition

Internships/Working Experience
09/2017-05/2018: Bachelor Thesis "Role of tissue transglutaminase short isoform in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition", Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Yeditepe University, Turkey, Prof. Dr. Dilek Telci
06/2017-08/2017: Visiting Scholar, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego, CA, USA, Prof. Dr. Milton H. Saier, Jr
01/2017-02/2017: Intern, Institute of Virology, Technical University of Munich / Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany, PD Dr. rer. nat. Sabrina Schreiner
06/2016–08/2016: Intern, University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, University of Zurich, Switzerland, Prof. Dr. Edna Grünblatt
06/2015–07/2015: Intern, Department of Bioengineering, Ege University, Turkey, Dr. Aylin Şendemir Ürkmez

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Biology has always been the field of science that intrigued me the most. My future was sealed when I discovered the concept of genetic engineering; I found my passion and achieved my bachelor's degree in this field. Through various internships, I observed how research is conducted in unique settings and disciplines. Because of these experiences, I have become greatly interested in cancer biology. Tragically, cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in our century. Yet, from a biological perspective, cancer is incredibly intriguing. The molecular mechanisms utilized by cancer cells to evolve and resist various therapeutics truly fascinate me. Specifically, the ways in which cellular signaling and apoptotic pathways are manipulated in cancer interest me the most. I believe that gaining a well-rounded and thorough experience at DKFZ, a leading institution and home of cutting-edge cancer research, will prepare me to be a successful scientist in the future.

Contact: b.ulug (at) dkfz.de
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Julianna Patricia VARGA (Philippines & Hungary)

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University Ecuation
2015 - 2018: B.Sc. Biology (general), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich

Highest Degree: B.Sc. Biology
Title of Bachelor Thesis:
Validation of Degron Systems for Conditional Protein Depletion in Mammalian Cells

Internships
10/2018 - present: iGEM 2019 Team Heidelberg
07/2017 - 09/2017: University of Cambridge/Amgen Scholars Programme summer research project in the Sweeney Lab (Pathology Department - Virology Division) "IFIT1B: Characterising a Novel Member of the IFIT Family of Proteinsk"¯
11/2016 - 12/2017: Office assistant at the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
Biomedical science has always been of great interest to me. With the field of cancer research rapidly developing, its interdisciplinarity as well as its contribution to translational research has been on the rise; With the latter bridging the 'bench to bedside' aspect, I find it particularly rewarding to see how work in the lab can contribute to the treatment of patients.
Learning about tumour-promoting inflammation in a seminar during my bachelors, I was particularly fascinated by lymphocyte heterogeneity and their complex role in tumour progression. Hence, I would be glad to learn more regarding this relatively new research topic. However, as cancer research is a very broad field, my main goal during this masters is to develop a good basis regarding cancer biology as well as learning new techniques in the lab, making it the perfect stepping stone to a PhD.

Contact: j.varga (at) dkfz.de
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Marie WOSNY (Germany)

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University Education
10/2018 - present: M.Sc. Molecular Biosciences with the Major in Cancer Biology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany
08/2016 - 05/2017: Michigan State University, MI, USA
10/2014 - 09/2018: B.Sc. Biology Plus International, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology
Title of Bachelor Thesis
Characterization of novel p21 mRNA-binding proteins and their function in DNA‑damage induced signaling pathways

Internships
10/2018 - present: iGEM 2019 Team Heidelberg
07/2018 - 09/2018 DAAD RISE worldwide research internship, Iowa Neuroscience Institute, University of Iowa, USA, Prof. Dr. Ted Abel
01/2018 - 06/2018 Internship, Institute of Molecular Radiation Oncology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. Reiner Jänicke
07/2017 - 08/2017 Internship, Institute of Experimental Oncology, Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Science, Wrocław, Poland, Prof. Dr. Leon Strządała
01/2017 - 04/2017 Internship, Plant Biology Laboratories, Michigan State University, USA, Prof. Dr. Christoph Benning
08/2016 - 12/2016 Internship, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, USA, Prof. Dr. Paul Coussens
02/2016 - 04/2016 Internship, Institute of Metabolism and Physiology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. Eckhard Lammert
11/2015 - 01/2018 Research assistant, Institute of Botany, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr. Petra Bauer

Scientific Interests/Future Plans
I developed my interest in oncology because cancer is one of the most deathful diseases in industrial countries despite excellent medicine. Genomic instability fosters genetic diversity which makes cancer a heterogeneous and dynamic disease divisible into many sub-types. I want to understand the multistep process of carcinogenesis and how mutations and epigenetic modifications in the genome can enable tumor cells to escape immune destruction, to resist apoptosis and to metastasize.
The Master program "Major Cancer" and the DKFZ, a leading institution in cancer research, give me the outstanding opportunity to deepen my knowledge, to improve my acquired qualifications and to develop new skills so that I can prepare myself for pursuing a PhD. My aim is to improve cancer diagnostic tools and treatment strategies reaching for lives without cancer now and for future generations.

Contact: m.wosny (at) dkfz.de
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