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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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Sanjana had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Tech degree in Biotechnology from the SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Nagar, India

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Alina BOLLHAGEN (Germany)

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Alina had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Constance, Germany

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Maria BOULOUGOURI (Greece)

Maria had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a BSc degree in Biosciences from Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany

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Alicia BUCK (Germany)

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Alicia had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Hochschule Reutlingen, Germany

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Maximiliane FINKBEINER (Germany)

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Maximiliane had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Biosciences from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany

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Alessia FLOERCHINGER (Germany & Switzerland)

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Alessia had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Molecular Medicine from the University of Freiburg, Germany

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Contact
a.floerchinger (at) dkfz.de

Valerie GRIESCHE (Germany)

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Valerie had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Biology from Wingate University, North Carolina, USA

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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
LinkedIn profile

 

Kevin Brooks HENRY (USA)

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Brooks had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities/MN, USA

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Deniz Dilay KARAYEL (Turkey)

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Dilay had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey

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Akash Srivaths KOLINJIVADI RAMAKRISHNAN (India)

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Akash had joined Major Cancer Biology @ DKFZ with a B.Tech. degree in Genetic Engineering from the SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Chennai, India

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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 LAUSOVÁ (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 Palacký 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, Palacký 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
LinkedIn Profile

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
LinkedIn profile

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
LinkedIn profile

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
LinkedIn profile

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