Practical Course HP-F9: Cancer Genomics, Proteomics and Murine Tumor Models

Type: Practical Course with Student Seminars

Date: 12. April - 21. May 2021

15 lab days; for exact schedule and free days see description below

Hosts/Organizers: Hai-Kun Liu; Cindy Körner, Stefan Wiemann (organizer contact:


Functional genomics research collects quantitative genomic as well as proteomic data and links this to functional and phenotypic measurements. This practical presents an overview of genomic, proteomic and functional analysis methods in cancer research, in vitro and in vivo. Main learning objectives of this course are to enable students to work in a team to create a project proposal based on previous data, to conduct and explain selected functional genomics methods and mouse models and to interpret their data with respect to the initial research question.


Module 1 (10 days) – Clonal heterogeneity of breast cancer cells in endocrine therapy resistance

Supervisors: Cindy Körner, Lukas Beumers, Birgitta Michels, Janina Müller, Nooraldeen Tarade, Zhivka Hristova, Stefan Wiemann (TP3)

During a pre-meeting (date will be arranged with the participants), we will present background on breast cancer as well as a scientific observation that will serve as basis for generating research questions and hypotheses to be addressed during the course both theoretically and experimentally. In the week from 12th of April, together with the supervisors, all students will spend 3 days (virtual channels) to give their seminar presentations and to develop in groups of four a complete project plan to be followed in the second part of this module (group 1: 7 days between 26. April. and 7. May; group 2: 7 days between 10. and 21. May). During the second part, they will conduct selected experiments to test their hypotheses. Data will be interpreted together with the supervisors in the context of the initial hypothesis. Methods will include reverse-phase protein arrays, TaqMan qRT-PCR, transfections and functional analyses (e.g. cell cycle, proliferation, apoptosis, drug sensitivity, invasion, migration).


Module 2 (5 days) – Gene expression analysis in mouse models of human tumors

Supervisors: Hai-Kun Liu, Yassin Harim, Changwen Wang @TP4

Using advanced genetically engineered mouse models of glioblastoma, the students will learn how to isolate mouse brain tumors, prepare sections, and perform immunohistochemistry experiments followed with microscopic analysis. Alterations of key signalling pathways like PI3K/AKT or MAPK pathway will be analysed in this in vivo material. Basic principles of mouse models of human cancer will be introduced (group 1: 19.-23. April and group 2: 3.-7. May, to be arranged with the supervisors).


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