Cookie Settings

We use cookies to optimize our website. These include cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as those that are only used for anonymous statistic. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Further information can be found in our data privacy protection .


These cookies are necessary to run the core functionalities of this website and cannot be disabled.

Name Webedition CMS
Purpose This cookie is required by the CMS (Content Management System) Webedition for the system to function correctly. Typically, this cookie is deleted when the browser is closed.
Name econda
Purpose Session cookie emos_jcsid for the web analysis software econda. This runs in the “anonymized measurement” mode. There is no personal reference. As soon as the user leaves the site, tracking is ended and all data in the browser are automatically deleted.

These cookies help us understand how visitors interact with our website by collecting and analyzing information anonymously. Depending on the tool, one or more cookies are set by the provider.

Name econda
Purpose Statistics
External media

Content from external media platforms is blocked by default. If cookies from external media are accepted, access to this content no longer requires manual consent.

Name YouTube
Purpose Show YouTube content
Name Twitter
Purpose activate Twitter Feeds


The Major "Cancer Biology", which is part of the Master Program "Molecular Biosciences" of the Faculty of Biosciences, University of Heidelberg, has been designed to cover all relevant aspects of cancer research. It offers an outstanding environment for Master thesis research and, at a later stage, also for doctoral thesis research. It provides splendid interdisciplinary training and research opportunities in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research. The fields which are covered include molecular and cellular tumor biology, biophysics and medical physics, structural and functional genomics and proteomics, systems biology, tumor immunology, tumor virology, tumor epidemiology, toxicology, and translational oncology.

Many DKFZ laboratories are incorporated into our innovative Major "Cancer Biology" Program. This allows the students to experience cutting edge science and to interact with internationally leading scientists at a very early stage of their career.

General Organization

The regular study program comprises 4 semesters

Schedule and Calendar

LSF: Teachings, studies and research - Information system of the University of Heidelberg

All updates, more details, also from other majors of this Master program, may also be obtained from the LSF online directory of the University.
Choose the link "Course Overview" on the right, this will bring you to the "Vorlesungsverzeichnis", choose semester of interest, scroll down to "Fakultät für Biowissenschaften" - "Biologie" - "Master Molecular Biosciences" - "Cancer Biology"

Special Note:

Major Cancer Biology is affected by the Corona pandemic:

  • Lecture series in the past winter term 2021/2022 were offered online via various video conference streaming tools.
    Planning for the upcoming winter term 2022/2023 is in the seminar room but may be returned to virtual or hybrid mode depending on the situation in autumn/winter.
  • Summer term 2022: mainly classroom teaching but due to room restrictions partially in online mode.
  • In all practical courses the safety and hygiene concept, distancing rules, etc., of DKFZ has to be strictly followed.
  • Starting 16. March 2022, access to DKFZ is restricted to fully vaccinated individuals. As of 1. October 2022 full vaccination is defined as three-time vaccination with an accredited vaccine.

Semester 1: 'Frontiers in Biosciences' (Winter Term 2022/2023)


"Crash Course"

  • Theoretical and Practical Training in Basic Laboratory Methods and Techniques  - mainly for incoming students with little practical experience in standard molecular biological methods
  • Participants are identified and assigned to the course during the Welcome Events
  • Dates and location: week 31. October - 4. November 2022, DKFZ Teaching Lab
  • Instructors: Dr. Richard Harbottle and co-workers

Lecture Series and Tutorials on Molecular Biosciences

mandatory for all Master students of all majors, centrally organized by the Faculty of Biosciences

  • 1. Lecture period (Frontiers I):
    19. October - 29. November 2022 [lectures paused: 26. Oct. - 1. Nov.] (date of written exam: 19. December 2022; retake: January 2023, exact date t.b.d./t.b.a.)
  • 2. Lecture period (Frontiers II):
    9. January - 10. March 2023
    Week 1: Core Competencies: i.a. Statistics, Science communication, Scientific publishing, Ethics in science (mandatory attendance)
    Weeks 2-9: all 7 Majors of the program organize 2-week modules ("Minors") of lectures and tutorials (choice of two topics, preferably different from their own Major, is mandatory for all students)

Lectures and tutorials take place from 8:15 - 9:45 am; hybrid mode of classroom lectures and Zoom live-stream. May vary depending on group size and availability of seminar rooms as well as pandemic situation.

3-week Practical Courses with Student Seminars

Detailed Descriptions of Practical Courses

two out of seven are mandatory for each student, one before (module Frontiers-I) and one after (module Frontiers-II) the Christmas break

(course content may be subject to change to be in line with DKFZ safety rules)

  • HP-F1: Molecular, Genetic, Cellular and Bioinformatic Approaches in Cancer Research
    date: 7.-25. November 2022
    capacity: 8 students
  • HP-F2: Applied Tumor Immunity, Bioinformatics, and Stress Response in Stem Cells
    date: 7.-25. November 2022
    capacity: 8 students
  • HP-F3: Epitranscriptomics, Crystallography, and Organoid Cancer Models
    date: 28. November - 16. December 2022
    capacity: 8 students


  • HP-F4: Biomedical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
    date: 9.-27. January 2023
    capacity: 8 students
  • HP-F5: Advanced Methods in Cell Biology
    date: 30. January - 17. February 2023
    capacity: 8 students [4 Major Cancer Biology + 4 Major MCB]
  • HP-F6: 'Oncolytic Viruses' and 'Gene Therapy'
    date: 23. January - 3. February 2023 + 13.-17. February 2023
    capacity: 6 students
  • HP-F7: Transcriptional and Translational Control of Cell Fate
    date: 20. February - 10. March 2023
    capacity: 6 students

Semester 2: 'Focus Bioscience' (Summer Term 2023)

Module 1: Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer

Lecture Series and Tutorials on "Molecular Principles of Cancer Development"

Schedule of Lecture Series

Lecture period: 11. April - 24. May 2023

Lectures and tutorials take place from 8:15 - 9:45

Location: Buchleither Seminar Room, TP3 Bldg., INF 580

The lecture series recapitulates various chapters of the book "The Biology of Cancer" by Robert Weinberg.

Date of written examination: Friday, 2. June 2023, 10:00-12:00

3-week Practical Courses with Student Seminars

Detailed Descriptions of Practical Courses

one course is mandatory for each student

  • HP-F8: Components and Mechanisms of Signal Transduction; 17. April - 12. May 2023 (capacity: 8 students + 2 from Major MCB)
  • HP-F9: Cancer Genomics, Proteomics and Murine Tumor Models; 3 planning days ahead in March, 12 practical days in the period 17. April - 19. May 2023 (capacity: 8 students)
  • HP-F10: Epigenomics and Cancer; 17. April - 5. May 2023 (capacity: 8 students)

Module 2: Tumor Immunology, Virology and Cancer

Lecture Series and Tutorials on "Tumor Immunology and Tumor Virology"

Lecture period:
12. June - 30. June 2023 (Tumor Immunology lectures)
3. July - 28. July 2023 (Tumor Virology lectures)
Lectures and tutorials take place from 08:15 - 09:45

Location: various DKFZ and TP3 seminar rooms

Date of written examination: Thursday 3. August 2023, 10:00-11:30

3-week Practical Courses with Student Seminars

Detailed Descriptions of Practical Courses

one course is mandatory for each student

  • HP-F11: Tumor Heterogeneity and Proteomics; 19. June - 7. July 2023 (capacity: 8 students)
  • HP-F12: Immunological Methods; 15. June - 7. July 2023 (capacity: 8 students)
  • HP-F13: Molecular and Immunological Methods in Tumor Virology; 3.-21. July 2023 (capacity: 8 students)

Semester 3: 'Biolab' and 'Working in Bioscience'

Overview and Descriptions of "Biolab" and "Working in Bioscience" Internship offers (selection)

Each student undertakes two lab internships - regular minimum duration: 6 weeks lab work (expendable for up to 6 months), followed by report writing time - that consist of a small, hypothesis-driven scientific research project, either in the laboratory of a Major Faculty member (Module 'Biolab'; for choice of supervisor see "Faculty" list in the navigation bar on the left), or in the context of another Major, within a foreign research program, or in a company with oncological research (Module 'Working in Bioscience').

Both projects can be done within the Major, only one of them can be done externally.

External projects require the approval of the Coordinator.

Semester 4: 'Master Thesis and Oral Defense'

The Module 'Masters Thesis Work' lasts six months and is done in the laboratory of one of the teachers in the Cancer Biology program. You undertake a laboratory research project relevant to the Major, write a thesis, and defend it in an oral presentation.

> Do you have questions?

If you did not find the desired information on our websites please send an e-mail with your specific inquiry.

contact the Administrative Office

to top
powered by webEdition CMS