Research Program C: Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention


Below you will find DKFZ divisions and research groups of the Research Program Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention who are interested in recruiting Postdocs within the 2018 DKFZ Postdoctoral Fellowships Selection.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and new groups are continously added.

You may also contact the principal investigator of the DKFZ research group of your choice directly to discuss about current possibilities. More information about hiring labs can be found below and descriptions of DKFZ research programs via the general topic locator.

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Biostatistics – Prof. Dr. Annette Kopp-Schneider



Research in the Division of Biostatistics is triggered by consulting requests from biomedical scientists from the DKFZ and collaborating groups. Often, experimental design and analysis strategies are not available 'off the shelf' but must be developed and tailored to the specific problem. Reflecting the broad range of methods we use, our research topics are diverse. However, we have a focus on predictive modelling where we use molecular data to find associations with clinico-pathological factors, prognosis or response to therapy. We specifically address the situation of event time data. The design and analysis of clinical trials to investigate biomarker-targeted therapies is another important topic for our work. In this context, we develop designs for early phase clinical trials which are based on Bayesian posterior distributions. First findings on the activity of novel targeted agents are available from registry studies or early clinical trials and these are per se non-randomized. We investigate how information can be obtained regarding the causal relationship between treatment and response. Other research topics address non-linear modelling of dose-response relationships to characterize the toxic effects of compounds. In this setting, we derive optimal experimental designs.

Please visit our website for further information on our research and recent publications.


Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors – Prof. Dr. Christoph Plass


Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA and histone modifications, remodeling of the chromatin and non-coding RNAs, are important regulators of natural processes from early development to aging. The Division “Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors” is specifically interested in epigenetic alterations leading to various types of cancer, but also to other diseases such as radiation-induced fibrosis, chronic pulmonary obstruction and the metabolic syndrome.
Using diverse wet lab and computational technologies, our specific aims are to

•    investigate how genomic and epigenomic mechanisms interact in the deregulation of cancer genes,
•    infer the tumor cell of origin from DNA methylomes,
•    explore epigenetic tumor heterogeneity,
•    understand epigenetic gene regulation during early differentiation processes,
•    discover epigenetic modifications as modulators of disease risk,
•    understand the role of epigenetic mechanisms in immunology,
•    identify and validate DNA methylation-based biomarkers,
•    characterize epigenetic alterations in rodent models of cancer development to identify early and potentially initiating epigenetic events
•    investigate the influence of dietary factors on epigenetic regulation of gene expression and
•    develop novel strategies for epigenetic therapies and prevention.


We offer several projects dealing with epigenetic research questions and related to several tumor types from leukemia, breast, prostate, lung, bile duct and pancreatic cancer to giant cell tumors of the bone. Most projects range from integrated NGS-based genome-wide genetic, epigenetic and transcriptomic analyses to experimental validation in cancer samples and in in vitro models using up to date technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9-based technologies for epigenetic editing.

Please visit our website for further information on our research and recent publications.


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