The research group comprises tumor researchers working at the universities of Tübingen and Würzburg. The aim of the group is to identify and test new molecular targets for the therapy of solid tumors.
Almost all current strategies to find new molecular targets rely on sequencing of tumor genomes and on finding proteins that are mutated in human cancer genomes. However, to drive unrestrained cell growth tumor cells also depend on a multitude of physiological adaptions, for example in tumor metabolism, in cell cycle control and in protein synthesis and degradation. These differences between normal and tumor cells offer molecular targets and open “therapeutic windows” that enable the selective eradication of solid tumors.
This research group will therefore systematically survey basic cellular processes such as intermediary metabolism, protein translation or DNA replication to systematically identify genes and proteins, for which tumor cells show an altered dependence relative to normal cells and test whether they can be exploited to tumor therapy. To achieve this aim, researchers will use approaches that combine advanced in vitro and in vivo shRNA screening technologies in animal tumor models with state-of-the art imaging and multiple biochemical technologies.