We are developing and deploying genetic tools and models to study molecular and translational aspects of cancer development. In the past few years we have pioneered the development of PiggyBac transposon-based technologies for genetic screening in vivo. These unique tools allow us to discover cancer-driving molecular processes that are difficult to be identified with other approaches to cancer genome analysis. We use these systems to dissect the genetic basis of cancer development, metastatic spread and treatment resistance directly in vivo, in a high-throughput manner, on a genome-wide scale (e.g. Science 2010, 330:1104-7; Nat Genet. 2011,43:470-5, Nat Genet. 2015,47(1):47).
In different, hypothesis-driven approaches we are developing specific genetic and infectious models of cancer. We deploy these models to study defined biological questions or for preclinical research in order to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies (e.g. Cancer Cell 2013, 18, 23(2):406).
Another focus is the development of methods to facilitate the functional annotation of cancer genomes. To this end we develop CRISPR/Cas9-based approaches for somatic gene editing in the mouse and use them for targeted mutagenesis, genetic screening and chromosome engineering in the context of gastrointestinal or haematopoietic cancers (e.g. PNAS 2015, Oct27).
We are a young and enthusiastic team and offer intensive training and mentoring. We use a broad spectrum of techniques, such as in vivo transposon mutagenesis, Cre/loxP, Flp/frt, multi-omics, RNAi, retroviral expression systems, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, in vivo molecular imaging etc. The proximity to the clinical facilities allows insights into clinically relevant aspects of cancer. We also intend to facilitate research experience abroad at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK. The successful candidate will be employed under the umbrella of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at DKFZ as well as at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The lab is based in the heart of Munich, at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar (from 2016 onward at the same campus in the newly built TUM Central Institute for Translational Cancer Research: TranslaTUM).