PRECiSe is an interdisciplinary research consortium that involves the project partners listed below.
Benedikt Brors is head of the Division of Applied Bioinformatics at the DKFZ with second affiliation to the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg. He
• has developed models for predictive and prognostic classification of tumor samples in a number of different cancer entities, and on meta and cross-study analysis of transcriptomic data;
• is coordinating bioinformatics analyses in three German ICGC consortia on sequencing of tumor genomes, transcriptomes and methylomes of pediatric brain cancers, malignant lymphoma and on early-onset prostate cancer;
• is heading the bioinformatics analysis in the clinical sequencing program of NCT;
• is a work group leader for epigenome-genome interaction in the ICGC PanCancer Analysis.
Roland Eils is a mathematician by training and has been working in the field of computational biology over more than 15 years since his PhD. He has
• unraveled for the first time a structure-function relationship of chromosomal organization,
• developed a simulation framework for signal transduction networks in apoptosis,
• has discovered the effect of X-chromosome hypermutation in cancer
• has setup one of the largest bioinformatics facilities in cancer genome research in Europe as part the International Cancer Genome (ICGC) and Human Epigenome Consortia (IHEC)
Carl Herrmann is a theoretical physicist and applied mathematician by training. He is working on understanding the principles of transcriptional regulation and to investigate the epigenetic and genetic contributions to gene expression modulation. He has
• developed approaches and tools for de novo motif discovery in high-throughput datasets,
• applied graph-theoretical algorithms to biological networks, in particular protein-protein interaction networks for the inference of functions,
• developed novel approaches for the integration of heterogeneous genomic datasets and the prediction of regulatory features
Thomas Höfer is a theoretical biophysicist and leads the Division of Theoretical Systems Biology at the DKFZ. His work focuses on elucidating the dynamics of cellular regulatory networks by modeling and model-driven experiments. He has
• pioneered data-driven modeling approaches to infer molecular regulatory networks and cellular differentiation programs from experimental data,
• elucidated systems-level regulation of lymphocyte activation and differentiation,
• developed single-cell-based imaging and flow cytometry approaches to quantify and model cellular differentiation and proliferation decisions.
Peter Lichter leads the division Molecular Genetics at the DKFZ in Heidelberg. He coordinates several research initiatives including the NGFN-PLUS Brain Tumor Network and the German ICGC contribution on pediatric brain tumors. He has
• pioneered technologies in (cyto)genetics, including FISH protocols, array-based comparative genomic hybridization (arrayCGH) and array-based DNA methylation screening (aPRIMES),
• elucidated epigenetic tumor pathomechanisms in several tumor entities,
• contributed to understanding mechanisms for resistance to therapy, and the translation of knowledge about prognostic and predictive markers into routine clinical settings, and
• developed novel tumor patient stratification schemes based on genetic profiles and elucidated molecular pathomechanisms and therapeutic targeting in brain tumors and B cell lymphomas.
Daniel Mertens was trained as a biochemist and currently focuses on the underlying pathomechanism of CLL. As head of the cooperation unit “Mechanisms of Leukemogenesis” between the University Ulm and the DKFZ, he is working on the translation of research on the epigenomic pathomechanism of CLL into clinical applications. He
• characterized transcriptional deregulation in CLL patients,
• identified an epigenetic tumor suppressor in the most commonly affected region, 13q14.3, and
• coordinates a Virtual Helmholtz Institute that studies the microenvironment response of CLL cells and models the associated transcription networks.
Christoph Plass is the head of the DKFZ Division of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors. He is member of the epigenomics special emphasis panel of the NIH, Bethesda, USA, and co-coordinator of two large research consortia: ICGC project ‘Genomes of Early onset prostate tumors’ (together with G. Sauter) and DFG Priority Program SPP1463, ‘Epigenetic Regulation of normal hematopoiesis and its dysregulation inmyeloid neoplasia’ (together with M. Lübbert). He
• has made major contributions to studies of aberrant DNA methylation in tumorigenesis,
• has shown with his group that human malignancies are characterized by extensive promoter CpG island methylation with non-random and tumor-type specific patterns,
• is elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which epigenetic and genetic alterations cooperate during the initiation and progression of malignant cell growth, and
• studies how environmental stimuli are processed by the epigenome and processed to the onset and severity of malignancies, as well as treatment response and treatment outcome.
Karsten Rippe has conducted interdisciplinary research that combines molecular/cell biology and physics to investigate the relation between chromatin organization and cellular functions and has coordinated/coordinated several research consortia in the field of systems biology/medicine. He has
• elucidated mechanisms by which epigenetic networks operate in living cells and how they are deregulated in cancer,
• conducted cell biology studies to elucidate the control of the dynamic chromatin conformation and DNA accessibility changes via the histone acetylation state, and
• performed modeling studies and developed quantitative descriptions of chromatin organization.
Martina Seiffert is a group leader in the division of Peter Lichter at the DKFZ. She has
• established and exploited several coculture models for primary CLL cells to mimic the in vivo microenvironment as tools to study the cross-talk with non-malignant bystander cells and to perform compound screens,
• conducted genome-wide analyses of microRNAs and their target genes in CLL, and uncovered the pathomechanistic relevance of selected candidates,
• contributed to our knowledge on the role of extracellular vesicles in CLL,
• analyzed microenvironmental changes in the Eµ-TCL1 mouse model for CLL and uses this model for pre-clinical testing of compounds.
Stephan Stilgenbauer is deputy medical director of the Internal Medicine III Department at University Hospital Ulm, a reference laboratory in the German CLL study group for international clinical studies. He leads the central genetics reference laboratory of the German CLL study group for international clinical studies. He is coordinator and investigator of numerous international clinical trials on CLL. He pioneered genetic prognostic markers in CLL that are now being used in state-of-the-art molecular diagnostics, and develops novel treatment strategies applicable to chemoresistant and high-risk CLL.