Lab Location: Anna Spiegel Center of Translational Research, Level 5
Associated Clinical Department: General Surgery, Transplant Surgery
Our work focuses on the identification of proteins involved in the pathology of different diseases and the characterization of their molecular role. We use a state-of-the-art DIGE proteomics platform to identify new biomarkers in clinical samples. Then we develop in vitro models to characterize the function of these proteins in the pathobiochemistry of the disease.
We initiated our biomarker research already in the late 1990s with the analysis of neutrophils in patients with multiple trauma. We are constantly improving our proteomics platform for the needs of clinical studies by enhancing its quantitative sensitivity and by developing new statistical and bio-informatical approaches.
1. Immunogenic Cell Death in Cancer Therapy
This work focuses on tumor immunology and drug resistance, with particular interest in breast cancer and colon cancer. We examine the effect of cancer therapy on the immune system, with special focus on the immune response to therapy-induced cell death. Our team has shown that the immediate response of the complement system within in the first few days of chemotherapy correlates with the final success of the treatment. Currently, we are analyzing the role of complement for chemotherapy induced cell death in vitro.
2. Non-HLA Antigens in Kidney Transplantation
Pre-existing allo-reactive non-HLA-related antibodies in sera of kidney transplant recipients are known to correlate with the chronic graft rejection which is a major problem in kidney transplantation. We identified the most common antigens. They are specific isoforms of cytoskeletal proteins such as vimentin. We are currently investigating why these antibodies are formed and are developing an easy to use diagnostic assay for their detection.
3. Diagnostic Platelet Biochip
Analysing the expression profile of more than 1500 proteins in platelets of more than 280 study subjects we could identify and validate biomarkers for age-related disorders including neurodegenerative diseases. In cooperation with industry we are currently developing a protein bio-chip for routine application.