Chromatin; DNA Methylation; Epigenomics; Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
The main research focus of the lab lies in the field of cancer epigenetics. Using genetic modified mouse models and epigenomic analyses the goal is to understand how epigenetic aberrations such as DNA methylation are generated and how they impact on tumorigenesis. Furthermore, we study the effect of inhibition of epigenetic pathways on tumor development and progression. We use genome-wide epigenomic analyses to develop epigenetic biomarkers for tumor diagnostics. In close collaboration with pathologists and clinicians we aim to establish epigenetic biomarkers for minimal-invasive tumor classification and diagnosis from circulating free tumor DNA (cfDNA) isolated from body fluids (e.g. plasma, urine) of cancer patients.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
Next to standard molecular biology methods we employ transgenic mouse models inlcuding tumor models and knockout mice for epigenetic modifyiers. We use genome-wide and locus specific DNA methylation analyses, Chromatin Immunoprecipitation and chromatin accessibility assays. Furthermore, techniques to analyse limited amounts of material including circulating free tumor DNA or microdissected tissues are established in the lab.