Our researchers pursue sophisticated approaches to illuminate the relationship between infection and cancer:
(1) Carcinogenic microbes
The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is the paradigm of a cancer-inducing bacterium. Understanding the mechanisms behind this link will help to define the principles of an infection-cancer connection.
(2) Human organoids and mucosoids
The use of human primary cell culture models is crucial for authentic investigations of cancer emergence. We have pioneered the use of innovative organoid and mucosoid models, providing invaluable avenues of approach.
(3) Functional genomics of cancer initiation
Breakthrough technologies, such as RNA interference and CRISPR/Cas9, are extensively used in our work to decipher beneficial and potentially deleterious gene functions and genetic defects.
(4) Origin of cancer initiating cells
Sophisticated genetic lineage tracing tools help to illuminate the earliest events in cancer initiation and the various stages of carcinogenesis.
(5) Analysing human cancer progression
In collaboration with clinical centers we analyze human specimens guiding us in our understanding of the various stages of cancer initiation and progression as well as the role of infectious agents. <more>
(6) Signatures of infection in the cancer genome
Identifying genetic signatures that bacterial pathogens might leave behind in human cells might provide genuine clues on the causality between infections and cancer emergence.