Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Nakchbandi0218 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Nakchbandi, Inaam
Application deadline:
15. May 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. Jun 2018

Project description:

Microenvironment modulation as a therapy for cancer
In the advertised position, several cancer models will be evaluated in various transgenic mice to answer the following question: is it possible to enhance the immune response against cancer by modifying extracellular matrix composition?. The findings upon which this work is based were partially published in Neoplasia 2013, PLoS Biology 2016 and Cancer Research 2018. The work is currently funded by the DFG.

Our team consists of 5 PhD students and a group leader. We interact with members of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Heidelberg (where our lab is located), the department of cellular biophysics (Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research), and members of the department of Molecular Medicine at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry.

Our lab was established as a cooperation between the Max-Planck Society and the University of Heidelberg. The aim of this cooperative project is to provide a venue for the evaluation of clinically driven problems using cutting edge basic research. The main thrust of our lab is the study of the role of matrix and extracellular matrix receptors in various disease models.
1. S. Rossnagl, E. Altrock, C. Sens, S. Kraft, K. Rau, M.D. Milsom, T. Giese, Y. Samstag, I.A. Nakchbandi. “EDA-Fibronectin Originating from Osteoblasts Inhibits the Immune Response against Cancer”. 2016; PLoS Biol 14(9):e1002562.

2. S. Rossnagl, H. Ghura, C. Groth, E. Altrock, F. Jakob, S. Schott, P. Wimberger, T. Link, J.-D. Kuhlmann, A. Stenzl, J. Hennenlotter, T. Todenhöfer, M. Rojewski, K. Bieback, I.A. Nakchbandi. “A Subpopulation of Stromal Cells Controls Cancer Cell Homing to The Bone Marrow”. Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 1;78(1):129-142.

3. A. von Au, M. Vasel, S. Kraft, N. Hackl, C. Sens, A. Marx, P. Stroebel. J. Hennelotter, T. Todenhöfer, A. Stenzl, S. Schott, H. P. Sinn, A. Wetterwald, J. L. Bermejo, M. G. Cecchini, I. A. Nakchbandi. “Circulating fibronectin controls tumor growth”. 2013; Neoplasia. 2013 Aug;15(8):925-38.

4. C. Sens, K. Huck, S. Pettera, S. Uebel, G. Wabnitz. M. Moser, I.A. Nakchbandi. “Fibronectins Containing Extradomain A or B Enhance Osteoblast Differentiation Via Distinct Integrins”. J Biol Chem. 2017 May 12;292(19):7745-7760.

5. S. Kraft, V. Klemis, C. Sens, T. Lenhard, C. Jacobi, Y. Samstag, G. Wabnitz, M. Kirschfink, R. Wallich, G.M. Hänsch, I.A. Nakchbandi, “Identification and characterization of a unique role for EDB fibronectin in phagocytosis”. J Mol Med (Berl). 2016 May;94(5):567-81.

6. E. Altrock, C. Sens, C. Würfel, M. Vasel, N. Kawelke, S. Dooley, J. Sottile, I.A. Nakchbandi, “Inhibition of fibronectin deposition improves experimental liver fibrosis”. J Hepatol. 2015 Mar;62(3):625-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.06.010. Epub 2014 Jun 16. Erratum in: J Hepatol. 2015 Jun;62(6):1455-6.
Methods that will be used:
In our lab you get exposure to a large number of various techniques that are applied as needed. In this project they include in vivo cancer models in various transgenic mouse lines, manipulation of cancer cell lines, flow cytometry, cell culture and coculture, protein analysis, quantitative real time PCR, array analysis, various staining methods in histology and imaging techniques such as microcomputer tomography and bioluminescence imaging. Various methods of protein biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, laser microdissection and occasionally, specialized tests are used if required.
Cooperation partners:
Within the Max-Planck Society: Members of the MPI Biochemistry and MPI Medical Research. Within the University: Members of the Immunology, Gynecology and Pathology Departments. National: Tübingen, Dresden, and Würzburg. International: USA (Yale, Rochester, U Texas SA), France (Paris).
Personal qualifications:
Applicant should have a Master degree (biology, biochemistry, molecular medicine or related disciplines). You are motivated to advance your project, but also able to work within a team. You are willing to work with transgenic mouse models. A good background in standard molecular biological methods is expected. Experience in cloning is beneficial.

We are looking forward to meeting you.
Tumor, stromal cells, matrix, integrins, immune response