Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Rotter0119 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Rotter, Nicole
Application deadline:
15. Nov 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Dec 2019

Project description:

Exosomes in Head and Neck Oncology
Exosomes are emerging key players in tumor immunology and dealt as liquid biomarkers in oncology. Exosomes are nano-sized (30-120nm) Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) modulating immune functions. Particularly, tumor-derived exosomes serve as potent suppressors of immune functions and by this represent a tumor evasion mechanism. This project aims at the charactarization of the diagnostic value of exosomes to identify primary and recurrent Head and Neck Cancer by their protein cargo, exosome-immune cell interaction and correlation to markers found in patient tumor tissue.
(1) Ludwig, S. et al. Proteomes of exosomes from HPV(+) or HPV(-) head and neck cancer cells: differential enrichment in immunoregulatory proteins. Oncoimmunology 8, 1593808 (2019).

(2) Ludwig, S. et al. Molecular and Functional Profiles of Exosomes From HPV(+) and HPV(-) Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines. Front Oncol 8, 445 (2018).

(3) Ludwig, S. et al. Suppression of Lymphocyte Functions by Plasma Exosomes Correlates with Disease Activity in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. Clin Cancer Res 23, 4843-4854 (2017).

(4) Ortiz, A. and Gui, J. et al. An Interferon-Driven Oxysterol-Based Defense against Tumor-Derived Extracellular Vesicles. Cancer Cell, 35, 33-45 e36 (2019).

Methods that will be used:
• Exosome characterization (Electron microcopy/Facility-based, BCA, Nanotracking Analysis)
• Cell culture (Head and Neck cancer cell lines)
• Protein cargo characterization of exosomes (Western blots, Flow cytometry)
• Immunology assays (i.e. T cell proliferation assay)
• Interpretation of Proteomics data
• Immunohistochemical staining/analysis of human tissues
Cooperation partners:
Project supervisor: Dr. S. Ludwig (Mannheim)
Collaboration Partners: PD Dr. Jadwiga Jablonska (Essen), Prof Dr. Jochen Hess (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Monika Pietrowska (Gliwice, Poland), PD Dr. Basant Kumar Thakur (Essen)
Personal qualifications:
• M.S. in Molecular Biology, Immunology, Biochemistry or related disciplines
• Excellent previous Academic performance
• Strong technical skills (Western blots, cell culture, flow cytometry, immunology/cell assays)
• Good English language skills (no German language requirement)
Exosomes, Liquid Biopsy, Immunology