ZMB Research Program Oncology
ZMB Research Program
The concept of this research programme is to understand fundamental processes in tumor biology in order to develop novel molecularly defined and rationally applied cancer treatments. Participating researchers from biology, experimental and clinical medicine study tumors as "biological systems" and so called "neo-organs". A large variety of approaches, experimental systems and methodologies are in place to analyse many aspects of tumor development, growth, progression and tumor cell migration.
A first focus lies on the investigation of the behaviour of malignant cells, their signalling interactions, cell death (apoptosis) and proliferation rates, as well as changes in their differentiation program. Moreover, as most drug targets are proteins, researchers in this program focus on the molecular analysis of cancer-relevant proteins. Protein function is linked to expression levels, specific subcellular localization, interaction with other proteins and post-translational modifications. These events contribute to the various functional properties that are important for the malignant transformation of cells.
A second focus lies on the investigation of the molecular details of migration and metastasis of tumor cells, as well as cellular responses to cell damage. In addition, in cooperation with researchers from the Program on Immunology and Infectious Diseases, the interactions between the immune system and tumours are of particular interest.