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Current Projects and Cooperations

Most cell lines have been established from rodents and humans. While DNA fingerprinting may be applied to authenticating human lines, the lack of genetic variation in inbred rodent strains in particular, and our ignorance regarding subspecies differences in non-humans demands different approaches among animal cell lines. more

Cytogenetic research at the DSMZ targets discovery of new – often cryptic – oncogenomic rearrangements in the cell lines collection. These, in turn, enable discovery of cancer genes which may escape detection in clinical samples. It seems that certain rearrangements are over-represented in cell lines. Current projects include analysis of chromosome rearrangements targeting activation of micro-RNA (miR) genes in leukemia.  more

The major scope of our work relates to the molecular mechanisms driving mature B-cell malignancies, namely chronic lymphocyitc leukemia and multiple myeloma. By using state-of-the-art molcular and computational methods, we like to unravel the interplay of somatic mutations with epigenetic changes and how these affect cellular phenotypes.  more

Immortalization can be brought about in vitro by genetic manipulation or by viral infection. Alternatively, immortalization can occur spontaneously during malignant transformation in vivo. The aims of our studies are to find novel oncogenes / tumor suppressor genes, to find cell lines that carry newly-described oncogenes and to find out the roles these genes play in cell signalling, growth and survival. more

In an interdisciplinary collaboration of Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and DSMZ, live-cell imaging has been established at the charged-particle microbeam facility of PTB. This method enables us to characterize and use highly reliable cell lines for studying initial steps of DNA damage responses and kinetics of repair after microbeam irradiation in living cells at physiological conditions. more

The molecular genetics research projects deal with the identification and characterization of novel oncogenes in T-cell leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma. The work is focused on deregulated homeobox genes and their regulatory networks. Gene networks deregulated by homeobox genes may represent a basic scaffold in cancer, the knowledge of which may contribute to the development of promising interventions. more

The group of Dr. Sonja Eberth focuses on molecular alterations and their functional consequences in cancer cells, especially in variants of blood cancer, namely leukemia and lymphoma.
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Immortalized human and animal cells are frequently used for studying infection and replication of viruses and for producting viruses or viral antigenes. But human pathogenic virus producing cell lines might also increase the potential risk of the cell culture. We determine the infection status of cell lines contaminated with human pathogenic viruses and investigate the replication of Epstein-Barr and hepatitis B viruses. more