German Cancer Research Center, Germany

Description of organizationDKFZ

DKFZ is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany and a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. In over 70 divisions and research groups, more than 2,500 employees, of which more than 1,000 are scientists, are investigating the mechanisms of cancer, are identifying cancer risk factors and are trying to find strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They are developing novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful.


The central objective of the Wiemann lab is to understand the complex molecular mechanisms that have evolved in the regulation of signaling networks and how these impact on cancer development, metastasis, and drug resistance. To this end, we generate and maintain resources for large-scale experimentation, apply high-throughput functional genomics and proteomics technologies, and analyze candidate genes using in vitro as well as in vivo systems. Effects of perturbations (gene gain- and loss-of-function, miRNA, drugs) imposed on the signaling processes are experimentally tested and then computationally modeled.


The DKFZ coordinates two projects of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), and the DKFZ Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility (headed by S. Wiemann) is the major sequencing lab in one. The facility is equipped with several next-generation sequencing instruments (Illumina HiSeq, MiSeq, LifeTechnologies 5500) and capable of sequencing several genomes per day.


Previous experience

Dr Stefan Wiemann is head of the Division Molecular Genome Analysis at the DKFZ and also head of the Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility. He received his PhD in molecular biology in 1990. As visiting scientist at EMBL he was involved in the genome sequencing of S.cerevisiae as well as in the analysis of human microsatellites and cDNAs. Since 1995 he has been working at DKFZ in large-scale projects focusing on the identification and functional characterization of human genes and proteins. In the recent years, he and his group have focused on cellular signaling pathways and their regulation in normal and cancer processes. Dr. Wiemann was spokesperson of the German National Genome Research Network (NGFN) from 2009-2011, and coordinated several national consortia within the German Genome Project as well as the NGFN.



German Cancer Research Center



Five recent publications relevant to the project

1) Keklikoglou I, Koerner C, Schmidt C, Zhang JD, Heckmann D, Shavinskaya A, Allgayer H, Guckel B, Fehm T, Schneeweiss A, Sahin O, Wiemann S, Tschulena U (2012) MicroRNA-520/373 family functions as a tumor suppressor in estrogen receptor negative breast cancer by targeting NF-kappaB and TGF-beta signaling pathways. Oncogene. Epub ahead of print


2) Uhlmann S, Mannsperger H, Zhang JD, Horvat E-A, Schmidt C, K├╝blbeck M, Henjes F, Ward A, Tschulena U, Zweig K, Korf U, Wiemann S, Sahin O (2012) Global microRNA level regulation of EGFR-driven cell cycle protein network in breast cancer. Mol Syst Biol 8: 570.


3) Zhang JD, Koerner C, Bechtel S, Bender C, Keklikoglou I, Schmidt C, Irsigler A, Ernst U, Sahin O, Wiemann S, Tschulena U (2011) Time-resolved human kinome RNAi screen identifies a network regulating mitotic-events as early regulators of cell proliferation. PLoS ONE 6: e22176.


4) Temple G, et al. (2009) The completion of the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC). Genome Res 19: 2324-2333.


5) Taylor CF, et al. (2008) Promoting coherent minimum reporting guidelines for biological and biomedical investigations: the MIBBI project. Nat Biotechnol 26: 889-896.