AG Personalisierte Genomik

Lead: PD Dr. med. Anke Katharina Bergmann

 

Molecular analyses and related data are getting more and more important to decipher the pathoetiology of complex and rare diseases. These data are increasingly forming the basis for preventive measures and personalized therapies. This is especially the case in the field of cancer research, prevention, and treatment. The team “Personalized Genomics” is mainly engaged in the molecular and functional analysis as well as in the diagnostics of human malignancies of the blood.

 

Employees

  • PD Dr. med. Anke Katharina Bergmann (Lead)
  • Jana Lentes, M.Sc.
  • Beate Kaune, Dipl.-Techn. (FH)
  • Zeljko Antic, MD
  • Philippe Chouvarine, PhD, Bioinformatics
  • Michelle Tang, PhD, Data Scientist
  • Willi Arndt, BTA
  • Judith Bartel, MTA
  • Christian Blumenberg, MTA
  • Friederieke Grundstedt, BTA
  • Nicole Mathea, MTA
  • Tim Rajewski, BTA/ CTA
  • Doreen Rothe, VMTA
  • Melanie Schoop, BL
  • Astrid Sundmacher, BL
  • Marcel Tauscher, MLTA
  • Verena Wittig, Biomed. Fachangest.

 

Scientific Focus

We aim to decipher the genomic and epigenomic landscape of pediatric leukemias.

Despite intensified therapy, including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), advancements of the survival rates of aggressive leukemias in children are stagnating. In the clinical practice, genomic alterations as well as the leukocyte count and the age of the patient are the main prognostic factors which determine risk stratification.

In recent years, genome-wide analyses of leukemias have tremendously increased our understanding of pediatric leukemias. However, many important questions remain unanswered. For example, in the majority of cases, it is unknown how and if the marker genes or regions are functionally involved in the cancerogenesis or progression. Likewise, it is unclear which mechanisms lead to chemotherapy resistance and relapse.

Thus, we aim to further characterize genomic and also epigenomic alterations in pediatric leukemia with respect to their molecular and clinical consequences as precisely as possible, in order to improve the understanding of leukemogenesis. Therefore, we are using OMICS technologies like ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, RRBS-seq, and WGBS-seq (partly single-cell) and transfering results into functional studies.

A better knowledge of the causes of malignant transformation will ultimately enable to optimize risk stratification, identify sufficient treatment combinations with the least possible toxicity and the minimum of long-term side effects, detect high-risk ALL patients, and, thus, improve the long-term overall survival. To achieve this goal, we are working in the context of an interdisciplinary and international network.

Moreover, we extend our focus on personalized genomics and the transfer into clinical routine also in the field of pediatric rare diseases.

Our work is funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). Anke Bergmann is coordinating the scientific DFG-network “Epigenomic profiling in pediatric lymphoid leukaemias – perspectives for diagnostics, prognosis and therapy”.