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Elke Burgermeister | Matthias Ebert

Treatment failure prevents effective therapy of gastrointestinal cancers. Deciphering the molecular mechanisms of non-response to therapeutic agents, shall enable early detection, prevention or breaking of resistance. We follow a translational concept, where functional biology studies from cell and animal models (“organoids”) are integrated with patients’ data under the following objectives:

  1. Understanding signaling and communication pathways of oncogenic driver mutations and metabolic transcription factors at the interface of tumors with the tissue microenvironment (innate immune cells: myeloid, NK).
  2. Identification of biomarkers and targetable structures of vulnerability which provide a mechanistic basis for improvement of patient’s responses and clinical outcomes. Immune and genetic subtype classification of gastric and colon carcinomas is expected to facilitate patient’s stratification for personalized (“Precision”) medicine.


Li T, Li B, Sara, A, Ay C, Leung WY, Zhang Y, Dong Y, Liang Q, Zhang X, Weidner W, Gutting T, Behrens HM, Röcken C, Sung JJY, Ebert MP, Yu J, Burgermeister E. Docking protein-1 promotes inflammatory macrophage signaling in gastric cancer. OncoImmunology 2019; 8(11):e1649961.

Zhan T, Ambrosi G, Wandmacher AM, Rauscher B, Betge J, Rindtorff N, Häussler RS, Hinsenkamp I, Bamberg L, Hessling B, Müller-Decker K, Erdmann G, Burgermeister E, Ebert MP, Boutros M. MEK inhibitors activate Wnt signalling and induce stem cell plasticity in colorectal cancer. Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2197.

Gutting T, Weber C, Weidner P, Herweck F, Henn S, Friedrich T, Yin S, Kzhyshkowska J, Gaiser T, Janssen K, Reindl W, Ebert M, Burgermeister E. PPARy-activation increases intestinal M1 macrophages and mitigates formation of serrated adenomas in mutant KRAS mice. OncoImmunology 2018; 7(5):e1423168.

Hitkova I, Yuan G, Anderl F, Gerhard M, Kirchner T, Reu S, Röcken C, Schäfer C, Schmid RM, Vogelmann R, Ebert MP, Burgermeister E. Caveolin-1 Protects B6129 Mice against Helicobacter pylori Gastritis. PLoS Pathog. 2013; 9:e1003251.

Ebert MP, Tänzer M, Balluff B, Burgermeister E, Kretzschmar AK, Hughes DJ, Tetzner R, Lofton-Day C, Rosenberg R, Reinacher-Schick AC, Schulmann K, Tannapfel A, Hofheinz R, Röcken C, Keller G, Langer R, Specht K, Porschen R, Stöhlmacher-Williams J, Schuster T, Ströbel P, Schmid RM. TFAP2E-DKK4 and chemoresistance in colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:44-53.