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RTG 2099 „Hallmarks of Skin Cancer“ is a joint effort of Heidelberg University and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and is financially supported by the German Research Community (DFG). Our Research Training Group started into its second funding period on October 1, 2019, and in 15 projects we focus on melanoma and its interactions with the tumor microenvironment and the tumor immune system as actionable hallmarks of skin cancer. The RTG addresses the mechanisms involved in local and systemic control of tumor progression including angiodiversity-related metastatic organotropism as well as novel innate and adaptive approaches to melanoma immunity / immunotherapy. RTG 2099 relies on the close collaboration in the Heidelberg-Mannheim Skin Cancer Alliance whose collective expertise in skin cancer is unique in Germany.

Skin cancer constitutes a world-wide health issue of increasing importance due to environmental factors and the aging population. Notably, malignant melanoma is a prime example for the highly successful development of novel drugs that target oncogenic signaling pathways and of immune checkpoint inhibitors that empower effective tumor immunity. Thus, melanoma represents a rapidly evolving field of innovative basic, translational and clinical research.

In addition to the experimental work on the thesis project, our doctoral students take part in an educational program that comprises training in a broad range of research skills, but also conveys a deeper understanding of the clinical challenges in skin cancer. In a close collaboration with the Life Science Graduate Schools of Heidelberg University and of the DKFZ, the RTG provides teaching in molecular and cellular biology and in general cancer biology, and the added value of the RTG teaching program lies in applying this knowledge to skin cancer biology and Dermato-Oncology.

Our collaboration partners King’s College in London and Institut Gustave Roussy in Paris help our graduate students to develop an international perspective by hosting individual lab visits and annual summer schools.

Starting October 1, 2019, we annually offer

6 MD Fellowships (1-2 years; €964/month)

To apply for an MD fellowship, you should be highly motivated and willing to devote one year full-time to laboratory work. Application is possible before and after graduation. For acceptance, you will have to pass the written GRE of HBIGS, but you will not have to undergo the full HBIGS selection process. You are invited to apply any time without an application deadline.

Application Sheet MD Fellowship

For more detailed information on the individual projects, please have a look here on the website. Please send your application to the Principal Investigator of the project you are interested in.

You may also contact Martina Nolte-Bohres (Administrative Coordinator) for further questions: