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Molecular Tumor Pathology and Translational Cancer Research

Our research aims at the identification and characterization of genes and pathways which may represent potential prognostic and predictive markers ('translational research') in human cancer. Genome and transcriptome analysis as well as the characterization of genetic alterations with their functional impacts in specific human tumors, primarily renal cell cancer, are of special interest.

Research Projects – Renal Cancer

Our research projects are performed in close collaboration with the Clinics of Urology and Oncology. Our main goals are to:

  • functionally analyze cell surface glycoproteins for potential anti-tumor treatment;
  • functionally analyze VHL mutations in RCC by focusing on their effects on pVHL binding partners;
  • correlate VHL mutation types with patient prognosis and response to targeted therapies;
  • identify VHL-independent molecular mechanisms in RCC using next generation sequencing;
  • determine RCC tyrosine kinase inhibitor responders and non-responders based on microRNA profiles.

These projects are supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Oncosuisse, and the Krebsliga Zürich.

Research Projects – other Tumors

Additional translational cancer research projects are embedded in Life Science Programs matching major interests of research groups at the University Hospital Zurich (USZ), the University Zurich (UZH) and the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

The University Research Priority Programs (URPP) support bridges and research ties between the basic research carried out at the UZH and the clinical research at the USZ. With one of such programs a live cell biobank has been established for colorectal, lung, breast, pancreatic, oropharyngeal, renal cancer, and melanoma, in collaboration with the clinics of dermatology. The llink to clinical information will be instrumental for functional in vitro/in vivo studies.

One major breakthrough was reached with the establishment of the Roche Zurich Hub, a public-private partnership between USZ, UZH, ETH and Roche, with the Institute of Pathology as a leading institution. This program on personalized Medicine aims at the identification of biomarkers of resistance/response to chemotherapy combinations in triple-negative breast cancers.

In collaboration with the Roche Innovation Center Zurich the establishment of novel culture models derived from freshly-resected primary tumors will allow to test cancer immunotherapy agents and their combinations in an environment that preserves the morphological and histopathological features of primary tumors. This project will be instrumental for the selection of the most active drug candidates and their combinations for entry into the clinic.

Research Team

Holger Moch, Prof. Dr. med.

Director CCCZ Transversal Research Programs, Comprehensive Cancer Center Zürich
Leiter Medizinbereich Diagnostik
Direktor des Instituts für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie Universitätsspital Zürich, Krebsregister der Kantone Zürich, Zug, Schaffhausen und Schwyz
Direktor, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie, Universitäres Zentrum für Labormedizin und Pathologie (UZL)
Institutsdirektor, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Peter Schraml, Prof. Dr. phil.

Leiter Gewebe-Biobank, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tel. +41 44 255 21 14

Hella Anna Bolck, Dr. sc. nat.

Postdoktorandin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Abdullah Kahraman, Dr. phil.

Leiter Bioinformatik, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tel. +41 43 253 03 32

Amir Banaei-Esfahani

Bio Informatiker, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tülay Karakulak

Doktorandin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Harini Lakshminarayanan

Doktorandin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Aashil Batavia

Doktorand, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tel. +41 43 254 02 67

Silvia Angori

Doktorandin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Susanne Dettwiler

Leiterin Biomed. Analytik Gewebebiobank, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tel. +41 44 255 27 35

Fabiola Prutek

Biomed. Analytikerin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tel. +41 44 255 31 47

Francesca Buja

Biomed. Analytikerin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Tel. +41 44 255 31 47

Ailsa Jane Christiansen

Postdoktorandin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Dorothea Rutishauser, Dr. sc. nat.

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Katharina Mühlbauer

Laborantin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Elisabeth Gaggioli

Biomed. Analytikerin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie

Adriana Von Teichman-Logischen Köhler, Dr. sc. nat.

Biomed. Analytikerin, Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie