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.
Our research projects are performed in close collaboration with the Clinics of Urology and Oncology. Our main goals are to:
These projects are supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Oncosuisse, and the Krebsliga Zürich.
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.