RNA Splicing in Cancer
Our team is seeking to identify key molecular mechanisms that generate mRNA splicing abnormalities in cancer. Splicing of mRNA is a crucial process in eukaryotic gene expression regulation. In addition to canonical splicing, which leads to the inclusion of constitutive exons into the mature mRNA, the transcriptome is subject to alternative splicing.
More than 90% of eukaryotic mRNAs undergo alternative splicing, giving rise to multiple protein-coding isoforms from a single precursor mRNA. Alternative splicing is therefore a major determinant for proteome diversity and organism complexity.
Emerging data indicate that aberrant alternative splicing plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of several molecular subtypes of cancer. Such splicing abnormalities can lead to constitutive activity of oncogenes, reduced expression of tumor suppressors, or drug resistance.
By employing transcriptomic and gene-editing technologies combined with mechanistic cellular biology, we explore the interplay of cis- and trans-regulatory splicing elements in cancer. Our goal is to understand how these elements shape the complex pathophysiology of tumor cells, and to identify tumor-specific vulnerabilities for targeted cancer therapy.
- Dr. Christina Esdar
Associate Director TIP Oncology at Merck, Darmstadt, Germany (Industry mentor)
- Prof. Dr. Andreas Kulozik
Head of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, Immunology and Pulmonology at Children’s Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Germany (Academic mentor)
- Gallego Paez LM, Mauer J
A DJ Express: An Integrated Application for Differential Splicing Analysis and Visualization
Frontiers in Bioinformatics 02, 2022
Our Team Members
Dr. Alexandra Duarte
- 2013-2018: Research assistant with Dr. Sven Rottenberg and Prof. Jos Jonkers at the Division of Molecular Pathology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 2012-2013: Postdoc with Dr. Rudiger Woscholski at the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, UK
- 2008-2012: PhD with Dr. David Mann at the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, UK
- 2016-2018: Research Associate, Immunosuppressive Microenvironment of Tumors, BioMed X, Germany
- 2005–2015: Research Assistant, Max Planck Institute of Immunology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany
- 2011–2013: Master in Health Sciences, University of Education, Freiburg, Germany
- 2008–2011: Bachelor in Health Sciences, University of Education, Freiburg, Germany
Clàudia Maldonado Torres
- 2020-2021: Master’s degree in Translational Biomedical Research at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), in Barcelona, Spain. The main research topic was investigating the role of a specific kinesin in the development of treatment resistance in advanced prostate cancer.
- 2016-2020: Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Barcelona (UB), Spain. The final thesis was conducted at the Gene Expression and Hepatology Lab at Sapienza University of Rome, studying the role of an RNA binding protein in miRNA cellular dynamics.
- 2020 – present: Master of Science in Biomedical Science and Technology, University of Applied Science Mannheim, Germany
- 2019: Internship at Man-Technology-Environment Research Centre, Örebro University, Sweden
- 2016 – 2020: Bachelor of Science in Biological Chemistry, University of Applied Science Mannheim, Germany. The final thesis was conducted at the Helmholtz-University Junior Research Group “Cell Plasticity and Epigenetic Remodeling”, DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany.
Team RSC Alumni
At BioMed X we care for the people who work with us. Staying in touch with those who left but mainly contributed to BioMed X’s success is key. That’s why they have their designated place on our website. So let’s keep connected!
Öykü Ece Tosun