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Tumorzentrum Freiburg - CCCF

Ella Levit Zerdoun, PhD

Institut für Medizinische Bioinformatik und Systemmedizin, Medizinische Fakultät, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Arbeitsgruppe Boerries für Systembiologie und Systemmedizin am DKFZ Partnerstandort Freiburg - DKTK

Institut für Molekulare Medizin und Zellforschung, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Project: Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of patient-derived melanoma cell lines

Based on a transcriptome analysis, the aim of this project is to characterize the phenotypic properties of the four individual malignant melanoma cell lines, such as cell survival, proliferation, migration, and invasion. Furthermore, we are studying the underlying mechanisms, which effectuate the phenotype of the melanoma cell lines. Therein, we mainly focus on the MAPK/ERK or PI3K pathways, components of which are frequently mutated and thus are often constitutively active in cancer cells, driving their development and enhanced survival.

Project: Identification of early detection markers in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

The aim of this project is to establish an early genetic classifier of PDAC based on a meta-analysis of independent studies. In combination with system biology and bioinformatics approaches, it is our aim to identify early markers of PDAC in patient-derived samples (eg. liquid biopsies). This may allow the differentiation of PDAC from early pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), pancreatitis, and healthy tissues. In a parallel approach, we seek to inactivate the classifier genes in established PDAC cell lines and to assess the effects of the inactivation on the functionality of these cells.


  • Klett H, Fuellgraf H, Levit-Zerdoun E, Hussung S, Kowar S, Küsters S, Bronsert P, Werner M, Wittel U, Fritsch R, Busch H, Boerries M. Identification and Validation of a Diagnostic and Prognostic Multi-Gene Biomarker Panel for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. Front Genet. 2018 Apr 5;9:108. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00108. PMID: 29675033; PMCID: PMC5895731.
  • Hobeika E, Dautzenberg M, Levit-Zerdoun E, Pelanda R, Reth M. Conditional Selection of B Cells in Mice With an Inducible B Cell Development. Front Immunol. 2018 Aug 6;9:1806. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01806. PMID: 30127788; PMCID: PMC6087743.
  • Wilhelm I*, Levit-Zerdoun E*, Jakob J, Villringer S, Frensch M, Übelhart R, Landi A, Müller P, Imberty A, Thuenauer R, Claudinon J, Jumaa H, Reth M, Eibel H, Hobeika E, Römer W. Carbohydrate-dependent B cell activation by fucose-binding bacterial lectins. Sci Signal. 2019 Mar 5;12(571):eaao7194. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aao7194. PMID: 30837305.
  • Levit-Zerdoun E, Becker M, Pohlmeyer R, Wilhelm I, Maity PC, Rajewsky K, Reth M, Hobeika E. Survival of Igα-Deficient Mature B Cells Requires BAFF-R Function. J Immunol. 2016 Mar 1;196(5):2348-60. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1501707. Epub 2016 Feb 3. PMID: 26843325.
  • Hobeika E*, Levit-Zerdoun E*, Anastasopoulou V, Pohlmeyer R, Altmeier S, Alsadeq A, Dobenecker MW, Pelanda R, Reth M. CD19 and BAFF-R can signal to promote B-cell survival in the absence of Syk. EMBO J. 2015 Apr 1;34(7):925-39. doi: 10.15252/embj.201489732. Epub 2015 Jan 28. PMID: 25630702; PMCID: PMC4388600.
  • Klasen C, Ohl K, Sternkopf M, Shachar I, Schmitz C, Heussen N, Hobeika E, Levit-Zerdoun E, Tenbrock K, Reth M, Bernhagen J, El Bounkari O. MIF promotes B cell chemotaxis through the receptors CXCR4 and CD74 and ZAP-70 signaling. J Immunol. 2014 Jun 1;192(11):5273-84. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302209. Epub 2014 Apr 23. PMID: 24760155.

*equal contribution

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