Epigenomics and Cancer Riskfactors

in Heidelberg

Our Division is interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of malignant cell growth. In particular we are focusing our attention on the contribution of epigenetic alterations in this process and determine how epigenetic and genetic alterations cooperate during tumorigenesis. A challenge here will be to understand how environmental stimuli will be processed by the ‘Epi-Genome’ and processed to the onset and severity of malignancies, as well as treatment response and treatment outcome. Major research directions include:

Evaluation of genome-wide epigenetic patterns in tumor genomes

Identification of novel cancer genes and pathways targeted by epigenetic alterations

Determining the role of epigenetics in cancer risk and progression

Evaluate the role of epigenetics in the regulation of DNA repair


In our studies we are utilizing current state-of-the-art high throughput epigenomic assays (e.g. Methylation arrays, Next generation sequencing and MassARRAY) on either clinical samples, cell culture models or in mouse tumor models.


1. Costello JF, Frühwald MC, Smiraglia DJ, Rush L, Robertson GP, Gao X, Wright F, Feramisco JD, Peltomäki P, Lang JC, Schuller DE, Yu L, Bloomfield C, Caligiuri M, Yates A, Nishikawa R, Su Huang H-J, Petrelli NJ, Zhang X, O’Dorisio MS, Held WA, Cavenee WK, Plass C. Aberrant CpG island methylation has non-random and tumor type specific patterns. Nature Genetics, 25:132-138, 2000. Abstract

2. …



Dr. Christoph Plass, PhD
Christoph Plass
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Division C010, Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280

Phone: +49-6221-42-3300
Fax: +49-6221-42-3359