SECRET-ITN seminar – June session (15.06.2021)
The SECRET-ITN seminar session in June brought two captivating talks from Roded Sharan from the School of Computer Science at the Tel Aviv University in Israel, and from Hesso Farhan, from the Institute of Pathophysiology at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Prof. Dr. Roded Sharan gave insights into “Using networks to decipher human disease”. Research in the Sharan group focuses on modeling biological data using networks and applying graph algorithmic and machine learning techniques to mine these data and extract patterns of biological significance. Example projects include: (i) Inferring subnetworks that underlie a biological process of interest by integrating protein network data with gene expression or phenotypic information. (ii) Modelling mutational processes in cancer using machine learning techniques. (iii) Construction and analysis of Boolean network models using machine learning and integer programming techniques. (iv) Predicting drug properties and their applications in the clinical practice.
The talk of Prof. Dr. Hesso Farhan, titled “Regulation of ER-export by mechanical signalling”, focused on the regulation of proteostasis and membrane trafficking by signalling. Safeguarding the cellular proteome is of fundamental importance and thus nearly 70% of cellular energy is devoted to handle the proteome. The balance between protein synthesis, folding, trafficking and degradation is referred to as proteostasis. The Farhan group focuses on how proteostasis is regulated by signalling to and from endomembranes. Of particular interest is the regulation of membrane traffic, organelle dynamics and autophagy. A set of methods, such as live cell confocal microscopy, SRRF stream imaging, FRAP and high-content RNAi screening, are employed to study these processes. Knowledge gained from fundamental cell biology is further used to better understand human diseases or to develop new therapies. Two main areas of interest of the Farhan lab are the role of secretion in breast cancer migration and invasion as well as the role of proteostasis in multiple myeloma.
SECRET-ITN students participate in a workshop focusing on biostatistics (20.-21.05.2021)
The two day workshop aimed to prepare the SECRET ITN ESRs in the preparation of solid results from single cell microscopy data and the statistical analysis of the afore-mentioned results. The first day focused on the high throughput analysis of microscopy images using CellProfiler under the guidance of Dr. Stephan Eisler, microscopy imaging expert at the University of Stuttgart, while the second day of the workshop enabled the students to gain general knowledge in biostatistics, to further help them tackle the analysis of their own results. With the help of the qualified trainer, Björn Voß, Jun.-Prof. in Computational Biology at the University of Stuttgart, the ESRs learned how to statistically evaluate the results obtained on the first day of workshop in a hands-on interactive manner. We are looking forward to high quality data from all our projects!
SECRET-ITN ESRs from the Oncoproteomics Center at the Medical University VUmc seconding in Stuttgart!
Two of the SECRET ITN ESRs hosted at beneficiary VUmc in Amsterdam, arrived safely in Stuttgart on May 7th, and spent their mandatory quarantine time preparing for their first secondment. Since the 17th of May, Madalena Monteiro (ESR 9) and Catarina Marques (ESR 10) have started working in the Hausser laboratory at the Institute for Cell Biology and Immunology at the University of Stuttgart (USTUTT). We wish them a warm welcome to them in Stuttgart, and success in their secondment research goals!
SECRET-ITN seminar – May session (18.05.2021)
The May session of the SECRET-ITN seminar brought two very interesting talks from Helmut Dolznig from the Institute of Medical Genetics of the Medical University of Vienna, and from Alberto Luini, from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC) belonging to the National Research Council of Italy.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Helmut Dolznig gave insights into “The impact of tumor – stroma interaction on cancer progression and therapy resistance”. An essential step in better understanding cancer development lies in determining the stromal impact on tumour cells, and the reciprocal influence of malignant epithelial cells on the stroma at the molecular level. The Dolznig lab is specifically interested in the crosstalk between tumour cells and cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs), setting the focus on colon cancer to determine novel molecular mechanisms in the crosstalk between these cell types. The lab developed a state of the art three-dimensional co-culture model, which recapitulates many aspects of carcinomas in vivo, and identified well known and novel pathways, which are activated if carcinoma cells interact with CAFs. Helmut’s work focuses on the modulation of the wnt/beta-catenin and the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling pathways in tumour cell – stromal fibroblast crosstalk.
The talk of Prof. Dr. Alberto Luini, titled “Clinical cancer proteomics”, focused on molecular mechanisms, design and role in disease of the adaptive and homeostatic systems of the biosynthetic membrane transport apparatus. The Luini lab is interested in the morpho-functional organization and the regulation of the intracellular membrane transport apparatus. The emphasis is on developing strategies, cellular models and technology (including imaging and systems biology approaches) for the analysis of whole live cellular systems, as distinct from reductionist strategies. Particularly, the Luini group is investigating the organizational principles of cargo transport across membrane compartments in living cells, studying control and coordination systems of the biosynthetic pathway, developing of imaging technologies for cell biology, as well as focusing on diseases related to membrane transport and pharmacological approaches.