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MSc thesis-Position in Patient-derived Organoids & Molecular biology of Cancer

AG Kessler (LMU University Hospital)


The Kessler Lab at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (LMU University Hospital) is looking for a highly motivated and skilled master's student to join our group and study the development of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer (HGSOC) by using patient-derived organoids.

The shift in paracrine signalling niche conditions which are required to support in vitro growth of primary cancer organoids (Hoffmann et al., EMBO journal 2020) in contrast to healthy epithelial tissue of the fallopian tube epithelium (Kessler et al., Nature Communications 2015 and 2019), suggests the existence of functional interplay between cancer-driving genes and regulation of stemness and differentiation. Yet the mechanism of interaction between BRCA1 and TP53 on one side and Wnt, BMP, and NOTCH pathways on the other remains elusive.

Project goals

Comparative analysis of Fallopian tube organoids of wt and BRCA mutated background for parameters of stemness and differentiation of the epithelium. In a parallel analysis of available Data sets of patient-derived ovarian cancer organoids (preliminary data sc-RNA) will be performed and candidate genes and signalling pathways identified which could be responsible for the change in differentiation status observed in tumor tissue. The objective is to gain an understanding of the heterogeneity of ovarian cancer and test the functional importance of candidate players in this context.

As a member of our interdisciplinary research team, you will get the opportunity to obtain training and gain experience in comprehensive cell culture and molecular biology techniques required for work with organoids (cultivation, clonal expansion, confocal imaging, CRISPR/ Cas9 editing, western blotting, qPCR, luciferase assays). You will also help in data analysis, expand your theoretical background in adult stem cell biology and deepen your understanding of cellular mechanisms of cancer growth. Basic knowledge of R is desirable.


As soon as possible, winter semester (2022/2023).
Interested students of Biology, Biochemistry, or related subjects should send an application including a motivation letter, CV, and transcript of records by mail to Dr. Mirjana Kessler (Mirjana.Kessler@med.uni-muenchen.de)