Molecular control of cell death by ubiquitination and autophagy in immunity and cancer

PD Dr. Sjoerd van Wijk

The main interest of our lab is to discover how ubiquitination and autophagy control cell survival and programmed cell death (like necroptosis, apoptosis and autophagic cell death) in human disease, like cancer, bacterial and viral infection and auto-inflammatory diseases. These processes are studied and modeled in (cancer) cell lines and tumour spheroids, primary human and mouse organoids, as well as preclinical animal models of human disease.

Our lab is located at the Institute of Experimental Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (EPHO) at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.

We are interested in the molecular mechanisms of cell survival and programmed cell death in cancer and immunity. For this, we use a broad variety of inter-disciplinary methods, including confocal fluorescence microscopy, high-content imaging, targeted and genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 gene knock-out, as well as super-resolution microscopy.

The ultimate goal of our research is to better understand the intricate relationships between ubiquitination and autophagy in cell fate control in human disease, as potential starting point for drug screening and development.

The three main research themes are highlighted in further detail below: