Proteomics & Functional Genomics


Tumor cells are changing at tremendous speed. On the one hand, this property promotes their rampant growth and the development of resistance to therapy, on the other hand, it results in no tumor being the same as the other, making reliable prognoses for individual patients often difficult.

The goal of Technology Platform 1 is to find individual parameters that can improve the diagnosis of tumors or better predict the response to therapy. For example, the composition of all proteins in a cell can be qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed by means of mass spectrometry. The measured profile (“proteome”) contains unique information – similar to a fingerprint – and by comparing tumor cells with healthy cells of the same patient, new prognostic and diagnostic criteria can be identified.

At the FCI, such new parameters are subjected to a comprehensive characterization, they are functionally, preclinically and clinically evaluated and validated. In particular, the question arises as to whether the altered protein signatures can be routinely measured as part of the individual profiling of cancer patients. However, this requires a better understanding of how altered protein profiles can be interpreted, their prognostic and predictive relevance, and how informative they are for the diagnosis of disease mechanisms.
At the same time, this technology, which has made significant progress in recent years, can uncover previously unknown oncogenic mechanisms in model organisms. This will lay the basis for the development of molecularly targeted therapies and immunotherapies.


Under the umbrella of the FCI, the existing platforms for oncological proteomics at the Frankfurt site will be merged. These are an essential part of the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), a network of excellence linking centers of excellence in oncology in Germany. The available devices allow the quantitative mass spectrometric analysis of protein expression patterns, interaction networks, post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination), protein-protein and protein-RNA complexes in preclinical models, patient primary tumor cells and formalin-fixed tumor tissues.

The optimization of mass spectrometric methods is continuously being pursued, such as the tandem mass-tag (TMT) labeling method, which allows the multiplexing of clinical samples and thus highly accurate quantitative comparability with very high sensitivity. This proteome platform will work closely with all clinical translation programs and many discovery & development projects.
Embedded in the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) also provides access to a state-of-the-art high-throughput sequencing platform for tumor genome and transcriptome analysis.
The FCI receives the biomaterials and clinical data needed hrough its seamless link with the University Cancer Center (UCT) in Frankfurt (see Technology Platform 5, clinical trials and biobank).


The leader of Technology Platform 1 is Thomas Oellerich. The position is supported by a junior group for translational cancer proteomics.

In order to ensure an adequate bioinformatic analysis of the expected large, multidimensional data sets, there is a close collaboration with the DKTK professorship for bioinformatics in oncology, hold by Florian Büttner, which is associated with FCI.

The FCI project work is supported by a Staff Scientist.

The following scientists participate in Technology Platform 1:

Th. Oellerich


Seb. Scheich

Junior Group Cancer Proteomics

  • Christian Brandts
  • Florian Büttner
  • Manuel Kaulich
  • Christian Münch
  • Thomas Oellerich
  • Sebastian Scheich
  • Peter Wild
  • Staff Scientist Proteomics: Josefine Jakob