Riedel Group

Metastases, Metabolism and the Microenvironment

Metastatic disease and tumour immune evasion are two major hurdles in cancer therapy. Around 90% of cancer related deaths are indeed still caused by metastatic systemic disease. Tumour-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) are immunological hubs and often the first site where metastatic tumour cells are detected. We are interested in the cells of the metastatic TDLN niche, the so called stroma, and how these influence metastatic spread and anti-tumour immune responses. A main goal is to characterize the cellular cross-talk between tumour cells, cells of the immune system and the LN stroma.

Metabolites can play a major role in these processes and although it is well known that tumour cell transformation is accompanied by alterations of cellular metabolism to facilitate growth and proliferation, little is known about how this transformation impacts the cells of the microenvironment and cellular cross-talk. Furthermore, each potential metastatic site with its distinct metabolic characteristics will pose different challenges for disseminating tumour cells adding another layer of complexity.

Within all our projects we use an interdisciplinary approach by combining complex in vitro models, mouse models and patient samples.

Select publications

Tumor-Derived Lactic Acid Modulates Activation and Metabolic Status of Draining Lymph Node Stroma. Riedel A, Helal M, Pedro L, Swietlik JJ, Shorthouse D, Schmitz W, Haas L, Young T, da Costa ASH, Davidson S, Bhandare P, Wolf E, Hall BA, Frezza C, Oskarsson T, Shields JD. Cancer Immunol Res. 2022  Apr 1;10(4):482-497. PMID: 35362044  Link

Tumor-induced stromal reprogramming drives lymph node transformation. Riedel A, Shorthouse D, Haas L, Hall BA, Shields J. Nat Immunol. 2016 Sep;17(9):1118-27.

Exploring the role of stromal osmoregulation in cancer and disease using executable modelling. Shorthouse D, Riedel A, Kerr E, Pedro L, Bihary D, Samarajiwa S, Martins CP, Shields J, Hall BA. Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 1;9(1):3011.

Single-Cell Transcriptomics of Regulatory T Cells Reveals Trajectories of Tissue Adaptation. Miragaia RJ, Gomes T, Chomka A, Jardine L, Riedel A, Hegazy AN, Whibley N, Tucci A, Chen X, Lindeman I, Emerton G, Krausgruber T, Shields J, Haniffa M, Powrie F, Teichmann SA. Immunity. 2019 Feb 19;50(2):493-504.e7.

Metastasis-initiating cells induce and exploit a fibroblast niche to fuel malignant colonization of the lungs. Pein M, Insua-Rodríguez J, Hongu T, Riedel A, Meier J, Wiedmann L, Decker K, Essers MAG, Sinn HP, Spaich S, Sütterlin M, Schneeweiss A, Trumpp A, Oskarsson T. Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 20;11(1):1494.

Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Reveals a Dynamic Stromal Niche That Supports Tumor Growth. Davidson S, Efremova M, Riedel A, Mahata B, Pramanik J, Huuhtanen J, Kar G, Vento-Tormo R, Hagai T, Chen X, Haniffa MA, Shields JD, Teichmann SA. Cell Rep. 2020 May 19;31(7):107628.

Pubmed Link

Angela Riedel


Junior Group Leader


Tel.: +49 931 31-86933

Angela studied Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Bielefeld and did her PhD in Molecular Oncology at the University of Southern Denmark. In 2013, Angela joined the lab of Jacqueline Shields at the MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge (UK) as a Postdoc.

In 2017 she moved to another Postdoc position at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), where she joined Thordur Oskarsson’s group to further delve into metastatic niches in breast cancer. Since 2020, she is a Junior Group Leader at the MSNZ Würzburg.

Ana Cetkovic


PhD Student



Ana obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Chemistry and afterwards completed a Master’s degree program in Molecular Biology at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. In October 2023, she joined Dr. Angela Riedel’s group at the MSNZ Würzburg as a PhD student.

Ana’s PhD project is focused on the characterization of myeloid cell heterogeneity and the tumor-draining lymph node niche during melanoma development. Using mouse models, multi-color flow cytometry and single-cell transcriptomics, she aims to investigate the role of tumor-draining lymph node macrophages in metastasis and to identify mechanisms of how their reprogramming contributes to the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies.

Anna Frank


MSc Student



Anna obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biomedicine from the University of Würzburg in 2021. She then started her master's studies in Biomedicine at the University of Würzburg and completed an internship at Roche in Penzberg within the research and development department, focusing on cancer immunotherapy.

Her interest in cancer research led her to join Dr. Angela Riedel's group for her master's thesis in September 2023. Her project focuses on myeloid cell reprogramming in the pre- and metastatic tumor-draining lymph node niche.

Moutaz Helal


PhD Student



Moutaz obtained his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in Egypt where he developed a deep interest in cancer research. Thus, he decided to pursue his master’s in the field of molecular oncology within the biochemistry program of the University of Würzburg.

He joined the MSNZ as a Master’s student and started his PhD project in October 2021. The project is focused on investigating stroma-mediated chemoresistance mechanisms in breast cancer and multiple myeloma utilizing state-of-the-art single-cell high-throughput sequencing techniques.


Mara John


PhD Student


Tel:. +49 931 31-87720

Mara studied Human Biology (Biomedical Science) with focus on tumour biology in Marburg at the Philipps-University. In October 2020 she started her PhD in the labs of Dr Angela Riedel and Dr Leo Rasche at the MSNZ in Würzburg.

Mara’s PhD project is focused on multiple myeloma with special interest in tumor and microenvironmental heterogeneity. One key aim is to characterize the T-cell niche. To achieve this, she uses multi-color flow cytometry, methods to assess cellular bioenergetic states and spatial transcriptomics.

Marion Krafft




Tel.: +49 931 31-83228

Marion finished her MTLA training at the University of Würzburg in 2018. Since October 2020 she is working at the MSNZ in the groups of Dr Kai Kretzschmar and Dr Angela Riedel.

Her laboratory skills include different cell culture techniques (cell lines and organoid cultures) as well as various RNA and DNA based methods, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and mouse experiments. In addition she is responsible for the lab organization in general.

Max Krämer


PhD Student



Max studied Human Biology (Biomedical Science) with focus on tumor biology at the Philipps-University in Marburg. In October 2023 he joined the MSNZ starting his PhD in Dr. Angela Riedel’s laboratory in Würzburg.

His project is focused on metabolic priming influencing metastatic seeding in breast cancer, identifying key-regulators using techniques ranging from metabolomics to RNA-seq.

Josefina Martinez


PhD Student



Josefina obtained her BSc in Biotechnology at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2020. She completed her MSc in Precision Medicine with Cancer Specialism at the University of Glasgow in 2023. In March 2024, she joined Dr. Angela Riedel's laboratory at the MSNZ in Würzburg as a PhD student.

Josefina’s PhD project is focused on deciphering how the interplay between tumor cells and the Tumor Microenvironment leads to a high-risk disease course in Multiple Myeloma. She employs RNA-sequencing, metabolomics and bioenergetic flux analysis to define multiple myeloma cells and their microenvironment, identify metabolic alterations associated with a high-risk disease course and understand this clinical high-risk profile in the context of novel treatments.

Greta Mattavelli


PhD Student


Tel.: +49 931 31-87860

Greta studied in Milan, where she obtained her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Medical and Molecular Biotechnology. In October 2020, she started her PhD in Dr Angela Riedel’s laboratory at the MSNZ in Würzburg.

Her project is focused on dissecting the role of stromal cells during metastatic dissemination and tumour immune evasion. Using a multi-omics approach, she aims to identify critical, tumour-stroma-specific cellular communication that can be targeted.

You can find us here:

Institute for Virology and Immunobiology
Versbacher Str. 7
97078 Würzburg