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-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. https://doi.org/10.1038/ni.3492

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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05414-y

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2019.01.001

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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15188-x

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107628

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.

Moutaz Helal


PhD Student


Tel.: +49 931 31-#####

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.

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