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.
Tumor-Derived Lactic Acid Modulates Activation and Metabolic Status of Draining Lymph Node Stroma. 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. 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
Junior Group Leader
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 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 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 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 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.
Emily obtained her bachelor’s degree in biosciences at the Goethe University in Frankfurt (Main) in 2020 during which she discovered her interest in Cancer Biology. Afterwards she continued with her master studies at the Julius - Maximilians University in Würzburg where she specializes in the field of Molecular Tumor Biology.
Currently she is doing an internship in the Riedel Group and is working on a project trying to identify secreted factors that influence the pre- and metastatic tumour-draining lymph node-niche.
PhD Student (MD)
Laura is a medical student at the Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg since 2018. In July 2022, she joined Dr Angela Riedel’s group at the MSNZ in Würzburg for her PhD.
Laura’s project is focused on testing CDK4/6-inhibitors on patient-derived breast cancer organoids on a drug screening platform.
Georg received his Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. During his studies, he became interested in the development and treatment of cancer. For this reason, he moved to the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg to specialize in the field of Molecular Oncology.
He is currently completing an internship at the Riedel Group and is participating in a project that aims to characterize different metabolites in the interstitial fluids of various murine tissues to ultimately identify their role on tumor metastasis.
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Institute for Virology and Immunobiology
Versbacher Str. 7