Role of chemokines, growth and angiogenic factors in the proliferation, spreading and metastasis of tumours

Chemokines are a group of small chemotactic peptides that play an essential role not only in the migration cells, but also for their survival and proliferation. They were originally discovered as chemotactic factors in the immune system, but they have a much broader function in development, e. g. in the brain, and also in may pathological conditions. We are investigating the role of chemokines and other bioactive peptides in tumours, in particular their influence on tumour growth, spreading and invasion. Focus is laid on brain tumours (especially gliomas which show a very high mortality) and the metastasis of peripheral tumours (melanoma, mamma carcinoma) into the brain.


  • Scientists involved: Dr. Kirstin Hattermann; Dipl.-Biochem. Henrike Gebhardt; cand. med. Sara Ardabili, cand. med. Dorothee Engel, cand. med. dent. Eric Holzenburg, cand. med. Max Lempert, cand. med. dent. Gunnar Meyer, cand. med. dent. Alina Schroeter; Martina Burmester, Sonja Dahle, Miriam Lemmer
  • Cooperation with Prof. Dr. Dr. Janka Held-Feindt, PD Dr. Friedrike Knerlich-Lukoschus Prof. Dr. H. M. Mehdorn (Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Kiel), Prof. Dr. Ralph Lucius (Anatomisches Institut, Universität Kiel), Prof. Dr. Karina Reiß (Klinik für Dermatologie, Universität Kiel), Prof. Dr. Christian Peifer (Pharmazeutische Chemie, Universität Kiel); - Prof. Dr. Uwe Knippschild (Universität Ulm, Klinik für Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie); Prof. Dr. Andreas Ludwig (RWTH Technische Hochschule Aachen, Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie); Prof. Dr. Friedrich Paulsen (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Anatomie, Erlangen); PD Dr. Margret Schottelius und Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Wester (Technische Universität München, Pharmazeutische Radiochemie); Prof. Dr. Udo Schumacher (Universität Hamburg; Anatomie)
  • Grants: Excellence cluster »Inflammation at interfaces«, Medical faculty of the University of Kiel, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG ME 758/10-1


Molecular Imaging
Sensitive imaging of pathological alterations in vivo, in particular the detection of cancer, requires the development of novel contrast agents. We currently develop novel supraparamagnetic or near-infrared fluorescent conjugates for the sensitive MRI or optical detection of very small tumours and their metastases.

  • Scientists involved: Martina Burmester, Miriam Lemmer, Judith Becker
  • Cooperation with Prof. Dr. Claus-C. Glüer, Prof. Dr. Martin Heller (Klinik für Diagnostische Radiologie, Medizinische Physik), Prof. Dr. Holger Kalthoff, Dr. Sanjay Tiwari (Molekulare Onkologie), Prof. Dr. Olav Jansen, Dr. Monika Huhndorf (Neuroradiologie)
  • Grants: MOIN (Molecular Imaging in the North) - Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit, Verkehr und Technologie S.-H.


Chemokines in osteoporosis and bone fractures
Osteoporosis and resulting bone fractures are increasing problems in an elderly society. Since chemokines are not only involved in inflammation, but play a decisive role in development and tissue homeostasis, we investigate their role in the muscular-skeletal system. First studies reveal a particular role of the chemokine CXCL12/SDF-1 and its receptors CXCR4 and CXCR7 in the development of murine and human bones. Therefore, ongoing in vitro and in vivo studies focus on the role of this system in osteoporosis and bone fracture healing.

  • Scientists involved: Tim Klüter
  • Cooperation with: PD. Dr. Deike Varoga, Prof. Dr. Andreas Seekamp, Dr. Stefanie Oestern (Department of Trauma Surgery, University Medical Center of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Germany)