Principal Investigator

Dieter Saur
Dieter Saur

Dieter Saur studied medicine in Munich and obtained his doctorate in gastroenterology at TUM’s university hospital, graduating summa cum laude and winning TUM’s doctoral award. His doctoral thesis and postdoctoral qualification (2006) investigated neuronal control of the intestine, i.e. “brain-gut” function. A clinician and a researcher in one person, Saur established a new focus on tumor diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in 2002. The use of new endoscopic imaging procedures for early detection of gastrointestinal tumors and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for tumor subtypes are key topics of his research. A consultant of internal medicine specializing in gastroenterology since 2007 and a professor since 2013, Saur has accumulated a range of awards and grants along the way – most recently the prestigious Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his work in pancreatic cancer.

Research Technician

Magdalena Zukowska
Magdalena Zukowska
Master of Science

Research Technician


Julia Manolow
Julia Manolow

Automated high-throughput drug screen

Postdoctoral Researcher

Fengchong Wang
Fengchong Wang
Therapeutic targeting, machine learning and mathematical modelling of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Markus Tschurtschenthaler
Markus Tschurtschenthaler
PostDoc - Junior group leader

Colorectal cancer research: inflammation in oncogene-induced intestinal tumourigenesis

I did my Bachelor’s degree in Biology (2010) and my Master’s study in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology (2011) at the Leopold-Franzens-University (LFU) of Innsbruck (Austria). During my Master’s, I went for a free-mover semester and research stay at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich (Switzerland). After I completed my Master’s degree, I started a PhD at the Medical University of Innsbruck (MUI) and continued my PhD in 2013 at the University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College; United Kingdom) in the lab of Prof. Arthur Kaser, where I graduated in 2016 as PhD in Medicine. After graduation, I accepted the kind offer of Prof. Saur to join his lab as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Technical University of Munich (TUM, Klinikum rechts der Isar). Since January 2019 I occupy the position of a Junior Group Leader in the lab of Prof. Saur.

Chiara Falcomatà
Chiara Falcomatà

Combinatorial treatment strategies and tumor evolution in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Stefanie Bärthel
Stefanie Bärthel

Tumor microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Single-cell RNA sequencing


Moritz Jesinghaus
PostDoc - Clinical pathologist

Colorectcal cancer research 

I studied medicine between 2006-2012 at the University of Regensburg and at the University of Leipzig and did my MD-Thesis (Dr. med.) on the genetic background of chronic pancreatitis in the lab of Prof. Jonas Rosendahl at the University of Leipzig. In 2013, I started my residency as a clinical pathologist at the Institute of Pathology of the University of Heidelberg (Director: Prof. Dr. P. Schirmacher) and joined the lab of Prof. Wilko Weichert. Moving to the Institute of Pathology of the Technical University of Munich (Director: Prof. Dr. W. Weichert) in 2015, I finished my Habilitation in 2018 (Privatdozent/Associate Professor) and received my board certification as a full pathologist in 2019. In November 2017, I accepted the kind offer of Prof. Saur to associate my research to his lab as a postdoctoral researcher.

Short description of research field/project:
My principal research interest is the genetic background of colorectal neoplasias and especially colorectal cancer (CRC) and its specific morphologic subtypes, which I investigated using a morphomolecular approach in the lab of Prof. Weichert.

My current research in the Saur lab focuses on organoids as a tool to comparatively model colorectal neoplasias, with a focus on factors that influence the progression from various pre-malignant precursor lesions (adenomas) to invasive carcinoma or on the potential molecular background of specific CRC subtypes, such as mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinoma or neuroendocrine carcinoma. My research is supported by the Else Kröner Fresenius Stiftung.


Cellular Dissociation Grading Based on the Parameters Tumor Budding and Cell Nest Size in Pretherapeutic Biopsy Specimens Allows for Prognostic Patient Stratification in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Independent From Clinical Staging.

Jesinghaus M, Brühl F, Steiger K, Klare P, Reiser M, Scheiter A, Konukiewitz B, Kuhn P, Münch S, Quante M, Schmid RM, Wilhelm D, Feith M, Friess H, Combs S, Saur D, Boxberg M, Weichert W.

Am J Surg Pathol. 2019

Appendiceal goblet cell carcinoids and adenocarcinomas ex-goblet cell carcinoids are genetically distinct from primary colorectal-type adenocarcinomas of the appendix.

Jesinghaus M, Konukiewitz B, Foersch S, Stenzinger A, Steiger K, Muckenhuber A, Groß C, Mollenhauer M, Roth W, Dethlefsen S, Weichert W, Klöppel G, Pfarr N, Schlitter AM.

Mod Pathol. 2018

Introducing a Novel Highly Prognostic Grading Scheme Based on Tumor Budding and Cell Nest Size for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix

Jesinghaus M, Strehl J, Boxberg M, Brühl F, Wenzel A, Konukiewitz B, Schlitter AM, Steiger K, Warth A, Schnelzer A, Kiechle M, Beckmann MW, Noske A, Hartmann A, Mehlhorn G, Koch MC, Weichert W

J Pathol: Clin Res. 2018

Colorectal mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinomas and neuroendocrine carcinomas are genetically closely related to colorectal adenocarcinomas.

Jesinghaus M, Konukiewitz B, Keller G, Kloor M, Steiger K, Reiche M, Penzel R, Endris V, Arsenic R, Hermann G, Stenzinger A, Weichert W, Pfarr N, Klöppel G.

Mod Pathol. 2017

A Novel Grading System Based on Tumor Budding and Cell Nest Size Is a Strong Predictor of Patient Outcome in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Jesinghaus M, Boxberg M, Konukiewitz B, Slotta-Huspenina J, Schlitter AM, Steiger K, Specht K, Wieczorek K, Warth A, Schmidt T, Hartmann A, Demir IE, Feith M, Ott K, Weichert W.

Am J Surg Pathol. 2017

Increased intraepithelial CD3+ T-lymphocytes and high PD-L1 expression on tumor cells are associated with a favorable prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and allow prognostic immunogenic subgrouping.

Jesinghaus M, Steiger K, Slotta-Huspenina J, Drecoll E, Pfarr N, Meyer P, Konukiewitz B, Bettstetter M, Wieczorek K, Ott K, Feith M, Langer R, Weichert W, Specht K, Boxberg M.

Oncotarget. 2017

Genetic heterogeneity in synchronous colorectal cancers impacts genotyping approaches and therapeutic strategies.

Jesinghaus M, Pfarr N, Kloor M, Endris V, Tavernar L, Muckenhuber A, von Knebel Doeberitz M, Penzel R, Weichert W, Stenzinger A.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016

Genotyping of Colorectal Cancer for Cancer Precision Medicine: Results from the IPH    Center for Molecular Pathology.

Jesinghaus M, Pfarr N, Endris V, Kloor M, Volckmar AL, Brandt R, Herpel E, Muckenhuber A, Lasitschka F, Schirmacher P, Penzel R, Weichert W, Stenzinger A.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016

Distinctive Spatiotemporal Stability of Somatic Mutations in Metastasized Microsatellite-stable Colorectal Cancer.

Jesinghaus M, Wolf T, Pfarr N, Muckenhuber A, Ahadova A, Warth A, Goeppert B, Sers C, Kloor M, Endris V, Stenzinger A, Weichert W.

Am J Surg Pathol. 2015.

Tumor budding activity and cell nest size determine patient outcome in oral squamous cell carcinoma: Proposal for an adjusted grading system.

Boxberg M1, Jesinghaus M1, Dorfner C, Mogler C, Drecoll E, Warth A, Steiger K, Bollwein C, Meyer P, Wolff KD, Kolk A, Weichert W.

Histopathology. 2017 1 shared

Pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinomas reveal a closer relationship to ductal               

adenocarcinomas than to neuroendocrine tumors G3.

Konukiewitz B, Jesinghaus M1, Steiger K, Schlitter AM, Kasajima A, Sipos B, Zamboni G, Weichert W, Pfarr N, Klöppel G.

Hum Pathol. 20181 shared

Genetic analysis of heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1) in different forms of pancreatitis.

Weis S1, Jesinghaus M1, Kovacs P, Schleinitz D, Schober R, Ruffert C, Herms M, Wittenburg H, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Grützmann R, Schulz HU, Keim V, Mössner J, Bugert P, Witt H, Drenth JP, Krohn K, Rosendahl J.1 shared

PLoS One. 2012

Tumor Budding and Cell Nest Size are Highly Prognostic in Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Further Evidence for a Unified Histopathologic Grading System for Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract.

Boxberg M, Kuhn PH, Reiser M, Erb A, Steiger K, Pickhard A, Straßen U, Koob I, Kolk A, Warth A, Jesinghaus M, Weichert W.

Am J Surg Pathol. 2018

Immunohistochemical expression of CD44 in oral squamous cell carcinoma in relation to histomorphologic parameters and clinicopathological factors.

Boxberg M, Götz C, Haidari S, Dorfner C, Jesinghaus M, Drecoll E, Boskov M, Wolff KD, Weichert W, Haller B, Kolk A.

Histopathology. 2018

Novel prognostic histopathological grading system in oral squamous cell carcinoma based on tumour budding and cell nest size shows high interobserver and intraobserver concordance.

Boxberg M, Bollwein C, Jöhrens K, Kuhn PH, Haller B, Steiger K, Wolff KD, Kolk A, Jesinghaus M, Weichert W.

J Clin Pathol. 2018


Composition and Clinical Impact of the Immunologic Tumor Microenvironment in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Boxberg M, Leising L, Steiger K, Jesinghaus M, Alkhamas A, Mielke M, Pfarr N, Götz C, Wolff KD, Weichert W, Kolk A.

J Immunol. 2018

A microsatellite based multiplex PCR method for the detection of chromosomal instability in gastric cancer.

Kohlruss M, Reiche M, Jesinghaus M, Grosser B, Slotta-Huspenina J, Hapfelmeier A, Bauer L, Novotny A, Weichert W, Keller G

Scientific Reports. 2018

Mutational Profiles of Brenner Tumors show Distinctive Features Uncoupling Urothelial Carcinomas and Ovarian Carcinoma with Transitional Cell Histology.

Pfarr N, Darb-Esfahani S, Leichsenring J, Taube E, Boxberg M, Braicu I, Jesinghaus M, Penzel R, Endris V, Noske A, Weichert W, Schirmacher P, Denkert C, Stenzinger A.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2017

CXCR4 is a potential target for diagnostic PET/CT imaging in Barrett's dysplasia and    esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Fang HY, Münch NS, Schottelius M, Ingermann J, Liu H, Schauer M, Stangl S, Multhoff G, Steiger K, Gerngroß C, Jesinghaus M, Weichert W, Kühl AA, Sepulveda AR, Wester HJ, Wang TC, Quante M.

Clin Cancer Res. 2017

pT but not pN stage of the 8th TNM classification significantly improves prognostication in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Schlitter AM, Jesinghaus M, Jäger C, Konukiewitz B, Muckenhuber A, Demir IE, Bahra M, Denkert C, Friess H, Kloeppel G, Ceyhan GO, Weichert W.

Eur J Cancer. 2017

Pharmacoproteomic characterisation of human colon and rectal cancer.

Frejno M, Zenezini Chiozzi R, Wilhelm M, Koch H, Zheng R, Klaeger S, Ruprecht B, Meng C, Kramer K, Jarzab A, Heinzlmeir S, Johnstone E, Domingo E, Kerr D, Jesinghaus M, Slotta-Huspenina J, Weichert W, Knapp S, Feller SM, Kuster B.

Mol Syst Biol. 2017

A novel pretherapeutic gene expression based risk score for treatment guidance in gastric cancer.

Bauer L, Hapfelmeier A, Blank S, Reiche M, Slotta-Huspenina J, Jesinghaus M, Novotny A, Schmidt T, Grosser B, Kohlruss M, Weichert W, Ott K, Keller G.

Ann Oncol. 2017

Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Subtyping using the Biomarkers Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor-1A and Cytokeratin-81 Correlates with Outcome and Treatment Response.

Muckenhuber A, Berger AK, Schlitter AM, Steiger K, Konukiewitz B, Trumpp A, Eils R, Werner J, Friess H, Esposito I, Klöppel G, Ceyhan GO, Jesinghaus M, Denkert C, Bahra M, Stenzinger A, Sprick MR, Jäger D, Springfeld C, Weichert W.

Clin Cancer Res. 2017

Distribution of MED12 mutations in fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors of the breast--implications for tumor biology and pathological diagnosis.

Pfarr N, Kriegsmann M, Sinn P, Klauschen F, Endris V, Herpel E, Muckenhuber A, Jesinghaus M, Klosterhalfen B, Penzel R, Lennerz JK, Weichert W, Stenzinger A.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2015

Correlation of Hsp70 Serum Levels with Gross Tumor Volume and Composition of Lymphocyte Subpopulations in Patients with Squamous Cell and Adeno Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Gunther S, Ostheimer C, Stangl S, Specht HM, Mozes P, Jesinghaus M, Vordermark D, Combs SE, Peltz F, Jung MP, Multhoff G.

Front Immunol. 2015

Profiling of cMET and HER Family Receptor Expression in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas and Corresponding Lymph Node Metastasis to Assess Relevant Pathways for Targeted Therapies: Looking at the Soil Before Planting the Seed.

Muckenhuber A, Babitzki G, Thomas M, Hölzlwimmer G, Zajac M, Jesinghaus M, Bergmann F, Werner J, Stenzinger A, Weichert W.

Pancreas 2016

A common variant of PNPLA3 (p.I148M) is not associated with alcoholic chronic pancreatitis.

Rosendahl J, Tönjes A, Schleinitz D, Kovacs P, Wiegand J, Ruffert C, Jesinghaus M, Schober R, Herms M, Grützmann R, Schulz HU, Stickel F, Werner J, Bugert P, Blüher M, Stumvoll M, Böhm S, Berg T, Wittenburg H, Mössner J, te Morsche R, Derikx M, Keim V, Witt H, Drenth JP.

PLoS  One. 2012

Somatostatin receptor expression related to TP53 and RB1 alterations in pancreatic and extrapancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms with a Ki67-index above 20.

Konukiewitz B, Schlitter AM, Jesinghaus M, Pfister D, Steiger K, Segler A, Agaimy A, Sipos B, Zamboni G, Weichert W, Esposito I, Pfarr N, Klöppel G.

Mod Pathol. 2017

Copy number changes of clinically actionable genes in melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer-A survey across 822 routine diagnostic cases.

Pfarr N, Penzel R, Klauschen F, Heim D, Brandt R, Kazdal D, Jesinghaus M, Herpel E, Schirmacher P, Warth A, Weichert W, Endris V, Stenzinger A.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016

PhD graduate students

 Anantharamanan Rajamani
Anantharamanan Rajamani
Master of Science - Bioinformatician
Tumor evolution

Antonio Zaurito
Antonio Zaurito
Master of Science
Tumor mircoenvironment in colorectal cancer

Chen Zhao
Chen Zhao
Master of Science

Histopathological image analysis and machine learning

Fabio Boniolo
Fabio Boniolo
Master of Science - Bioinformatician

Therapeutic targeting and transcriptional subtyping of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Hannah Jakubowsky
Hannah Jakubowsky
Master of Science
Therapeutic vulnerabilities in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Jack Barton
Jack Barton
Master of Science
Tumor microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Joanna Madej
Master of Science
Novel therapeutic strategies and models for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Katia Sleiman
Katia Sleiman
Master of Science

Therapy resistance

CRISPR screening

Mingsong Wang
Mingsong Wang
Master of Science

Multi-color lineage tracing methods in mouse models

Epithelial–mesenchymal transition in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Stella Koutsouli
Stella Koutsouli
Master of Science
Circadian clock in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Medical students

Bianca Teodorescu
Faculty of Medicine - Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich

Investigation of combinatorial treatment strategies in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Born and raised in beautiful Bucharest, Romania, I started studying medicine at the LMU in 2015 and joined our research group in 2019. When I’m not running around the lab doing western blots, taking care of my cells or preparing for exams – I love to be in the mountains, listen to as much live music as I can, travel and generally keep busy.

Constantin Schmitt
Faculty of Medicine - Technical University of Munich
Tumor microenvironment characterization of molecular pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma subtypes

Jeannine Heetmeyer
Faculty of Medicine - RWTH Aachen University
Treatment-induced adaptive immune responses in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Katarina Ondrejkova
Faculty of Medicine - Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich
CRISPR/Cas9 screens to uncover resistance mechanisms to PDK1-loss in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Kathrin Grabichler
Kathrin Grabichler
Faculty of Medicine - Technical University of Munich
Characterization of tumor-associated macrophages in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tumor progression

Kevin Fink
Faculty of Medicine - Technical University of Munich

CRISPRa screening in prancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

I studied preclinical medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich from 2015-2017 and have been continuing my clinical studies at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2017. After finishing the preclinical part of my course, I started studying B.A. Philosophy at the LMU in 2017, parallel to my medical studies. In April 2020 I joined the Saur lab to work on my MD thesis in translational medicine (Dr. med. sci) on CRISPRa screening in PDAC.

Lukas Neudegger
Lukas Neudegger
Faculty of Medicine - Technical University of Munich

Student assistants

Angelica Arenas Vargas
School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan - Technical University of Munich

I am from Colombia and came to Germany for my studies in pharmaceutical bioprocess engineering (Pharmazeutische Bioprozesstechnik) that started in October 2019. One of my goals is to collaborate on the investigation and cure of diseases, which is why August 2019 I joined our research group. Appart from my studies I like to read and see new places in this beautiful county.

Cheng-En Lu
Department of Physics - Technical University of Munich
Born in Düsseldorf, I came to Munich to study physics and joined the group in 2019. Currently working on my master's thesis in biophysics. In my free time I enjoy playing softball and telling people why "The Alchemist" is an overrated book.

Diana David
Department of Informatics - Technical University of Munich
Computer engineer from Sibiu, Romania. In my journey of bridging the gap between medicine and informatics, I moved to Munich to study Biomedical Computing and joined the group in 2020.
Along this journey, I like to travel as much as possible and disconnect for a while by dancing and reading.

Sarah Keegan
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich
After my education as veterinary assistent I started studying veterinary medicine at the LMU in 2018. I am working at the TranslaTUM to gain experience in research and connect with different fields of medicine. In my freetime I enjoy doing racing bike tours.