Main Research Interests

My group employs genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), human tumor patient material and primary cell cultures as model systems to unravel the molecular mechanisms leading to inflammatory diseases and cancer focusing especially on squamous cell carcinomas as well as liver and colorectal cancers. Our long-standing interest lies in understanding how EGFR signaling pathways lead to tumor development. We investigate the cell-specific role of EGFR signaling in cancer and tumor stromal cells and their complex interaction and have made major discoveries in this field. Moreover, we aim to understand how inflammatory cells in particular macrophages and plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (pDC) influence inflammatory diseases and affect tumor development and regression. We exploit novel concepts to modulate tumors to become more sensitive to current immunomodulatory therapies with the ultimate goal is to translate this knowledge to patients to develop more effective personalized treatments for human cancer. The experimental strategies employed include molecular and biochemical approaches, various immunological assays, primary cell cultures and genetic engineering in mice.