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  Dr. rer. nat. Martina Tholen      
       
 

Targeting tumor-associated inflammation with covalent small molecule binders

 
 

We are a junior research group trying the overcome the limitations of anti-tumor immunotherapy by seizing the power of covalent small molecule binders.

Small molecules with electrophilic moieties that covalently bind cellular proteins can be highly efficient modulators of cellular activity. Using these as immunomodulators to reprogram the tumor-associated inflammation in the tumor microenvironment, we try to create a surrounding that enhances anti-tumor T-cell response.

 
     
 

Our current projects focus on:

 
 

A) Identification of small molecule modulators of innate immune cell activation.
B) Defining the targetome of reactive residues for covalent modification in activated immune cells that are key for suppressing anti-tumor immune response. Use of these reactivities
for 1) development of modulators with therapeutic effect and for 2) development of imaging agents that can help visualize tumor-associated inflammation at the primary site and at sites of metastatic seeding.
C) Define the impact of covalent cysteine binders on metabolic enzymes and the functional consequences for immune cell activation.

 
 

 

 
 

Sounds interesting to you? We are just starting but we welcome students for internships and graduate projects.

 
 

 

 
     
         
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
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