Welcome to the eilslabs

The eilslabs form a joint research group between the division "Theoretical Bioinformatics" at the German Cancer Research Center (dkfz) and the department Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB) at Heidelberg University. The group is headed by Prof. Roland Eils.



Together with an international research team, researchers from the eilslabs performed a study to decipher the genomic landscape of aggressive medulloblastoma subtypes. Medulloblastoma is a brain cancer that can occur in adults as well as in children. Of the classified four distinct molecular-biological subgroups, especially the tumors of groups 3 and 4 are very common in children but yet not well studied. This often results in unspecific treatments with severe side effects.

With the analysis of almost 500 medulloblastomas the study unraveled almost 80 percent of the genetic alterations in groups 3 and 4, revealing new cancer genes. Furthermore, the scientists found new candidate drivers for a genetic alteration called "enhancer hijacking". In this process, structural changes in the DNA result in the activation of oncogenes, which should normally be inactive. By changing their position these oncogenes become activated by an enhancer thereby contributing to the development of cancer.
With these new results the medulloblastoma subgroups can be classified more precisely providing the opportunity for specified treatments with a concomitant reduction of side effects.

Within the eilslabs, the study was driven forward by Ivo Buchhalter, former PhD student in the Computational Oncology group, with Roland Eils supervising the study.
This work was supported by the International Cancer Genome Consortium PedBrain Tumour Project, funded by the German Cancer Aid and by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Pfister Nature MRT Medulloblastom

MRT-Image of a Medulloblastoma  © DKFZ



  • Paul A. Northcott*, Ivo Buchhalter*, A. Sorana Morrissy*, Volker Hovestadt, Joachim Weischenfeldt, Tobias Ehrenberger, Susanne Groebner, Maia Segura-Wang, Thomas Zichner, Vasilisa Rudneva, Hans-Jörg Warnatz, Nikos Sidiropoulos, Aaron H. Phillips, Steven Schumacher, Kortine Kleinheinz, Sebastian M. Waszak, Serap Erkek, David T.W. Jones, Barbara C. Worst, Marcel Kool, Marc Zapatka, Natalie Jäger, Lukas Chavez, Barbara Hutter, Matthias Bieg, Nagarajan Paramasivam, Michael Heinold, Zuguang Gu, Naveed Ishaque, Christina Jäger-Schmidt, Charles D. Imbusch, Alke Jugold, Daniel Hübschmann, Thomas Risch, Vyacheslav Amstislavskiy, Francisco German Rodriguez Gonzalez, Ursula D. Weber, Stephan Wolf, Giles W. Robinson, Xin Zhou, Gang Wu, David Finkelstein, Yanling Liu, Florence M.G. Cavalli, Betty Luu, Vijay Ramaswamy, Xiaochong Wu, Jan Koster, Marina Ryzhova, Yoon-Jae Cho, Scott L. Pomeroy, Christel Herold-Mende, Martin Schuhmann, Martin Ebinger, Linda M. Liau, Jaume Mora, Roger E. McLendon, Nada Jabado, Toshihiro Kumabe, Eric Chuah, Yussanne Ma, Richard A. Moore, Andrew J. Mungall, Karen L. Mungall, Nina Thiessen, Kane Tse, Tina Wong, Steven J.M. Jones, Olaf Witt, Till Milde, Andreas von Deimling, David Capper, Andrey Korshunov, Marie-Laure Yaspo, Richard Kriwacki, Amar Gajjar, Jinghui Zhang, Rameen Beroukhim, Ernest Fraenkel, Jan O. Korbel, Benedikt Brors, Matthias Schlesner, Roland Eils§, Marco A. Marra§, Stefan M. Pfister§, Michael D. Taylor§ and Peter Lichter§: The whole-genome landscape of medulloblastoma subtypes. Nature 2017. DOI:10.1038/nature22973. §: Joint Supervision; *: equal contribution

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