Welcome letter - Doctoral Programme in Tumour Biology and Oncology (FoTO)

We organize a training programme in Tumour Biology and Oncology offering annual training courses in basic tumour biology, new technologies and advanced focus courses on single cancer types. The programme provides a fertile study-environment including annual student retreats. It has a translational profile attracting both pre-clinical and clinical students.

The programme operates with a progression of learning and quality controls, including developed pedagogics of research training according to the concept "how to best train excellent scientists”.

The FoTO team

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Margareta Wilhelm

Programme Director and Chair
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Lisa Westerberg

Programme coordinator
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Nick Tobin

Lecturer;Principal Researcher
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Marco Gerling

Principal Researcher
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Panagiota Maravelia

Student Representative


KI Cancer retreat (every year, in Autumn) - attendance at least one time.


Note that the interval of course occasions vary from 1-4 year.

Basic courses (level 1/2)

  • Basic course in Tumour Biology and Oncology (once per year, Autumn, 2 weeks)
  • Basic Tumour Histopathology (once per year, 2 weeks)
  • Tumour immunology and immune therapy of cancer (once per year)
  • Cytostatic Drugs in Research and Cancer Treatment
  • Cell death and Cancer
  • Cell cycle, cancer and anti-cancer targets

*Can be substituted by the yearly EACR Summer school in translational cancer research

Advanced courses (level 2/3)

  • Tumour microenvironment
  • Cancer cell Metabolism
  • Infections and cancer
  • Microbiota, metabolism and immunity in the development and treatment of malignancies
  • Advanced Cancer Biology
  • Omics data analysis: From quantitative data to biological information
  • What is life? The future of biology
  • Mouse models of human cancer
  • Personalized cancer medicine
  • Inherited cancer syndromes; Genes predisposing to malignant disease
  • Advanced Cell Culture - modelling with human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells
  • Non-coding RNA and cancer
  • Breast Cancer: Research and treatment
  • Brain tumours
  • Translational lung cancer research
  • Translational Paediatric Oncology in the Era of Immunotherapy and Omics
  • Circulating tumour cells
  • How to conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • Applications of CRISPR/Cas9 technology: genome editing and beyond

International courses and retreats

  • EACR Summer school in translational research (Autumn) 
  • DKFZ PhD student retreat
Content reviewer:
Sara Lidman