P1: Visualizing and understanding the role of cGMP in cancer


To define the regulatory roles and therapeutic potential of cGMP signaling in cancer, including differential effects of cGMP in tumor and host stromal cells.

Questions and Methods

cGMP and cancer

Boston Internship

Fukumura Lab

In the Fukumura lab in Boston, the doctoral researchers will be trained in cancer biology and multiphoton intravital microscopy of various tumors (including melanomas) in mice via window models. cGMP sensor mice and cGKI mutant mice have already been transferred from Tübingen to Boston.

Boston Co-mentor

Assoc. Prof. Dai Fukumura MD, PhD

link to boston researcher lab

Doctoral student

Mariagiovanna Barresi

Mariagiovanna obtained her B.Sc. in Biotechnology at the University of Padua, Italy, where she developed a strong interest in cancer research. Her Bachelor’s thesis focused on the validation of a new zebrafish reporter line for STAT3, protein which is involved in uncontrolled tumor proliferation. Then, she continued her studies earned her Master’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology in Padua. She did her Master’s thesis in the Functional Genomics Lab of G. Lanfranchi in the Department of Biology and CRIBI Biotechnology Centre, moving her interest on the study of non-coding RNAs, such as miRNAs, to analyse how their expression, if altered, can determine or influence invasiveness and therefore progression in malignant melanoma. After her M.Sc., Mariagiovanna joined in the laboratory of Robert Feil to do her PhD. Here, her research focusses on the role of cGMP signalling in cancer.

Key Publications

Dhayade S, Kaesler S, Sinnberg T, Dobrowinski H, Peters S, Naumann U, Liu H, Hunger RE, Thunemann M, Biedermann T, Schittek B, Simon HU, Feil S, Feil R. Sildenafil potentiates a cGMP-dependent pathway to promote melanoma growth. Cell Rep. 2016;14:2599-610

Thunemann M, Schörg BF, Feil S, Lin Y, Voelkl J, Golla M, Vachaviolos A, Kohlhofer U, Quintanilla-Martinez L, Olbrich M, Ehrlichmann W, Reischl G, Griessinger CM, Langer HF, Gawaz M, Lang F, Schäfers M, Kneilling M, Pichler BJ, Feil R. Cre/lox-assisted noninvasive in vivo tracking and quantification of specific cell populations by positron emission tomography. Nat Commun. 2017;8:444