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Group leader: Preclinical Neurooncology

Dr. rer. nat. Ulf D. Kahlert
Neurosurgical Clinic
Moorenstraße 5
40225 Düsseldorf

Research Interest

In my research at the Department of Neurosurgery I aim to identify molecular paradigms with suitability for rapid application in clinical neuro-oncology.

The central paradigm of my work is to understand the biology of stem-like cells and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in brain tumors – responsible for the development, progression and therapy resistant of the diseases. I my work I use a variety of stem cell assays and draw particular caution on the phylogenetically conserved stem cell signaling cascades Notch and Wingless (WNT). We also develop stem cell-based models for cancers using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC).

Experimental approaches are initiated and results will be validated for clinical relevance with in depth genetic and epigenetic characterization of brain tumors from patients in our clinic as well as external clinical datasets. Moreover I am interested in the use of stem cells for neuro regeneration and to model pain.

Most important publications

Original work:

  1. D Maciaczyk, D Picard, L Zhao, K Koch, D Herrera-Rios, G Li , V Marquardt, D Pauck, T Hoerbelt, W Zhang, DM Ouwens, M Remke, T Jiang, HJ Steiger, J Maciaczyk, UD Kahlert.
    CBF1 is clinically prognostic and serves as a target to block cellular invasion and chemoresistance of EMT-like glioblastoma cells.
    Br J Cancer. 2017 Jun 27;117(1):102-112. undefinedPubMed
  2. S Semenkow, S Li, UD Kahlert, EH Raabe, J Xu, A Arnold, M Janowski, BC Oh, G Brandacher, JWM Bulte, CG Eberhart, P Walczak.
    An immunocompetent mouse model of human glioblastoma.
    Oncotarget. 2017 May 15;8(37):61072-61082. undefinedPubMed
  3. UD Kahlert, M Cheng, K Koch, X Fan, L Marchionni, J Maciaczyk, K Glunde and CG Eberhart.
    Alterations in cellular metabolome after pharmacological inhibition of Notch in glioblastoma cells.
    Int J Cancer 2016 Mar; 138 (5) 1246–1255. undefinedPubMed
  4. A Hanaford, TC Archer, A Price, UD Kahlert, J Maciaczyk, G Nikkhah, W Kim, T Ehrenberger, P Clemons, V Dančík, B Seashore-Ludlow, V Viswanathan, ML Stewart, M Rees, A Shamji, W Hahn, S Schreiber, E Fraenke, SL Pomeroy, JP Mesirov, P Tamayo, CG Eberhart, EH Raabe.
    DiSCoVERing innovative therapies for rare tumors: combining genetically accurate disease models with in silico analysis to identify novel therapeutic targets.
    Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Aug 1;22(15):3903-14. undefinedPubMed
  5. UD Kahlert, AK Suwala, K Koch, M Hayashi, M Natsumeda, J Maciaczyk and CG Eberhart.
    Pharmacologic WNT inhibition reduces proliferation, survival and clonogenicity of glioblastoma cells.
    J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015 Sep;74(9):889-900. undefinedPubMed
  6. UD Kahlert AK, Suwala, EH Raabe, FA Siebzehnrubl, MJ Suarez, BA Orr, EE Bar, J Maciaczyk, CG Eberhart.
    ZEB1 promotes invasion in human fetal neural stem cells and hypoxic glioma neurospheres.
    Brain Pathol. 2015 Nov;25(6):724-732. undefinedPubMed
  7. UD Kahlert, D Maciaczyk, F Dai, R Claus, E Firat, S Doostkam, T Bogiel, MS Carro, M Döbrössy, C Herold-Mende, G Niedermann, M Prinz, G Nikkhah and J Maciaczyk.
    Resistance to hypoxia-induced, BNIP3-mediated cell death contributes to an increase in a CD133-positive cell population in human glioblastoma in vitro.
    J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2012 Dec;71(12):1086-99. undefinedPubMed
  8. UD Kahlert, D Maciaczyk, S Doostkam, BA Orr, B Simons, T Bogiel, T Reithmeier, M Prinz, J Schubert, G Niedermann, T Brabletz, CG Eberhart, G Nikkhah and J Maciaczyk.
    Activation of canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling enhances in vitro motility of glioblastoma cells by activation of ZEB1 and other activators of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.
    Cancer Lett. 2012 Dec 1;325(1):42-53. undefinedPubMed


  1. UD Kahlert, SM Mooney, M Natsumeda, HJ Steiger, J Maciaczyk.
    Targeting cancer stem-like cells in glioblastoma and colorectal cancer through metabolic pathways.
    Int J Cancer. 2017 Jan 1;140(1):10-22. undefinedPubMed
  2. UD Kahlert, JV Joseph, FAE Kruyt.
    EMT- and MET-related processes in nonepithelial tumors: importance for disease progression, prognosis, and therapeutic opportunities.
    Mol Oncol. 2017 Jul;11(7):860-877. undefinedPubMed
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