Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

Institut für Pathologie
Haus 28

Arbeitsgruppe Haybäck

Forschungslabor für Translationale Medizinische Forschung

Our research group focuses on a bi-directional medical research: translating basic research questions into clinical applications, and clinical needs into basic research, wherein various medically relevant questions are addressed. The research activities are based on the solid molecular-pathological expertise of our group and the core facilities at the Institute of Pathology (with in-house core facilities for cytology, histology, immunohistochemistry, genetic and epigenetic screening platforms like oligo micro-array, array comparative hybridization analysis, fluorescence in situ-hybridization), and particularly the unique resource from the large Bio-Bank in Graz, and accurate clinical information from our clinical collaborators. All these activities are strengthened further by the close network within the Medical Faculty of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, the Medical University Graz and the support of many international collaborators.

Research Scope

We are aiming at generating novel animal models for steatohepatitis and its concomitant diseases, i.e. liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to imitate the "real" human disease conditions. Using these valuable animal models, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms of human liver diseases with emphasis on several signal transduction pathways, e.g. NF-kB, JAK-STAT, mTOR signaling.

AG Haybäck 1

We are searching for good biomarkers relevant for the diagnosis, grading, treatment, and prognostic evaluation of human liver diseases (hepatitis, especially steatohepatitis, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and HCC), colorectal cancer, and sarcomas in particular endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS) – by conducting in detail morphological and molecular characterization studies of human tissue specimens as well as cell biology studies.

AG Haybäck 2

Our group is working on elucidating the significance of circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA in order to understand the metastasis process of various malignant diseases.

AG Haybäck 3

Digging into other new research grounds with so far unraveled processes, e.g. SUMOylation and the contribution of eukaryotic translation initiation factors in carcinogenesis.

Main Focus

Biomarker research: To identify, characterise and target biomarkers in therapeutic approaches is the main goal of our reasearch group. Oncologically useful prognostic as well as predictive biomarkers are investigated in a multitude of reasearch projects. We cover the topics circulating tumor cells, circulating tumor DNA and tissue biomarkers for a variety of cancer entities of different organ systems. We are following unbiased approaches and educated guesses on particular signalling pathways where we have a long and specific expertise. In particular in the frame work of national and international collaborations with leaders in the field we are assesing novel biomarkers in cell culture, animal models including xenograft models, human primary and metastatic tumer tissue as well as blood. Our biomarker reasearch also focuses on non-oncological diseases like degenerativ disorders where all modern morphological and molecular tools are used in our daily practice. Thus we believe to represent a competent team being a good collaborator for academic partners and pharma industry in the steadily moving and extremly fascinating, exiting and challenging area of biomarker research. For example the IMI-financed EU-project OncoTrack ("Methods for systematic next generation oncology biomarker development") is our most prestigious internationally well reccognized tumor biomarker project.

Hepatitis, predominantly steatohepatitis and its concomitant diseases, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), intermediate filaments (IFs):

Further oncological research: Besides HCC, other malignancies are our targets. In this regard, the main aims of research are to identify good biomarkers for diagnosis, grading, and prognostic evaluation of disease, as well as efficient treatments for the respective diseases. It includes:

Neuroscience research: Tightly connected to our Department of Neuropathology we are covering all aspect of modern neuropathological reasearch ranging from basic questions to applied clinically relevant goals. High quality morphological investigations are complemented by modern molecular tools as well as in vitro cell culture systems and various animal models. We are interested in neurooncology, neuroimmunology and neurodegeneration. In addition to brain tumors – in particular gliomas – our neuropathological and neurobiological research is in parallel focused on mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disorders. This field of research is well collaborated with various neuroscience centers in Magdeburg as well as the Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurooncology of the Medical University Graz. Other internationally well recognized centers are also involved in this research.

The basis for our success is an excellent collaboration
with our pre-clinical and clinical partners in Magdeburg and externally.

Group Members

Head of
the Group
Haybäck Prof. Johannes Haybaeck, MD PhD
Prof. Johannes Haybaeck, MD PhD is professor of pathology and director of the Institute of Pathology of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. He is board certified Pathologist, Neuropathologist holding a doctoral degree in Molecular Biology. His main research interest is the understanding of molecular mechanisms driving carcinogenesis.
Mehta Anita K. Mehta
Anita K. Mehta is a DK-MCD research fellow. She received her Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, India in 2006. She studied Biotechnology and was awarded as Master of Science at Rajasthan University, Jaipur, India in 2008. She started her scientific career at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India as a research fellow. Her main research focus is to study genetic modifiers and molecular mechanisms which are involved in steatohepatitis driven hepatocellular carcinogenesis. 
Schweiger Caroline Schweiger
Caroline Schweiger studied Biology at the Karl Franzens University Graz. She did her Diploma Thesis at the Institute of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology, Medical University of Graz. Her research interest is focused on xenotransplantation. During her college days she did a business management training, too, and worked as a coordinator at the Department for Transplantation Surgery at the Medical University Graz for couple years. Now she is our clinical study coordinator. Currently she is on maternity leave.
Taucher Valentin Taucher
Valentin Taucher is a medical student at the Medical University of Graz since 2010, currently being in his 5th semester (September 2012). He is working on his Diploma Thesis which deals with the molecular understanding of the cholangiocellular carcinogenesis.
Smolle E Elisabeth Smolle
Elisabeth Smolle studied Human Medicine at the Medical University of Graz and is now doing her studies of Medical Sciences (Dr. Sci. Med.) at the Translational Medical Research Laboratory. She has been a voluntary member of this research group since 2011. Her Dr. Sci. Med.-project focuses on translation initiation in neuroendocrine tumors. Elisabeth is also working on the OncoTrack Project.
Petzold Johannes Petzold
Johannes Petzold is a medical student at the Medical University of Graz since 2008. After an exchange year in Spain (University of Salamanca) he started his Diploma Thesis in our research group. He focuses on the understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms driving gallbladder carcinogenesis.
Golob Nicole Golob
Nicole Golob, B.Sc. studied Biomedicine Analytics at the FH Joanneum in Graz, focusing on molecular biological science. After her Bachelor's degree in 2010, she started the Master's degree program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine at the Technical University Graz. She wrote her Master Thesis about single molecule tracking of transcription factors in live cell nuclei in the Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression at the National Cancer Institute. 
Smolle M Maria Smolle
Maria Smolle is a medical student in her 2nd semester (July 2013), studying since 2012 at the Medical University of Graz.
Anders Ines Anders
Ines Anders, B.Sc. studied Biology in Regensburg, Germany. She did her Bachelor Thesis research at the Institute for Developmental Biology (Prof. Dr. Stephan Schneuwly), focusing on the proto-oncogene dFussel in Drosophila. After her graduation she worked as a scientific assistant for several months until she started the Master's degree program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Graz. In October 2013 she joined the group to accomplish her Master's degree.
Leber Stefan Leber
Stefan Leber is a medical student at the Medical University of Graz since 2010. He has just finished his 7th semester (February 2014). He is currently working on his Diploma Thesis which deals with the molecular understanding of diseases of the central nervous system.
Leoni Marlene Leoni
Marlene Leoni is a resident in pathology since 2013. She studied medicine at the Medical University of Graz and did her Diploma Thesis focusing on microvesicles in astrocytomas and their role in tumor progression at the Institute of Pathology. Her main interest is the tumor progression of cerebral tumors, and correlations between psychiatric disorders, their medical treatment and their toxicity in liver tissue.
Uranitsch Stefan Uranitsch
Stefan Uranitsch studied Medicine at the Medical University Graz and Lund University, Sweden. He did his clinical trainings at the Karolinska University Stockholm and at the Department for General Surgery at the Hospital of Kathmandu (KMH), Nepal. He received his MD degree in 2009 and started the clinical rotation in 2009. Since 2011 he is a resident at the Department of General Surgery at the St. John of God Hospital Graz. He leads the clinical study cooperation with the Insitute of Pathology of the Medical University Graz at the St. John of God Hospital Graz. Since May 2014 he is member of our research group focusing on colorectal cancer.
Nakhlas Maria Nakhlas
Maria Nakhlas studied Medicine at the Medical Academy of Ivanovo, Russia. She completed her neurology residency training at the Russian State Medical University, Moscow in 2010. Since February 2013 she is confirming her Medical degree at the Medical University of Graz and is currently working on her Diploma Thesis which deals with the molecular understanding of diseases of the central nervous system.
Koller Carina Koller
Carina Koller, B.Sc. studied Biomedical Science at the FH Joanneum in Graz. After her Bachelor's degree in 2010 she started the Master's degree program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine at the Technical University of Graz. Beside she worked as Biomedical Analyst at the Laboratory of Immunology and at the Institute for Medical Laboratory Diagnosis in Graz. She recently started to work on her Master Thesis focusing on eukaryotic initiation factors in colorectal cancer.
Seiberl Michael Seiberl
Michael Seiberl is a medical student at the Medical University of Graz since 2012, currently being in his 6th semester (March 2015). He is working on his Diploma Thesis which deals with the SUMOylation in neurodegeneration.
Seif Laura Ann Seif
Laura Ann Seif is currently studying Medicine in her 6th semester at the Medical University of Graz. Within the framework of her Diploma Thesis she is validating miRNA patterns in meningiomas with the help of PCR.
Unterluggauer Julia Unterluggauer
Julia Unterluggauer, B.Sc., M.Sc. (PhD student) achieved her Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Graz. Within her master studies she focused on Molecular Microbiology and during her Master Thesis she was engaged in ribosome biogenesis research. In 2015 she achieved her Master's degree from the University of Graz and is currently a PhD student in our laboratory.
Gantenbein Nadine Gantenbein
Nadine Gantenbein, B.Sc., M.Sc. (PhD student) achieved her Bachelor's degree in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Graz in 2014. Within her Master studies she focused on nuclear import of ribosomal proteins. Since 2015 Nadine is a PhD student in our laboratory.

Team 2016

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2016

Team 2015

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2015

Team 2014

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2014

Team 2013

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2013

Team 2012

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2012

Team 2011

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2011

Team 2010

Forschungsgruppe Haybäck 2010

Funding Resources

  • Bank Austria
Bank Austria
  • Center for Biomarker Research in Medicine
  • Doctoral College
    Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease
  • FFG
  • FWF
  • Graz University of Technology
Graz University of Technology
  • IMI Research Grant
    (European Union funding)
IMI Research Grant
  • Karl Franzens University Graz
Karl Franzens University Graz
  • Lilly
  • Medical University Graz
Medical University Graz
  • OncoTrack
  • Pfizer
  • Stadt Graz
Stadt Graz
  • Steirische Kinderkrebshilfe
Steirische Kinderkrebshilfe
  • Steirische Wirtschaftsförderung
Steirische Wirtschaftsförderung
Letzte Änderung: 23.12.2016 - Ansprechpartner: Webmaster
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. univ.
Dr. sc. nat. Johannes Haybäck

Magdeburg A.ö.R.
Institut für Pathologie
Leipziger Straße 44
39120 Magdeburg

Haus 28

Telefon 0391 / 67-15817
Telefax 0391 / 67-15818

Telefon 0391 / 67-15827

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