Projects per year
Willing to supervise doctoral students
I welcome motivated PhD students and PostDocs with a biological science background who are interested in cancer biology and drug discovery. If you would like to apply for a scholarship to join my lab please contact me well in advance.
Tumours are composed of cancerous and normal stromal cells that are recruited to the site to sustain malignant growth. The research of my lab focuses on how these non-cancerous stromal cells, particularly fibroblasts, and the extracellular matrix they deposit, interact and promote cancer progression and therapeutic responses.
In this context we aim to understand how therapies, such as chemotherapies in cancer patients and immunosuppressive therapies in transplant patients, impact tissue homeostasis and support the formation of primary and secondary cancers and the initiation of metachronous cancers, which are independent from the original primary cancer. One of our research projects focuses for example on the underlying mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced fibrosis. We also ask the timely question how fibroblasts impact immune cell infiltration and tumour cell killing and consequently the anticancer activity of novel immunotherapies. To achieve this we combine cancer and metastasis models with in vitro 2D/3D co-culture systems.
A second stream of our research investigates, through local and international collaborations, the anticancer activity of novel anticancer compounds (including plant-based compounds, fragment-based screening) and the biocompatibility of novel biomaterials.
Overall, we aim to identify novel strategies to target the tumour and/or stroma for the prevention or suppression of metastatic cancer and to overcome treatment-resistant tumour progression focusing on the role of normal and cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Current lab members:
Ioanna Kontou (PhD student)
Tressan Grant (PhD student)
Ella Rimmer (PhD stduent together with Prof Tosh)
Former lab members:
Emily Lay (Oct 2019-Aug 2023)
Carmen Grimaldos Rodriguez (Nov 2018-Mar 2023, together with Prof Tosh)
Uliana Filie (MSc Molecular Biosciences 2023), Amalda Erdmane (MSc Molecular Biosciences 2023), Spyroula Antoniou (MSc Drug Discovery, 2021), Shujun Wang (MSc Drug Discovery, 2020)
BSc final year students:
Victoria Summers (BSc Biochem, 2022/23), Sophie Bliss (BSc Biochem, 2022/23), Honor Tookey (BSc Biochem, 2022/23), Laura Edwards (BSc BiomedSci, 2021/22), Sabrina James (BSc BiomedSci, 2021/22), Mari Davies (BSc BiomedSci, 2019/20), Meryl Attrill (BSc BiomedSci, final 2019/20)
ERASMUS visiting students:
Simone Herwig (2022), Anna Lauridsen (2018/19)
Dr Ute Jungwirth holds a master’s degree (Magistra rerum naturalium) in Chemistry from the University Vienna and in Toxicology (MScTox) from the Medical University Vienna. She carried out her PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research at the Medical University Vienna (Austria) in the group of Professor Walter Berger. In 2013 she was awarded a Schrödinger Fellowship from the Austrian Science Fund to join the Institute of Cancer Research ICR London (UK) and work together with Professor Clare Isacke. Her research focused on the metastasis-promoting role of cancer-associated fibroblasts and the collagen receptor Endo180. She developed a syngeneic, spontaneously metastasising breast cancer in vivo model
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Malignant Diseases, Doctor of Philosophy, Medical University of Vienna
Toxicology, Master of Science, Medical University of Vienna
Chemistry, Master of Chemistry, University of Vienna
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years
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1/07/22 → 30/06/25
Project: UK charity
Sero, J., Cevik, V., Gurevich, D., Jungwirth, U., Kelsh, R., Koumanov, F., Kyprianou, A., Laabei, M., Licchesi, J., Murrell, A., Pascu, S., Turner, L., Walko, G., Ward, A., Ward, S., Williams, R. & Zachariadis, M.
1/08/22 → 31/07/23
Project: Research council
1/06/15 → 31/05/18
Project: Project at a former HEI
1/06/13 → 31/05/15
Project: Project at a former HEI
3D-Printed Hollow Microneedle-Lateral Flow Devices for Rapid Blood-Free Detection of C-Reactive Protein and ProcalcitoninTurner, J., Lay, E., Jungwirth, U., Varenko, V., Gill, H. S., Estrela, P. & Leese, H., 25 Aug 2023, In: Advanced Materials Technologies. 8, 16, 11 p., 2300259.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile1 Citation (SciVal)
Grimaldos Rodriguez, C., Rimmer, E. F., Colleypriest, B., Tosh, D., Slack, J. M. W. & Jungwirth, U., 30 Nov 2023, In: Differentiation. 134, p. 1-10
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access3 Downloads (Pure)
Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Suppress CD8+ T-cell Infiltration and Confer Resistance to Immune-Checkpoint BlockadeJenkins, L., Jungwirth, U., Avgustinova, A., Iravani, M., Mills, A., Haider, S., Harper, J. & Isacke, C. M., 16 Aug 2022, In: Cancer Research. 82, 16, p. 2904-2917 14 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access32 Citations (SciVal)
Conductive polymer-coated 3D printed microneedles: biocompatible platforms for minimally invasive biosensing interfacesKeirouz, A., Mustafa, Y., Turner, J., Lay, E., Jungwirth, U., Marken, F. & Leese, H., 14 Dec 2022, (Acceptance date) In: Small.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access9 Citations (SciVal)
Phenanthroindolizidine Alkaloids Isolated from Tylophora ovata as Potent Inhibitors of Inflammation, Spheroid Growth, and Invasion of Triple-Negative Breast CancerReimche, I., Yu, H., Ariantari, N. P., Liu, Z., Merkens, K., Rotfuß, S., Peter, K., Jungwirth, U., Bauer, N., Kiefer, F., Neudörfl, J. M., Schmalz, H. G., Proksch, P. & Teusch, N., 7 Sept 2022, In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 23, 18, 10319.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access2 Citations (SciVal)
Dataset for "Conductive polymer-coated 3D printed microneedles: biocompatible platforms for minimally invasive biosensing interfaces"
Dataset for "3D‐Printed Hollow Microneedle‐Lateral Flow Devices for Rapid Blood‐Free Detection of C‐Reactive Protein and Procalcitonin"