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Basics & translational approaches in immunotherapy of cancer

Discover the challenges of keeping up with the rapid and quite broad technical and translational developments in the field of immunotherapy of cancer

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CIVIS focus area
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Medicine and Health
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 3
Course dates
20 - 24 June 2022

Tübingen summer school on immunotherapy of cancer addresses the challenge of keeping up with the rapid and quite broad technical and translational developments in this field: e.g. combining immunovirotherapy or other non-antigen-specific perturbation of the tumor microenvironment, or antigen-specific vaccination or cell transfer, with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) or other recently developed forms of immunomodulations.

Cancer immunotherapy has revolutionized the field of oncology by prolonging survival of patients with fatal cancers. The number of patients eligible for immune-based cancer treatments continues to skyrocket as these therapies position themselves as the first line for many cancer indications. Novel treatment combinations and newly identified druggable targets will further expand the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer in the decades to come.

This CIVIS Summer School covers the most recent "Basics & Translational Approaches in Immuno­therapy of Cancer" by providing highly interactive lectures given by renowned cancer experts from the Universities of Aix-Marseille, Athens, Bucharest, Brussels, Rome, and Tübingen. 25 students in Human & Molecular Medicine as well as PhD Bachelors/Masters not only will be educated in a research field being highly important in current and future Health and Life sciences but on purpose also will have enough time and activities for strengthening their networking activities on the European level.

The course will be organised into readings by professors from various universities of the CIVIS Alliance, as well as students' round tables and poster sessions. A cultural side program will also be offered to discover the city and region of Tübingen.

Main topics

  • Screening for novel targets in immunotherapy
  • Bispecific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)
  • Ligandome analysis & peptide vaccines
  • PET-based functional imaging for immune cells
  • CAR-T cell therapy
  • NK cell therapy
  • Virotherapy
  • Mouse tumor models for immunotherapy
  • Special Session: from bench to bedside to clinically licensed anti-cancer products

Learning outcomes

Learning objectives cover all major aspects of Basics & translational approaches in immuno­therapy of cancer. Especially, four pillars encompassing advanced tumor vaccines, new therapeutic anti-bodies, advanced cellular therapeutics, and combinatorial immuno­modulation approaches will be presented and discussed in this CIVIS Summer School.

Upon completion of this CIVIS Summer School, participants should be able to present and discuss in-depth these topics. Beyond that, cancer immunotherapy aspects should also be aware in the future and guide the participants throughout their further individual careers.

Location: Tübingen, Germany Format: Physical

Language: English (B2)

ECTS: 3* 
Contact: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lauer (organiser) Dr. Martina Ebi (administrative support) 

Individual workload: 90 hours

Duration of the course: 5 days Contact hours: 28

*The recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 


This CIVIS course is open to Bachelor’s, Master's, PhD, and MD students at one of the 10 CIVIS member universities, enrolled in Human & Molecular Medicine. Undergraduate students should have already acquired 90 credits in their field of study or 3 semesters of study.

A B1 level of English is required.

Application process

Interested students should fill in this application form to this email address by 15 March 2022. Selected students will be notified on 31 March 2022.


Each participant is asked to prepare a poster about their own existent or future research projects or (if this is not possible) a review-style summary of a method or a topic with relation­ship to the contents of this CIVIS summer school. Posters will be presented orally in three dedicated sessions at the CIVIS Tübingen Summer School during which lecturers/cancer experts and CIVIS Tübingen Summer School participants will be on-site for stimulating discussions and networking. Each participant will briefly (5 min) go through their poster and will answer questions. A poster prize will be awarded to the best presenter.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Aristotelis Bamias

Professor at the Medical School, University of Athens. Director of the 2nd Propaedeutic Dept of Internal Medicine, ATTIKON University Hospital. Chair of the Hellenic Genito-Urinary Cancer Group (HGUCG). Member of international Clinical research Groups and steering committees of international immunotherapy trials in urogenital cancer. Professor Bamias is a member of the ESMO Faculty for Genitourinary Cancer and chaired this group from 2016 to 2020. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 original papers and reviews in peer-reviewed journals including N Engl J Med, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, and J Clin Oncol, with more than 16000 citations by other authors and an h-index of 62.

Andrea Botticelli

Assistant Professor of the Dept. of Radiological Oncology, Pathology Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome. The research activity is focused on precision/personalized medicine, head and neck cancer, and breast cancer. In particular on the research of biomarkers able to identify the patient’s metabolism (study of SNPs) in order to avoid unnecessary toxicity and to increase compliance to treatment. Furthermore, it was focused on the research of biomarkers able to identify the patients prone to respond to target therapy. In this regard, I’m the PI of the Rome Trial (NCT04591431) with the aim to demonstrate the possible efficacy of the agnostic approach. In the last years, the research was expanded to immunology, investigating several biomarkers on blood, tissue, and microbiome.

The research activity was characterized by the collaboration with several institutions such as the Microbiome Unit of Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù IRCCS, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, and several Oncological centers (the Rome trial involved 46 oncological centers).

Patrik Chames

Patrick Chames obtained his PhD at Aix-Marseille University, France in 1997 in the field of antibody engineering. From 1997 to 2001, he worked in the laboratory of phage display pioneer HR Hoogenboom (NL) where he isolated by phage display the first human TCR-like antibodies. From 2001 to 2005, he worked for the French start-up company Cellectis SA, Paris, in the field of genome engineering. Since 2012 he is a team leader in the Cancer Research Center of Marseille where has developed an internationally recognized expertise in the generation of nanobodies for cancer immunotherapy and imaging.

Sorina Dinescu

Sorina Dinescu is a Lecturer and Researcher in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Bucharest. She is a molecular biologist actively working in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine post-cancer treatment. Stem cell interactions with cancer cells, exosomal content of cancer cells or cancer stem cells, characterization of the non-coding RNAs involved in cancer progression, and the stem cell origin of certain types of cancer represent her main scientific interests. She had a doctoral and post-doc short-term research stage in NCMM, University of Oslo, Norway. Currently, she is involved in studies related to breast cancer and liposarcoma, one of the soft tissue cancers originating in a subpopulation of adipose-derived stem cells.

Peter Lang

Peter Lang is Acting Medical Director of the Department for General Pediatrics and Hematology/Oncology at the University Hospital for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Tübingen; he is the spokesperson of the German Pediatric Working Group on Stem Cell Transplantation and Cell Therapy (PASZT) and Qualified Person as defined by the German Drug Law (AMG) for the Stem Cell Laboratory of the Children's Hospital;

Ulrich M. Lauer

Deputy Medical Director of the Department of Internal Medicine VIII, Medical Oncology and Pneumology, at the University Hospital Tübingen; Head of the Phase I Clinic / Early Clinical Trials Unit (ECTU), Head of the Center of Excellence for Neuroendocrine Tumors (CoE ENETS) Tübingen; Head of the Gene and Virotherapy Laboratory Tübingen, Pioneering by the initiation of a Germany-wide first study on virotherapy of advanced peritoneal carcinomatosis (NCT01443260)

Etienne Meylan

Etienne Meylan received a PhD in Life Sciences from UNIL, for his work on innate immunity. He was a postdoc at MIT, exploring NF-kappaB signaling in lung cancer. In 2011, he established his laboratory at EPFL. He was recruited to ULB in 2021, as an Associate Professor to hold a new Chair of Immuno-Oncology from the Faculties of Medicine and Sciences. His laboratory explores the metabolic and immune perturbations that affect lung cancer development, with a focus on tumor-associated neutrophils.

Helmut Salih

Helmut Salih is a hematologist/oncologist and Professor for Translational Immunology at Tubingen University as well as head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Translational Immunology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). For more than 20 years his efforts focus, among others, on the conceptualization, preclinical testing, and clinical development of novel immunotherapeutics until the stage of early clinical trials. This is exemplified by presently ongoing clinical studies that evaluate peptide vaccinations in CLL patients, but also for COVID-19 as well as improved mono- and bispecific antibodies (e.g., PSMAxCD3 and FLT3xCD3) in prostate cancer, lung cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia.

Christian Seitz

Head of Advanced Cellular Therapies Lab at the University Hospital for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Tübingen. His work is dedicated to establishing and translating next-generation cellular therapeutics to cure childhood cancer. Specific approaches are Adapter-CAR-T-cells versus Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Leukemia Stem Cells; Target Cell Discrimination by AdCAR-T (by adapter CAR-T cells) system; by splitting antigen recognition and CAR-T activation, introducing adapter molecules, the system allows precise quantitative (on-/off-switch) as well as qualitative (change and combine target antigens) regulation of CAR-T activity.

Aurélie Tchoghandjian

Aurélie Tchoghandjian is a CNRS researcher in the GlioME team at the Institute of Neurophysiopathology at la Timone Campus, Marseille. She works on glioblastoma, the most aggressive brain tumor in adults. She worked on glioblastoma stem cells during her PhD and during her post-doc in Germany in Frankfurt, she works on Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins. She is now interested in “pan-cellular targeting” which consists in targeting simultaneously all the pro-tumoral cells of the tumor. This requires the development of human and mouse preclinical models to study tumor cells, tumor stem cells, immune cells, and the other cells of the tumoral microenvironment at the same time.

Ourania Tsitsilonis

Professor of Immunology at the Department of Biology, NKUA. Majored in Biology, Medicine, and received her PhD in Immunology from NKUA. Worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Tuebingen and the Department of Immunology, “St. Savas” Cancer Hospital in Athens, in parallel performing her Biopathology residency. Her main scientific interests focus on tumor immunology /immunotherapy: in vitro and in vivo analysis of the mode of action of biologic response modifiers; identification of novel prognostic and predictive cancer biomarkers and immune signatures in hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Head of the Flow Cytometry Unit of NKUA; Secretary-General of the Hellenic Society of Immuno-oncology; Vice-President of the Department of Biology.

Éric Vivier

Éric Vivier, DVM, PhD, is a Professor of Immunology at Aix-Marseille University and the Public Hospital of Marseille (AP-HM). In addition, he was appointed in 2018, Scientific Director of Innate Pharma, a biotechnology company dedicated to improving cancer treatment with innovative therapeutic antibodies that exploit the immune system. He completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, then joined Aix-Marseille University as a professor at the Centre d'Immuno­logie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in 1993 before becoming its director from 2008 to 2017. He is also one of the founders of Marseille-Immunopôle, an immunology cluster created in. Eric Vivier's work focuses on innate immunity and in particular Natural killers and other innate lymphoid cells.

Juliane Walz

Deputy Director of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Immunology at the University Hospital Tübingen; expert in peptide-based immuno­therapy, which represents a low side-effect approach relying on specific immune recognition of tumor-associated HLA (human leukocyte antigen) presented peptides; expert in identification and characterization of tumor-associated antigens for hematological malignancies using the approach of direct isolation and mass spectrometric analysis of HLA-presented peptides on the cell surface of leukemia cells. PI of multi-center, patient-individualized peptide vaccination trial for CLL patients (iVAC-L-CLL01, NCT02802943).