We proudly present the PhD Student of the Month March 2022, Angelika Martina Starzer, who is enrolled in the N790 programme “Clinical and Experimental Oncology” and works under the supervision of Anna Sophie Bergmeister-Berghoff and Matthias Preusser at the Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine I, and the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Personalized Immunotherapy.

Angelika’s research focuses on the interaction of the immune system and cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized cancer therapy but reliable biomarkers to identify patients who are likely to respond are still missing for the clinical routine. In her thesis project “Immune monitoring in solid cancer patients”, she investigates systemic inflammation and the local immune cell composition in the tumor microenvironment as well as epigenetic features such as tumor DNA methylation profiles as potential biomarkers for response to immunotherapy in different solid cancers.

Angelika’s research efforts have already led to various publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, amongst these first-author publications in the top-ranked journals „Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer“, „British Journal of Cancer“ and „Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology“.