Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences

Hahn, Heidi, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Molecular Developmental Genetics

  • Dr. med., University of Würzburg, 1992
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA (1993 -1998)
  • Junior Group Leader (BioFuture), Technical University of Munich (1999 - 2000)
  • Professor of Molecular Developmental Genetics, University of Göttingen since 2001

Major Research Interests

Cancer is a disease that results from inappropriate cell division induced by hyperproliferation. In many cases, the development of cancer is associated with genes or signaling pathways important for patterning during embryogenesis.
We investigate the role of the Hedgehog/Patched (Hh/Ptch) signaling cascade in the development of solid tumors. The focus is on rhabdomyosarcoma and basal cell carcinoma. In addition, we are investigating the role of Hh/Ptch signaling in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and adenoma of the pituitary gland.
The first aim is the discovery of molecular and cellular events that trigger the initiation of Hh associated tumors. The second aim is to elucidate the function Hh signaling during tumor progression. The third goal is the identification of drugs that target Hh/Ptch-associated solid tumors. To test the anti-tumor activity of the drugs we use tumor-bearing Ptch mutant mice.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Uhmann A; Heß I; Frommhold A; König S; Zabel S; Nitzki F; Dittmann K; Lühder F; Christiansen H; Reifenberger J; Schulz-Schaeffer W; Hahn H (2014). DMBA/TPA treatment is necessary for BCC formation from Patched deficient epidermal cells in Ptchflox/floxCD4Cre+/- mice. J Invest Dermatol. March 24
  • Pelczar P; Zibat Z; van Dop WA; Heijmans J; Bleckmann A; Gruber W; Nitzki F; Uhmann A; Guijarro MV; Hernando E; Dittmann K; Wienands J; Dressel R; Wojnowski L; Binder C; Taguchi T; Beissbarth T; Hogendoorn PCW; Antonescu CR; Rubin BP; Schulz-Schaeffer W; Aberger F; van den Brink GR; Hahn H (2013). Inactivation of patched1 in mice leads to development of gastrointestinal stromal-like tumors that express pdgfr? but not kit. Gastroenterology 144(1): 134 -144.e6
  • Nitzki F, Zibat A, Frommhold A, Schneider A, Schulz-Schaeffer W, Braun T, Hahn H (2011) Uncommitted precursor cells might contribute to increased incidence of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in heterozygous Patched1 mutant mice. Oncogene 30: 4428-36
  • Nitzki F, Zibat A, König S, Wijgerde M, Rosenberger A, Brembeck F, Carstens PO, Frommhold A, Uhmann A, Klingler S, Reifenberger J, Pukrop T, Aberger F, Schulz-Schaeffer W, Hahn H (2010) Tumor stroma-derived Wnt5a induces differentiation of basal cell carcinoma of Ptch mutant mice via CaMKII. Cancer Research 70: 2739-48
  • Uhmann A, Dittmann K, Nitzki F, Dressel R, Koleva M, Frommhold A, Zibat A, Binder C, Adham I, Nitsche M, Heller T, Armstrong V, Schulz-Schaeffer W, Wienands J, Hahn H (2007) The Hedgehog receptor Patched controls lymphoid lineage commitment. Blood 110: 1814-23
  • Hahn H, Wicking C, Zaphiropoulos P, Gailani M, Shanley S, Chidambaram A, Vorechovsky I, Holmberg E, Unden A, Gillies S, Negus K, Smyth I, Pressman C, Leffell D, Gerrard B, Goldstein A, Wainright B, Toftgard R, Chenevix-Trench G, Dean M, Bale A (1996) Mutations of the human homologue of Drosophila patched in the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. Cell 85: 841-51