Prof. Dr. Roland Eils
Phone: +49 6221 423600




Integrative bioinformatics...


and systems biology for biomedical research.

Theoretical Bioinformatics – eilslabs


Our group/department has:

Since 2010 our group has been a leading group in the development of bioinformatic approaches for whole cancer genome approaches.

  • Together with Peter Lichter, Roland Eils has initiated the ICGC PedBrain Tumor project as the first German contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) on pediatric brain tumors funded since 2010 jointly by the German Cancer Aid and the BMBF. Later, the group of Roland Eils also acquired responsibility for the data analysis and management in two further BMBF-funded ICGC projects on early-onset prostate cancer and malignant lymphoma as well as in DEEP, the German contribution to the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).

  • In the first large-scale whole genome sequencing of 125 cases of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, the Eils group together with the PedBrain partners identified important biological events such as tetraploidy and recurrent mutations, which often occur in subgroup-specific patterns. This enhances our understanding of the genomic complexity and heterogeneity underlying medulloblastoma (Jones et al., 2012 Nature).
    In a second ICGC PedBrain Tumor study on pilocytic astrocytoma (PA), the group performed data analysis on 96 tumor whole-genomes. They identified alterations affecting the MAPK signaling pathway in all tumors, with no other significant mutations occurring outside of this pathway. PA is therefore a prototypic single-pathway disease, and a useful model for studying the effects of MAPK signaling disruption in cancer (Jones et al., 2013 Nat Genet).

  • In one of the first cross-cancer comparison study of mutational patterns across 402 whole genomes, the Eils group found that the inactive X chromosome of many cancer genomes of female patients accumulates up to four times as many somatic mutations per megabase when compared to the individual autosomes. Since the effect does not occur in healthy cells, these data suggest that hypermutation of the inactive X chromosome results from DNA replication stress in aberrantly proliferating cells, and is an early and frequent feature of tumorigenesis (Jäger et al., 2013 Cell).

  • Together with partners at the European Pancreas Center / Heidelberg University Hospital (Prof. Büchler/Werner), HI-STEM gGmbH (Prof. Trumpp) and NCT (Prof. Jäger, Dr. Springfeld) we have initiated an ambitious program on the stratification of pancreatic tumors. The program combines the generation of individualized orthotopic mouse xenografts and individualized tumor-initiating cell lines with whole genome sequencing and accompanying molecular profiling of samples followed by integrative data analysis and the development of systems biology models. This aims to provide a detailed understanding of tumor initiation and progression in this highly malignant disease. The sequencing studies have initially been funded by DKFZ-HIPO and under the coordination of Roland Eils the proposal was selected for funding through the BMBF’s new systems medicine program e:MED in 2013.

2010 – 2013

  • Jäger N, Schlesner M, Jones DTW, Raffel S, Mallm J-P, Junge KM, Weichenhan D, Bauer T, Ishaque N, Kool M, Northcott PA, Korshunov A, Drews RM, Koster J, Versteeg R, Richter J, Hummel M, Mack SC, Taylor MD, Witt H, Swartman B, Schulte-Bockholt D, Sultan M, Yaspo M-L, Lehrach H, Hutter B, Brors B, Wolf S, Plass C, Siebert R, Trumpp A, Rippe K, Lehmann I, Lichter P, Pfister SM, and Eils R: Hypermutation of the inactive X chromosome is a frequent event in cancer. Cell, 155 1-15, 2013.

  • Jones DT*, Hutter B*, Jäger N, Korshunov A, Kool M, Warnatz HJ, Zichner T, Lambert SR, Ryzhova M, Quang DA, Fontebasso AM, Stütz AM, Hutter S, Zuckermann M, Sturm D, Gronych J, Lasitschka B, Schmidt S, Seker-Cin H, Witt H, Sultan M, Ralser M, Northcott PA, Hovestadt V, Bender S, Pfaff E, Stark S, Faury D, Schwartzentruber J, Majewski J, Weber UD, Zapatka M, Raeder B, Schlesner M, Worth CL, Bartholomae CC, von Kalle C, Imbusch CD, Radomski S, Lawerenz C, van Sluis P, Koster J, Volckmann R, Versteeg R, Lehrach H, Monoranu C, Winkler B, Unterberg A, Herold-Mende C, Milde T, Kulozik AE, Ebinger M, Schuhmann MU, Cho YJ, Pomeroy SL, von Deimling A, Witt O, Taylor MD, Wolf S, Karajannis MA, Eberhart CG, Scheurlen W, Hasselblatt M, Ligon KL, Kieran MW, Korbel JO, Yaspo ML, Brors B, Felsberg J, Reifenberger G, Collins VP, Jabado N, Eils R*, Lichter P*, and Pfister SM*: Recurrent somatic alterations of FGFR1 and NTRK2 in pilocytic astrocytoma. Nat Genet 45 (8), 927-932, 2013.2013. (* shared first / senior authorship)

  • Jones DT*, Jaeger N*, Kool M, Zichner T, Hutter B, Sultan M, Cho YJ, Pugh TJ, Hovestadt V, Stuetz AM, Rausch T, Warnatz HJ, Ryzhova M, Bender S, Sturm D, Pleier S, Cin H, Pfaff E, Sieber L, Wittmann A, Remke M, Witt H, Hutter S, Tzaridis T, Weischenfeldt J, Raeder B, Avci M, Amstislavskiy V, Zapatka M, Weber UD, Wang Q, Lasitschka B, Bartholomae CC, Schmidt M, von Kalle C, Ast V, Lawerenz C, Eils J, Kabbe R, Benes V, van Sluis P, Koster J, Volckmann R, Shih D, Betts MJ, Russell RB, Coco S, Tonini GP, Schueller U, Hans V, Graf N, Kim YJ, Monoranu C, Roggendorf W, Unterberg A, Herold-Mende C, Milde T, Kulozik AE, von Deimling A, Witt O, Maass E, Roessler J, Ebinger M, Schuhmann MU, Fruehwald MC, Hasselblatt M, Jabado N, Rutkowski S, von Bueren AO, Williamson D, Clifford SC, McCabe MG, Collins VP, Wolf S, Wiemann S, Lehrach H, Brors B, Scheurlen W, Felsberg J, Reifenberger G, Northcott PA, Taylor MD, Meyerson M, Pomeroy SL, Yaspo ML, Korbel JO, Korshunov A, Eils R*, Pfister SM*, Lichter P*, (*shared first,*shared last authorship): Dissecting the genomic complexity underlying medulloblastoma. Nature 488 (7409), 100-105, 2012.

  • Richter J*, Schlesner M*, Hoffmann S*, Kreuz M*, Leich E*, Burkhardt B*, Rosolowski M, Ammerpohl O, Wagener R, Bernhart SH, Lenze D, Szczepanowski M, Paulsen M, Lipinski S, Russell RB, Adam-Klages S, Apic G, Claviez A, Hasenclever D, Hovestadt V, Hornig N, Korbel JO, Kube D, Langenberger D, Lawerenz C, Lisfeld J, Meyer K, Picelli S, Pischimarov J, Radlwimmer B, Rausch T, Rohde M, Schilhabel M, Scholtysik R, Spang R, Trautmann H, Zenz T, Borkhardt A, Drexler HG, Moller P, Macleod RA, Pott C, Schreiber S, Trumper L, Loeffler M, Stadler PF, Lichter P, Eils R, Kuppers R, Hummel M*, Klapper W*, Rosenstiel P*, Rosenwald A*, Brors B*, Siebert R* (* shared first authorship,*shared senior authorship): Recurrent mutation of the ID3 gene in Burkitt lymphoma identified by integrated genome, exome and transcriptome sequencing. Nature Genetics 44 (12), 1316-1320, 2012.

  • Neumann, L.*, Pforr, C.*, Beaudouin, J., Pappa, A., Fricker, N., Krammer, P. H., Lavrik, I. N., Eils, R. (* shared first authorship): Dynamics within the CD95 Death-Inducing Signaling Complex Decide Life and Death of Cells. Molecular Systems Biology 6, Art.Nr. 352, 2010.

  • The division is generously supported by various funding organizations, amongst others via the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Helmholtz-Association, EU and the German Cancer Aid.

  • Grand Prize Winner, iGEM 2013, MIT - iGEM Team Heidelberg (Roland Eils Senior Advisor)