Dr. Christian Schmees

Research interests

  • Patient-derived ex-vivo tumor models and their application in preclinical compound efficacy testing
  • Tumor-Immune cell interactions with a focus on T lymphocytes and macrophages
  • Optogenetic modulation of cell-cell communication and cell signalling
  • CRISPR-based genome editing for target validation and cell engineering


Academic career

since 2014
Head of Tumor Biology, NMI

2011 - 2014
Senior Scientist, Tumor Biology Group, NMI

2010 - 2011
Senior Scientist at the Department of Systemic Cell Biology (Prof. Philippe Bastiaens), Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany

2006 – 2010
Research Fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR; Prof. Carl-Henrik Heldin) Uppsala, Sweden (Scholarships from LICR and DFG (German Research Foundation) “Investigation of Differences in Regulation of intracellular trafficking of PDGF α- and β-receptors”

2002 – 2006
PhD in Tumor Immunology at the Department of Medicine II, Technical University of Munich, Germany

1996 – 2002
Biochemistry studies at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and University of Tübingen, Germany;
Degree: Diploma


Schmees C, Villaseñor R, Zheng W, Ma H, Zerial M, Heldin CH, Hellberg C. Macropinocytosis of the PDGF β-receptor promotes fibroblast transformation by H-RasG12V. Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Jul;23(13):2571-82.

Hellberg C, Schmees C, Karlsson S, Ahgren A, Heldin CH. Activation of protein kinase C alpha is necessary for sorting the PDGF beta-receptor to Rab4a-dependent recycling. Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Jun;20(12):2856-63.

Schmees C, Gerhard M, Treptau T, Voland P, Schwendy S, Rad R, Prinz C. VacA-associated inhibition of T-cell function: reviewed and reconsidered. Helicobacter. 2006 Jun;11(3):144-6.

Schmees C, Prinz C, Treptau T, Rad R, Hengst L, Voland P, Bauer S, Brenner L, Schmid RM, Gerhard M. Inhibition of T-cell proliferation by Helicobacter pylori gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. Gastroenterology. 2007 May;132(5):1820-33.

Gerhard M, Schmees C, Voland P, Endres N, Sander M, Reindl W, Rad R, Oelsner M, Decker T, Mempel M, Hengst L, Prinz C. A secreted low-molecular-weight protein from Helicobacter pylori induces cell-cycle arrest of T cells. Gastroenterology. 2005 May;128(5):1327-39.

Dr. Christian Schmees

Group Leader Tumor biology
T +49 (0)7121 51530-881
F +49 (0)7121 51530-16


  • HepaChip-MP – a twenty-four chamber microplate for a continuously perfused liver coculture model
    Busche M, Tomilova O, Schütte J, Werner S, Beer M, Groll N, Hagmeyer B, Pawlak M, Jones P D, Schmees C, Becker H, Schnabel J, Gall K, Hemmler R, Matz-Soja M, Damm G, Beuck S, Klaassen T, Moer J, Ullrich A, Runge D, Schenke-Layland K, Gebhardt R und Stelzle M
    Lab on a Chip, DOI: 10.1039/d0lc00357c
  • A peptide tag-specific nanobody enables high-quality labeling for dSTORM imaging
    Virant D, Traenkle B, Maier J, Kaiser PD, Bodenhöfer M, Schmees C, Vojnovic I, Pisak-Lukáts B, Endesfelder U, Rothbauer U
    Nature Communications. 2018 Mar;9:930. DOI:10.1038/s41467-018-03191-2
  • Functional protein and pathway profiling of patient-derived tumor models for drug testing and precision medicine applications using Reverse Phase Protein Arrays (RPPA)
    Gierke B, Bodenhofer M, Schmees C, Pawlak M
    European Journal of Cancer. 2018 November 13-16; 103S1 (e21–e1489):e109
  • A novel microfluidic 3D platform for culturing pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells: comparison with in vitro cultures and in vivo xenografts
    Beer M, Kuppalu N, Stefanini M, Becker H, Schulz I, Manoli S, Schuette J, Schmees C, Casazza A, Stelzle M, Arcangeli A
    Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 25;7(1):1325. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01256-8.
  • Role of BCL9L in transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) and metastasis of pancreatic cancer
    Sannino G, Armbruster N, Bodenhofer M, Haerle U, Behrens D, Buchholz M, Rothbauer U, Sipos B, Schmees C
    Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 4; 7:73725-73738. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12455.
  • Live imaging of endogenous protein dynamics in zebrafish using chromobodies.
    Panza P, Maier J, Schmees C, Rothbauer U, Söllner C.
    Development. 2015 May 15;142(10):1879-84. doi: 10.1242/dev.118943.
  • Key role of dual specificity kinase TTK in proliferation and survival of pancreatic cancer cells
    Kaistha BP, Honstein T, Muller V, Bielak S, Sauer M, Kreider R, Fassan M, Scarpa A, Schmees C, Volkmer H, Gress TM, Buchholz, M
    Br J Cancer. 2014 Oct 28;111(9):1780-7. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.460. Epub 2014 Aug 19.
  • Macropinocytosis of the PDGF β-receptor promotes fibroblast transformation by H-RasG12V.
    Schmees C, Villaseñor R, Zheng W, Ma H, Zerial M, Heldin CH, Hellberg C
    Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Jul 1; 23(13): 2571–2582. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E11-04-0317