ESR15 – Renata Varaljai – based in Essen

Project Title: Exploring circulating free DNA (‘liquid biopsies’) from melanoma patients for prognostic biomarkers

I am a young scientist from Hungary. I graduated with an MSc in Biology from the University of Debrecen. My main research interests include cancer biology, cell biology and epigenetics.

I received my cell biology training from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest where I was part of the Membrane Research Group. Throughout the last years I have worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My research centralized around the role of epigenetic enzymes – KDM5s and EZH2 in multiple cancers. I investigated the requirement of the histone lysine demethylase KDM5A for coordination of mitochondrial metabolism during differentiation. I have published research papers in these topics and presented my results at multiple conferences.

Currently I am pursuing my PhD at the Department of Dermatology of the University Hospital Essen in Germany within the MELGEN ETN, where I am investigating cancer drug resistance in melanoma. My research is focusing on the establishment of prognostic and predictive circulating cell-free DNA profiles of patients with metastatic melanoma.

When I am not researching, I like to spend time outdoors. I love biking and hiking, and find them a great way to connect with nature and decompress. I am interested in homemade natural remedies and cosmetics.