ESR14 – Sonia Leonardelli – based in Essen

Project Title: Evaluating clinical implications and prognostic value of less frequent somatic mutations in melanoma, and understanding the role of senescence.
PhD Awarded: December 2019

I am an Italian student who graduated from University of Trento (IT) with Master degree in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology. Since my strong motivation in cancer research, I was selected to be part of this amazing group of young researchers and contribute with my work towards a most extensive knowledge on melanoma.

Apart from studying, I love traveling and seeing the beauty of the world, going to the most beautiful beaches and the most famous cities. I also love good food, therefore I never miss out the possibility to have a good dinner with friends, cooking for everyone or ordering delicious meals. Finally, I enjoy watching movies. In fact, I look forward to every years’ nominations for the Academy Awards, to guess who the winners will be.

Research Summary

Coming soon…


Scholz SL, Möller I, Reis H, Süßkind D, van de Nes JAP, Leonardelli S, Schilling B, Livingstone E, Schimming T, Paschen A, Sucker A, Murali R, Steuhl KP, Schadendorf D, Westekemper H, Griewank KG. Frequent GNAQ, GNA11 , and EIF1AX Mutations in Iris Melanoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Jul 1;58(9):3464-3470. Available at:

Pieper N, Zaremba A, Leonardelli S, Harbers FN, Schwamborn M, Lübcke S, Schrörs B, Baingo J, Schramm A, Haferkamp S, Seifert U, Sucker A, Lennerz V, Wölfel T, Schadendorf D, Schilling B, Paschen A, Zhao F. Evolution of melanoma cross-resistance to CD8+ T cells and MAPK inhibition in the course of BRAFi treatment. Oncoimmunology. 2018 Apr 18;7(8):e1450127. Available at:

Scholz SL, Cosgarea I, Süßkind D, Murali R, Möller I, Reis H, Leonardelli S, Schilling B, Schimming T, Hadaschik E, Franklin C, Paschen A, Sucker A, Steuhl KP, Schadendorf D, Westekemper H, Griewank KG. NF1 mutations in conjunctival melanoma. Br J Cancer. 2018 May;118(9):1243-1247. Available at:

Horn S, Leonardelli S, Sucker A, Schadendorf D, Griewank KG, Paschen A. Tumor CDKN2A-Associated JAK2 Loss and Susceptibility to Immunotherapy Resistance. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Jun 1;110(6):677-681. Available at: