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Group Member: Michaela Gruber

Contact Details

  • E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Phone: +43-1/40160-70 066

Research Interests

I have focused my research on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a clinically heterogeneous malignancy which can remain asymptomatic for a long time while other cases progress rapidly. The high frequency of CLL and availability of highly pure tumor samples provide opportunities for genetic and epigenetic studies which are unique across cancers. By learning what drives CLL heterogeneity we can thus find insights that aid to understand not only CLL but cancer in general. Currently I am most interested in the interaction of epigenetics with somatic genetic evolution to understand cancer initiation and early development.  Thus, I am thrilled by the opportunity to bring together unique CLL sample collections from the Vienna General Hospital with powerful sequencing technologies and bioinformatic pipelines established at Christoph Bock’s lab. In addition, I have previously developed experimental (in vitro and in vivo) CLL and B-cell models that enable me to pursue a variety of functional studies.

Academic Employment

  • 04/2017 – present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Christoph Bock lab, CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 09/2013 – 04/2017: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Catherine Wu lab, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, and Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 04/2014 – 03/2017: Marie Curie IOF Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Hematology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  • 05/2012 – 07/2013: Resident Physician in Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine I, Hematology, Oncology, Haemostaseology, and Stem Cell Transplantation; Hospital Elisabethinen Linz, Austria
  • 03/2012 – 05/2012; Visiting Research Fellow, Shimane University Cancer Center, host mentor Junji Suzumiya; Shimane University, Izumo, Japan
  • 04/2011 – 09/2011: Visiting Research Fellow, Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology Research Center, Chantal Guillemette lab; Laval University, Québec City, Canada
  • 11/2008 – 08/2013: PhD Candidate, Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Hematology, Ulrich Jäger lab; Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Academic Degrees

  • July 2013: PhD in Cancer Biology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  • September 2008: MD (Dr.med.univ.), Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Scholarships and Awards

  • 2014: ASciNA Mentoring Award (Mentor Konrad Hochedlinger, MGH, Boston)
  • 2013: Wilhelm Türk-Award of the Austrian Society of Hematology and Oncology
  • 2013: Young Investigator Award, Austrian Society of Hematology and Oncology
  • 2012: Travel Award, European Hematology Association
  • 2010: EHA-ASH Translational Research Training in Hematology Award from EHA and the American Society of Hematology 
  • 2005-2008: Three Awards for Outstanding Academic Achievements from the Austrian Ministry of Science and the Medical University of Vienna

Fellowships and Grants

  • 2013: Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (€ 260.000), FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF-624924, CLL_INCLONEL
  • 2011: EHA-JSH Exchange Fellowship from the European Hematology Association and the Japanese Society of Hematology (€ 10,000)
  • 2011: Grant for the Ph.D. thesis from the Austrian Ministry of Science and the Medical University of Vienna (€ 2,000)
  • 2010: Marietta Blau-Fellowship from the Austrian Ministry of Science (€ 7,200)
  • 2008: The Hans und Blanca-Moser Foundation Grant (€ 4,500)

Miscellaneous

  • 06/2017 – present: Member of the Early Career Committee, European Hematology Association
  • 07/2013 – 05/2017: Founding Member of the Early Career Advisory Group, European Hematology Association
  • 01/2014 – 12/2014: Co-Chair of the 10th Annual Postdoc Retreat Committee, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Postdoctoral and Graduate Students Association
  • 03/2013 – 12/2013: Junior Faculty Member, EHA-ASH Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) 
  • 07/2009 – 06/2013: Chairwoman (07/09-06/11) and member (07/11-06/13) of the PhD Students’ Representation - Student Union at the MUV, Austria

Selected Publications

  • M. Gruber, C.J. Wu. Evolving understanding of the CLL genome. Semin Hematol. 2014 Jul;51(3):177-87.
  • M. Gruber, T. Le, M. Filipits, A. Gsur, C. Mannhalter, U. Jäger, K. Vanura. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B17 genotype and the risk of lung cancer among Austrian Caucasians. Cancer Epidemiol. 2013 Oct;37(5):625-8
  • M. Gruber, J. Bellemare, G. Hoermann, A. Gleiss, E. Porpaczy, M. Bilban, T. Le, S. Zehetmayer, C. Mannhalter, A. Gaiger, M. Shehata, K. Fleiss, C. Skrabs, É. Lévesque, K. Vanura, C. Guillemette, U. Jaeger. Overexpression of uridine diphospho glucuronosyltransferase 2B17 in high risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood. 2013 Feb 14;121(7):1175-83
  • M. Gruber, K. Fleiss, E. Porpaczy, C. Skrabs, AW. Hauswirth, A. Gaiger, K. Vanura, M. Shehata, C. Einberger, R. Thalhammer, C. Fonatsch, U. Jäger. Prolonged progression free survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia receiving granulocyte-colony stimulating factor during treatment with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab. Ann Hematol. 2011 Oct;90(10):1131-6
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