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Center for Molecular Pathology

The team of the Center for Molecular Pathology at the Institute of Pathology Heidelberg (IPH) performs quantitative and qualitative diagnostic analyses of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). Focusing on cancer and infectious diseases, we are experts in molecular diagnostics serving our patients and clinical colleagues.

Based on the most recent diagnostic developments, we continuously update our methodology and assays comprising all major current genetic techniques:

  • Next-Generation Sequencing/Massive Parallele Sequenzierung (NGS/MPS)
  • Sanger Sequencing und Pyro-Sequencing
  • Polymerase-Chain-Reaction (PCR) and variants (RT-PCR, quantitative PCR, digital PCR)
  • In-situ Hybridization (ISH) for DNA and RNA  

Currently, more than 80 quality controlled genetic tests and assays are available. The diagnostic portfolio is scalable and is being augmented continuously.

We are using these techniques primarily with formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue. Additionally, we offer complementary blood-based genetic testing in specific clinical settings and diseases. Maximizing benefit for patients, combined evaluation of histopathological, clinical and molecular data provides an integrated report, which is discussed in interdisciplinary tumor boards.

Besides tracing and subtyping of viral and bacterial infections in tissue, we provide treatment-focused genetic testing of somatic aberrations in tumors (point mutations, translocations, gene fusions, copy number variations).

Depending on the specific clinical setting and questions, in conjunction with conventional histopathology these diagnostic molecular tests support 1) tumor typing, 2) evaluation of prognosis, 3) prediction of therapy response, and identification of drug targets for cancer precision medicine.

The Center for Molecular Pathology serves the University Hospital Heidelberg as well as a broad range of partner institutions.  We are closely collaborating with the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT)https://www.nct-heidelberg.de/  and support the clinical exome sequencing program MASTER as well as the Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology (DKFZ HIPO).

Our aim is high-level quality-controlled molecular diagnostics with a workflow that facilitates both fast and well-informed reports ultimately benefiting our patients.

To ensure quality of our methods and assays, we have established permanent internal quality controls and participate in nationwide and international round-robin tests offered by the German Quality Initiative Pathology (QuIP). Moreover, as a panel-institution, we proactively initiate, develop and organize these round-robin tests to foster and support quality assurance across institutions. 

Our expert-knowledge in molecular diagnostics for cancer precision medicine and personalized medicine is also available for both clinical and translational studies and trials which are supported by the Diagnostic Trial Center  at our institution.

For an overview of the assay portfolio currently available, please click here.






Clinical Head and Head Center of Molecular Pathology
Albrecht Stenzinger, MD
[Pubmed ]


Technical Head Molecular Diagnostics:
Roland Penze
l, PhD [Pubmed ]


Head Technology- and Assay Development:
Volker Endris, PhD [Pubmed ]


Amelie Lier, PhD [Pubmed ]


Molecular Pathology-  Diagnostics and Research:
Regine Brandt, PhD [Pubmed ]
Martina Kirchner, PhD
Jonas Leichsenring, BSc, MSc, MD
Anna-Lena Volckmar, PhD [Pubmed]


Bioinformatic Analyses and Database Management:
Cristiano Manuel Morais de Oliveira, MA

Technicians (Molecular Diagnostics)

Angelika Bönisch (Head)

Angelika Brüntgens (Deputy Head)

Waltraud Schmitz

Meike Viole

Marie-Sofie Karidipis

Mechthild Samer

Christina Hofherr

Natascha Horbach


Technicians (Reseach and Development)

Katja Lorenz

Kathrin Ridinger