Dr Susanne Gatz Dr.Med.

Dr Susanne Gatz

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Senior Clinical Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology
Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Oncology

Contact details

Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU)
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Susanne Gatz is a clinician scientist who aims to combine her clinical expertise in solid tumours with her laboratory interests and expertise into translational research into DNA repair and sarcoma to ultimately identify better treatments for children with cancer, in particular sarcomas.

Susanne joined the University of Birmingham as senior lecturer in Paediatric Oncology in October 2018. She is based at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit within the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and is involved in the paediatric cancer trial portfolio of the unit with focus on sarcomas (eg the overarching platform trial FaR-RMS for rhabdomyosarcoma patients). She is leading on taking forward novel agents in rhabdomyosarcoma within the trial setting.

With regards to research into DNA repair inhibitors Susanne has developed the arm D in the paediatric ESMART (NCT02813135) stratified medicine basket study; this arm is investigating the combination of the PARP inhibitor Olaparib and irinotecan in paediatric patients with either Ewing’s sarcoma or tumours with genomic alterations in the homologous recombination repair pathway and is currently in Phase II (Phase I presented at ASCO 2019 (poster) and SIOP 2019 (oral)).

Susanne is further actively involved in the paediatric stratified medicine programme and molecular profiling initiatives for paediatric cancers. 


  • Medical Teaching Qualification I/ postgraduate certificate in higher education, Tuebingen, Germany, 2016
  • Full and specialist registration in paediatrics in the UK (GMC registration number: 7119582), 2010
  • Certificate of completion of training (CCT) in Paediatrics, Stuttgart, Germany 2008
  • MD/PhD equivalent (Dr. med), Ludwig-Maxilian’s-University, Munich, Germany, 2001 “summa cum laude”
  • Bachelor in Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian’s University, Munich, Germany, 1999 “1.0”


Susanne graduated in 1999 and obtained her Dr. Med. (MD/PhD equivalent) with “summa cum laude” in 2001 (“Development of a molecular-biological method to specifically detect HLA-A*0201 positive patients for immunotherapeutic studies”, laboratory of Professor Dr D.J. Schendel at the Institute of Immunology (Head: Professor Dr G. Riethmüller) of the Ludwig-Maximilian’s-University, Munich, Germany. She undertook post-doctoral research in DNA repair (Professor L. Wiesmueller, Ulm University, 2003/4; Professor P. Jeggo, Genome Damage and Stability Centre, Sussex University, UK, 2008-2011), followed by a research fellowship in the Sarcoma Molecular Pathology team of Professor Janet Shipley at the Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK (2014-2018).  

She received her clinical training in Paediatrics - specializing in oncology - at the Children’s Hospital, Ulm University, Germany (CCT in 2008). From 2011-2014 she was a clinical fellow and acting consultant in Paediatric Oncology Drug Development at The Royal Marsden, UK (Professor A. Pearson).


Msc Oncology – Paediatric Oncology Drug Development/ Paediatric Oncology Clinical Trials at CRCTU


  • 3D cultures of sarcoma cells, mimicking patient-relevant treatment schedules; assessment by high throughput assays but also by histology and protein – and RNA expression as well as DNA damage response per immunofluorescence and western blot studies.
  • Chemosensitisation and radiosensitisation of sarcoma cell models.
  • Identification of effective combination therapies at clinically relevant doses with focus on strategies involving DNA repair inhibitors.
  • Tumour sample/ molecular profiling related research linked to clinical trials and outcome data; most recent ongoing analysis is in relationship to the ongoing arm D in ESMART (olaparib/ irinotecan) with the aim to identify biomarkers for response to this combination.  

Other activities

Susanne is translational lead of the Phase I/II committee of European paediatric Soft tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG), member of the NCRI sarcoma CSG and Young Onset Soft tissue Sarcoma (YOSS) subgroup, associated member of the Novel agents subgroup of CCLG and member of the writing and steering committee of the ITCC-ESMART basket trial (NCT02813135).

Further professional memberships:

  • Member of the German Society for Children and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ), 2004-
  • Member of the German Society for Paediatric Oncology and Haematology (GPOH), 2005 –
  • Member of the German Society for Research on DNA Repair (DGDR)
  • Full member of the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), 2013 - (associate member from 2011-2013)
  • Member of Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) 2011-
  • Member of the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG), Member of the EpSSG Phase I-II Trial Committee, 2013 –
  • Member of the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPe), 2013 -
  • Fellow of the Royal College for Paediatrics and Child Health, 2019-
  • Full member of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), 2019-

Reviewing activity:

  • Frontiers in “Cell and Developmental Biology”, review editor, 2016-
  • Peer reviewer for PBC and MCT


Selected publications:

George SL, Izquierdo E, Campbell J, Koutroumanidou E, Proszek P, Jamal S, Hughes D, Yuan L, Marshall LV, Carceller F, Chisholm JC, Vaidya S, Mandeville H, Angelini P, Wasti A, Bexelius T, Thway K, Gatz SA, Clarke M, Al-Lazikani B, Barone G, Anderson J, Tweddle DA, Gonzalez D, Walker BA, Barton J, Depani S, Eze J, Ahmed SW, Moreno L, Pearson A, Shipley J, Jones C, Hargrave D, Jacques TS, Hubank M, Chesler L. (2019) A tailored molecular profiling programme for children with cancer to identify clinically actionable genetic alterations. Eur J Cancer. 121:224-235. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2019.07.027. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Romo-Morales A, Aladowicz E, Blagg J, Gatz SA, Shipley JM. (2019) Catalytic inhibition of KDM1A in Ewing sarcoma is insufficient as a therapeutic strategy. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 66(9):e27888. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27888. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Izquierdo-Delgado E., Yuan, L., George, S., Hubank, M., Jones, C., Proszek, P. Shipley, J., Gatz, S.A., Stinson, C.,  Moore, A.S., Clifford, S.C., Hicks, D. Lindsey, J., Hill R., Jacques, T.S., Chalker, J., Thway, K., O’Connor, S., Marshall, L., Moreno, L., Pearson, A., Chesler, L., Walker, B.A. and Gonzales de Castro, D. (2017) Development of a targeted sequencing approach to identify prognostic, predictive and diagnostic markers in paediatric solid tumours. Oncotarget, 8(67):112036-112050. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.23000. eCollection 2017 Dec 19.

Gatz, S.A.*, Salles, D.*, Jacobsen, E.M., Dörk, T., Rausch, T., Aydin, S., Surowy, H., Volcic, M., Vogel, W., Debatin, K.M., Stütz, A.M., Schwarz, K., Pannicke, U., Hess, T., Korbel, J.O., Schulz, A.S., Schumacher, J. and Wiesmüller L. (2016) MCM3AP and POMP Mutations Cause a DNA-Repair and DNA-Damage-Signaling Defect in an Immunodeficient Child. Hum Mutat, 37(3), 257-68. doi: 10.1002/humu.22939. Epub 2015 Dec 30.

Gatz, S.A. and Shipley, J.M. (2015) Less Can Be More for Gene Dose and Drug Sensitivity. Commentary. Clin Cancer Res., 21(21), 4750-2. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-1153. Epub 2015 Jul 21.Commentary

Norman, G., Fayter, D., Lewis-Light, K., Chisholm, J., McHugh, K., Levine, D., Jenney, M., Mandeville, H., Gatz, S. and Phillips, B. (2015) An emerging evidence base for PET-CT in the management of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma: systematic review. BMJ Open, 5(1):e006030. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006030.

Morgenstern, D.A., Hargrave, D., Marshall, L.V., Gatz, S.A., Barone, G., Crowe, T., Pritchard-Jones, K., Zacharoulis, S., Lancaster, D.L., Vaidya, S.J., Chisholm, J.C., Pearson, A.D. and Moreno, L. (2014) Toxicity and Outcome of Children and Adolescents Participating in Phase I/II Trials of Novel Anticancer Drugs: The Royal Marsden Experience. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol,  36, 218-223. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000003.

Gatz, S.A., Ju, L., Gruber, R., Hoffmann, E., Carr, A.M., Wang, Z.Q., Liu, C. and Jeggo, P.A. (2011) Requirement for DNA Ligase IV during Embryonic Neuronal Development. J Neurosci, 31, 10088-10100. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1324-11.2011. Erratum in: J Neurosci. 2011 Sep 21;31(38):13695.

Uhl, M., Csernok, A., Aydin, S., Kreienberg, R., Wiesmüller, L.* and Gatz, S.A.* (2010) Role of SIRT1 in Homologous Recombination. DNA Repair, 9, 383-393. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2009.12.020. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Gatz, S.A., Keimling, M., Baumann, C., Dörk, T., Debatin, K.-M., Fulda, S. and Wiesmüller, L. (2008) Resveratrol modulates DNA double-strand repair pathways in an ATM/ATR-p53- and –Nbs1-dependent manner. Carcinogenesis, 29, 519-527. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgm283. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Gatz, S.A., and Wiesmüller, L. (2008) Take a break - resveratrol in action on DNA. Carcinogenesis, 29, 321-332. oi: 10.1093/carcin/bgm276. Epub 2008 Jan 3. Review

Gatz, S.A., and Wiesmüller, L. (2006) p53 in recombination and repair. Cell Death Differ., 13, 1003-1016. Review

Gatz SA, Pohla H, Schendel DJ. A PCR-SSP method to specifically select HLA-A*0201 individuals for immunotherapeutic studies. Tissue Antigens. 2000 Jun;55(6):532-47.

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