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Professor Stefan Barth MSc (Bonn) PhD (Bonn) DMSc (Experimental Medicine, Cologne)

Medical Biotechnology & Immunotherapy Group

Stefan Barth

South African Research Chair in Cancer Biotechnology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, Division of Chemical & Systems Biology, Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Head, Medical Biotechnology and Immunotherapy Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT.

The major aim of our research is the use of medical biotechnology including antibody technologies, protein engineering & expression, to develop and evaluate knowledge-based innovative recombinant immunodiagnostics and therapeutics. The main characteristics of these novel agents are: a) disease-specific activities, b) reduced unspecific side effects, and c) reduced immunogenicity.

Novel methods for selection of antibodies are developed in close collaboration with a) Dr. Mehmet K. Tur, Experimental Pathology and Immunotherapy, Institute for Pathology, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Germany, b) Sachdev Sidhu, Donelly Centre for Cellular + Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto.

Novel fusion proteins will be designed using advanced supercomputing tools to model dynamic interactions of proteins, in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Paolo Carloni, Institute for Advanced Simulation, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany.  Recombinant fusion proteins are mainly expressed in bacterial or mammalian cells and subsequently characterized in experimental settings, both in vitro on cell lines or primary material of patients and in vivo in transgenic/tumor-bearing mouse models.


Selected recent publications:

Dhandapani R., Arokiaraj C.M., Taberner F., Raja S., Portulano C., Franciosa F., Maffei M., Hussain A.F., de Castro Reis F., Reymond L., Perlas E., Barth S., Johnsson K., Lechner S.G., Heppenstall P.A. Control of mechanical pain hypersensitivity in mice through ligand-targeted photoablation of TrkB positive sensory neurons. Nature Commun 9(1): 1640 (2018), doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04049-3.

Gresch G., Schenke L., Mlandenov R., Zwirner S., Cremer C., Niesen J., Grieger E., Brümmendorf T., Jost E., Fischer R., Stockmeyer B., Barth S., Nachreiner T., Stein C. Elimination of different leuaemia subtypes using novel CD89-specific human cytolyic fusion proteins. Brit J Haematol 183(2): 313-317 (2017), doi: 10.1111/bjh.14971.

Amoury M., Bauerschlag D., Zeppernick F., von Felbert V., Berges N., Di Fiore S., Mintert I., Bleilevens A., Maass N., Bräutigam K., Meinhold-Heerlein I., Stickeler E., Barth S.*, Fischer R.*, Hussain A.F.* Photoimmunotheranostic agents for triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis and therapy that can be activated on demand. Oncotarget 7(34): 54925-54936 (2016), PMID: 27448975, doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.10705.

Amoury M., Mladenov R., Nachreiner T., Pham A.T., Hristodorov D., Di Fiore S., Helfrich W., Pardo A., Fey G., Thepen T., Kiessling F., Kolberg K., Barth S. A novel approach for targeted elimination of CSPG4-positive triple negative breast cancer using a MAP-tau based fusion protein. Int J Cancer 139(4): 916-24 (2016). PMID: 27037627, doi: 10.1002/ijc.30119.

Woitok M., Klose D., Niesen J., Richter W., Abbas M., Hussain A., Stein C., Bialon M., Püttmann C., Fischer R., Barth S.*, Kolberg K.* The efficient elimination of solid tumor cells by EGFR- and Her2-specific scFv-SNAP fusion proteins conjugated to benzylguanine-modified auristatin F. Cancer Letters 381(2): 323-30 (2016). PMID: 27502168, doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.08.003.

Brehm H., Hristodorov D., Pardo A., Mladenov R., Niesen J., Fischer R., Tur M.K., Barth S. Targeted killing of rhabdomyosarcoma by a MAP-based human cytolytic fusion proteins. Cancer Lett 365(2): 149-55 (2015), PMID: 25888452, doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2015.04.004.

Contact details:

Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences
Wernher & Beit North level 3
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT
Anzio Road
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 406 6938 (office) 
Email: stefan.barth@uct.ac.za

Alternate sites: www.chemsysbio.uct.ac.za

ResearchGate profile


Group members:

Group members Position
Nyameka Mhlonyelwa-Mona Snr Secretary/Administration
Ambrose Okem Postdoctoral Fellow
Dharanidharan Ramamurthy Postdoctoral Fellow
Gerda Venter Postdoctoral Fellow
Eden Rebecca Padayachee Postdoctoral Fellow
Krupa Naran Postdoctoral Fellow
Shivan Chetty Postdoctoral Fellow
Adebukola Kemi Daramola PhD Student
Anathi Nkayi PhD Student
Fleury Augustin Nsole Biteghe PhD Student
Natasha Hardcastle PhD Student
Olusiji Alex Akinrinmade PhD Student
Precious Hlongwane PhD Student
Sandra Jordaan PhD Student
Suresh Madheswaran PhD Student
Trishana Nundalall PhD Student
Neelakshi Mungra MSc Student
Sanele Cingo MSc Student
Siyabulela Magugu MSc Student
Phila Madlala MSc Student
Zaria Malindi MSc Student
Nakkita Pillay Honours
Sizalobuhle Masuku Honours
Joshua Swadling Intern



Name, Institution Research Area
Prof. Paolo Carloni, FZ Jülich, Germany Simulation of dynamic protein interactions
Prof. Wijnand Helfrich, UMCG Groningen, Netherlands SNAP tag based antibody fusion proteins for radioimaging
Prof. Matthias Peipp, University of Kiel, Germany Therapeutically active fusion proteins
Dr. Sachdev Sidhu, University of Toronto, Canada Novel recombinant antibodies
Dr. Mehmet K. Tur, UKGM Giessen, Germany Selection of antibodies on human cells/tissue
Prof. Dirk Bauerschlag, University of Kiel, Germany Therapeutically active fusion proteins
South Africa  
Prof. Frank Brombacher ICGEB, UCT, Cape Town Biological activity of immunotherapeutic agents in preclinical disease models
Prof. Bert Klumperman SUN, Cape Town Targeted drug delivery systems
Prof. Musa Mhlanga IDM, UCT, Cape Town & CSIR, Pretoria Precision Medicine
Prof. Kevin Naidoo UCT, Cape Town SNAP tag based antibody fusion protein constructs