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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 & Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine; Division of Chemical & Systems Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, 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 Dr. Mehmet K. Tur, Experimental Pathology and Immunotherapy, Institute for Pathology, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Germany.

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:

Maskus, D.J., Królik, M., Bethke, S., Spiegel, H., Kapelski, S., Seidel, M., Addai-Mensah, O., Reimann, A., Klockenbring, T., Barth, S., Fischer, R., Fendel, R. Characterization of a novel inhibitory human monoclonal antibody directed against Plasmodium falciparum Apical Membrane Antigen 1. Scientific Reports (2016) 6, 39462

Amoury, M., Mladenov, R., Nachreiner, T., Pham, A.-T., Hristodorov, D., Di Fiore, S., Helfrich, W., Pardo, A., Fey, G., Schwenkert, M., Thepen, T., Kiessling, F., Hussain, A.F., Fischer, R., Kolberg, K., Barth, S. A novel approach for targeted elimination of CSPG4-positive triple-negative breast cancer cells using a MAP tau-based fusion protein. International Journal of Cancer (2016) 139(4):916-927

Hristodorov, D., Mladenov, R., Fischer, R., Barth, S., Thepen, T. Fully human MAP-fusion protein selectively targets and eliminates proliferating CD64 + M1 macrophages. Immunology and Cell Biology (2016) 94(5):470-478

Niesen, J., Hehmann-Titt, G., Woitok, M., Fendel, R., Barth, S., Fischer, R., Stein, C. A novel fully-human cytolytic fusion protein based on granzyme B shows in vitro cytotoxicity and ex vivo binding to solid tumors overexpressing the epidermal growth factor receptor. Cancer Letters (2016) 374(2):229-240

von Felbert, V., Bauerschlag, D., Maass, N., Bräutigam, K., Meinhold-Heerlein, I., Woitok, M., Barth, S., Hussain, A.F. A specific photoimmunotheranostics agent to detect and eliminate skin cancer cells expressing EGFR. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology (2016) 142(5):1003-1011

Amoury, M., Kolberg, K., Pham, A.-T., Hristodorov, D., Mladenov, R., Di Fiore, S., Helfrich, W., Kiessling, F., Fischer, R., Pardo, A., Thepen, T., Hussain, A.F., Nachreiner, T., Barth, S. Granzyme B-based cytolytic fusion protein targeting EpCAM specifically kills triple negative breast cancer cells in vitro and inhibits tumor growth in a subcutaneous mouse tumor model. Cancer Letters (2016) 372(2):201-209

Mladenov, R., Hristodorov, D., Cremer, C., Gresch, G., Grieger, E., Schenke, L., Klose, D., Amoury, M., Woitok, M., Jost, E., Brümmendorf, T.H., Fendel, R., Fischer, R., Stein, C., Thepen, T., Barth, S. CD64-directed microtubule associated protein tau kills leukemic blasts ex vivo. Oncotarget (2016) 7(41):67166-67174

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) 

Alternate sites:

ResearchGate profile


Group members:


Group members Position
Nyameka Mhlonyelwa-Mona Snr Secretary/Administration
Eden Rebecca Padayachee Postdoctoral Fellow
Krupa Naran Postdoctoral Fellow
Shivan Chetty Postdoctoral Fellow
Adebukola Kemi Daramola 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
Phila Madlala MSc Student
Zaria Malindi MSc Student
Amelie Johnston Honours
Bradley Johnston Honours
Felicia Siboza Honours
Siyabulela Magugu Honours
Gabriella Leon Intern
Michele Palkovits Intern
Sizalobuhle Masuku Intern
Jasmin Joseph Intern




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
Prof. Michael G. Rosenblum,  MD Anderson, USA Targeted human cytolytic fusion proteins
Dr. Mehmet K. Tur, UKGM Giessen, Germany Selection of antibodies on human cells/tissue
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