Dr. Holger Stephan
Group Leader Nanoscalic Systems
Radionuclide Theragnostics
Phone: +49 351 260 3091
Fax: +49 351 260 13091, +49 351 260 3232

Marita Kersten
Secretariat / Administration
Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research
Phone: +49 351 260 3223
Fax: +49 351 260 13223, +49 351 260 3232

Latest Publication

A. Nsubuga, K. Zarschler, M. Sgarzi, B. Graham, H. Stephan, and T. Joshi.

Towards Utilising Photocrosslinking of Polydiacetylenes (PDAs) for the Preparation of “Stealth” Upconverting Nanoparticles (UCNP)

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201811003

Upcoming Events


Prof. Takashi Hayashita, Sophia University Tokyo, Department of Material and Life Sciences

"Design and Function of Novel Supramolecular Complex Sensors Based on Cyclodextrin Complexes and Self-Assembling Systems"


This project is funded by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association (VH-VI-422).

Helmholtz Association grey

Eye catcher

Outreach Activities – Communicating Cancer Research to the Public

NanoTracking scientists present their work and findings at different platforms, including Scientific Conferences, Open House Days and the Long Nights of Science. We welcome student groups on a regular basis and inform the public via press releases.

NanoTracking PhD students contribute to the Helmholtz Blogs.

Our NanoTracking PhD students Karina Pombo Garcia and Garima Singh post their impressions about the life and work in Dresden at the Helmholtz Blog ResearchIn' the World.

DRESDEN-concept Science Slam 2016

NanoTracking PhD student Garima Singh wins DRESDEN-concept Science Slam 2016!

PhD student Garima Singh, member of the working group “Nanoscalic Systems” at HZDR, presented her research topic at the DRESDEN-concept Science Slam and got first place on July 2, 2016! Garima talked about "cancer diagnosis by imaging agents" and earned thundering applause by the audience.

NanoTracking members at HZDR Open House DayNanoTracking members involved in HZDR Open House Day 2016

Dr. Nadia Licciardello and Dr. Kristof Zarschler - two current NanoTracking Members from the group of Dr. Holger Stephan - supervised a laboratory experiment during the HZDR Open House Day in May 2016. In their experiment, they demonstrated, how DNA can be easily isolated from fruits and vegetables and how the genetic material looks. Furthermore, they explained, which role our DNA plays in carcinogenesis and how the knowledge about a patient's DNA can be used in personalized medicine.

Karina Pombo-GarciaNanoTracking PhD student Karina Pombo Garcia describes "Six ways scientists can become storytellers (and why they should)"

After receiving an invitation by Elsevier Connect, Karina Pombo Garcia, one of our "NanoTracking" PhD students, took the chance and published an article about science communication. Her contribution titled "Six ways scientists can become storytellers (and why they should)" was choosen as lead story and is now available online!

Dr. Holger Stephan und Prof. Leone Spiccia (Ref.)Helmholtz International Fellow Awardee visits Institute of Radio­pharma­ceutical Cancer Research

Prof. Dr. Leone Spiccia from Monash University Melbourne, who was awarded with the Helmholtz International Fellow Award last year, visits HZDR for a two-week research stay.

Marie Curie Fellow Dr. Manja Kubeil heads to Australia to create flatulent nanoparticles Dr. Manja Kubeil (Referenz)

The current issue of the biannual HZDR Research Magazine "Entdeckt" (in German) and "Discovered" (in English) portrays NanoTracking's Marie Curie Fellow Dr. Manja Kubeil. She is currently working in the work groups of Prof. Dr. Leone Spiccia and Dr. Bim Graham at Monash University Melbourne. Down under she deals with the development of carbon monoxide releasing nanoparticles for tumor therapy.

Molecular Spies to Fight Cancer - the new press release outlining the successfull demonstration of tumor pretargeting using peptide nucleic acids (PNAs)

A recent publication in Chemical Science by collaborating scientists from the University of Zurich, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the HZDR describes the exploitation of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) as in vivo recognition system for tumor pretargeting.

The articles were commented and cited by various national as well as international news portals and newspapers including, and

Truly nano! NanoTracking is presented in the HZDR Research Magazine "Entdeckt"

In the current issue of the biannual HZDR Research Magazine "Entdeckt", the research topics and aims of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute “NanoTracking” are presented to the public.

Nanoteilchen für die Krebsforschung

Leone SpicciaAustralian "NanoTracking" principal investigator wins Helmholtz International Fellow Award

Prof. Dr. Leone Spiccia from Monash University Melbourne is awared for his scientific excellence in the field of bioanorganic and material chemistry. He published more than 300 publications in top scientific journal such as Nature Chemistry, Angewandte Chemie or Advanced Materials. The award also includes invitations for flexible research periods at the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Berlin. 

Nanoparticle in Biological Systems

New press release highlighting successful silica nanoparticle targeting using camelid antibody fragments

In a recent publication, collaborating scientists from the Centre For BioNano Interactions (CBNI) in Dublin and HZDR describe the diagnostic targeting of a tumor biomarker using functionalized silica nanoparticles. With the help of camelid single-domain antibodies, the fabricated nanoparticles bind specifically to the EGF-receptor, which is overexpressed, mutated or deregulated in a variety of tumor entities.

Karina Pombo Garcia at FameLab 2014Karina Pombo Garcia made it to the final of "FameLab Germany", 2014

After clinching third place at the science communication competition FameLab Saxony, Karina Pombo Garcia, one of our "NanoTracking" PhD students, got first place at FameLab Hessen on March 14, 2014 in Kassel! She talked about nanoparticles as a tool for a sophisticated, specific and effective cancer diagnosis and qualified for the FameLab Germany Final!

Karina Pombo Garcia at Falling Walls

Karina Pombo Garcia at Science Conference "Falling Walls Lab", 2013

PhD student Karina Pombo Garcia, member of the working group “Nanoscalic Systems” at HZDR, made it to the finals of the science conference Falling Walls Lab on November 8, 2013 in Berlin. She presented her research results on nanoparticles that combine all relevant elements to track tumour cells. This was supported by an A.T. Kearney fellowship.

HZDR Science Communication Award 2012HZDR Science Communication Award 2012 for animated short film

During the HZDR´s Annual Award Reception on February 28, 2013 Julia Hesse and Katrin Taetz (both member of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute "NanoTracking") received the HZDR Science Communication Award 2012. Their animated video on the topic “Biofunctionalized Nanoparticles and Their Application in Tumor Diagnostics“ was one of the ten best films at the short film festival “Nanospots”.

NanoTracking MoleculeKick-off for "NanoTracking"

In cooperation with national and international research teams, a new Helmholtz Virtual Institute "NanoTracking" has been founded. The project aims at developing tailor-made nanomaterials for cancer diagnostics and cancer therapies.

Open House Day and Dresden Long Night of SciencesNanoTracking members at various events

Throughout the year, the Institute participates in a range of events that are open to the public, including "Dresden Long Night of Science" and "Open House Day". We welcome everybody to join interesting presentations and experiments about NanoTracking. Please check this site for new events as they are announced.

Snapshot Media CenterMedia Center

The HZDR Media Center provides pictures, graphics and videos about NanoTracking. This material is available for journalists to use free of charge (please see Terms of Use, in German).