DKTK: Incentive for clinically relevant cancer research: Joint Funding Contest rewards outstanding methods of diagnosis and therapy
The enormous growth in knowledge in cancer research presents physicians and scientists with the challenge of ensuring that patients not only benefit from the latest insights and developments but also as quickly as possible. The Joint Funding Contest organized by the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) has created new momentum for knowledge transfer into clinical application. This year, the consortium honoured 4 studies investigating approaches for personalized cancer therapies, a diagnostic method for early detection of prostate cancer, and immunotherapy for clinical application in children. The DKTK combines the DKFZ in Heidelberg as the core center with other German centres specialized in the research and treatment of oncological diseases.
Aurelio Teleman honored with 2015/2016 Johann Georg Zimmermann-Prize
For over 40 years now, the Deutsche Hypothekenbank AG (Deutsche Hypo) has awarded the Johann Georg Zimmermann Prize to honor outstanding scientific achievements in the field of cancer research. This year’s award goes to Aurelio Teleman from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Aurelio, a biochemist, is studying molecular signaling pathways that regulate metabolism in cells. Defects in these signaling pathways can lead to cancer.
Inspired by nature: Promising new synthetic anticancer agent
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have succeeded in synthesizing a compound that mimics the three-dimensional structure of a promising anticancer agent called fumagillin. The synthetic substance proved effective in cell culture and was significantly more stable than the natural compound. It will serve as a starting compound that will be further optimized with the goal of developing a drug against cancer and also against obesity.
Award-winning finding in the cancer genome
Volker Hovestadt is being honored with the Helmholtz Doctoral Prize for Health Research. He receives the award for his PhD thesis, which he completed last year “with highest distinction” at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Hovestadt is a bioinformatics researcher who is analyzing the genome of pediatric brain cancer in order to find out which alterations drive cancer growth. In medulloblastoma, the most common type of childhood brain cancer, he discovered a new epigenetic regulatory mechanism that can lead to abnormally high levels of transcription of cancer-promoting genes.
Mining the epigenome to identify likely origins of childhood brain tumor subtype
An international research team led by scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and from German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) mined the epigenome to discover the likely cell of origin for Group 4 medulloblastoma. The finding removes a barrier to developing more effective targeted therapies against the brain tumor’s most common subtype. The results appear in the scientific journal Nature.
Chica and Heinz Schaller Foundation Honours DKFZ-Scientist
On January 27th, the Chica and Heinz Schaller Foundation will honour two outstanding young scientists based in Heidelberg. Edward Lemke and Hai-Kun Liu will each receive a prize money of 100,000 € for their research. With the 2015 prizes, the Foundation recognises Lemke’s and Liu’s excellent work in the field of biomedicine. At the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Hai-Kun Liu is investigating stem cells of the central nervous system and their role in the development of brain tumours. Edward Lemke conducts research in structural biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) where he is developing new biological tools for manipulating biomolecules.
Breast cancer research award for Karen Steindorf
For her research on the prevention of breast cancer, Karen Steindorf received the 2015 Claudia von Schilling Award on January 13, 2016. Steindorf works at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), where she is studying which type of exercise improves cancer patients’ quality of life most significantly and might possibly even increase their chances of being cured. In addition, she is pursuing the question of how a person's individual cancer risk can be reduced most effectively by physical activity.
DKTK Tübingen: Scientific excellence opens up new possibilities for cancer treatment
This year’s Ernst Jung Award for Medicine will be awarded to DKTK scientist Professor Dr. Hans-Georg Rammensee. Rammensee’s research has been devoted to developing effective therapies individualized for each cancer patient, and the work of his lab represents important steps toward this goal. As an immunobiologist working at the DKTK partner site in Tübingen, Rammensee is considered a pioneer in the field of individualized cancer immunotherapy. For his outstanding work, Rammensee is now being awarded the Ernst Jung Award for Medicine, which is accompanied by a monetary prize of €300,000 – one of the highest in European medicine. He is a partner in the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), through which the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg is serving as a core center that is helping link university hospitals all over Germany that are specialized in research and treatment with a focus on oncological diseases.
Heroes and cancer – Teenagers and young adults are in the focus of the latest “einblick” issue
Superheroes save the world. Cancer researchers and physicians do not aspire to do so, but they do struggle for their patients’ lives every day. Young people also play an important role in this struggle: PhD students, biology laboratory assistants, apprentices. Their efforts have contributed to successful research in the past decades. For this reason, the latest issue of the journal “einblick” is dedicated to them.
ERC Starting Grant for Stefan Gröschel
The European Research Council (ERC) awards “Starting Grants” to support excellent young scientists who are starting an independent science career. Stefan Gröschel, a medical researcher from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, has now received the prestigious grant in the present round of proposals. Gröschel investigates the abnormally high activity of an important cancer-promoting gene. The ultimate goal of his research is to find new agents to restrain the underlying genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.