Prof. Dr. Karen Steindorf


Prof. Dr. Karen Steindorf is Head of the Division of Physical Activity, Prevention and Cancer at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg. Her research focuses on the role of physical activity and exercise in primary and tertiary cancer prevention, as well as on the quality-of-life of cancer patients, including cancer-related fatigue, sleep problems, pain, and cognitive impairments.

She was educated in Statistics and Theoretical Medicine at the Universities of Dortmund, Germany, and Sheffield, Great Britain, and spent parts of her career as epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USA. Prof. Steindorf has been (coordinating) principal investigator of several innovative randomized clinical exercise trials (BEATE, BEST, SUPPORT, BENEFIT). Based on these trials as well as on large-scale observational studies (e.g., MOMENTUM) and integrated translational investigations on underlying biological mechanisms, she has produced a strong track record and influential research exploring the efficacy of exercise in cancer prevention and counteracting cancer-associated side effects, with some focus on breast cancer. She has received several research awards and is a passionate science communicator with many presentations and publications to a variety of groups within the community, including cancer patients, clinicians, allied health professionals and the general public. Prof. Steindorf has continuously served in several leading positions in scientific societies (e.g., in the German Cancer Society and the German Epidemiologic Society), and is currently an elected scientific Board Member of the German Research Foundation in the sections “Cancer Research” and “Clinical Studies”.

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