Prof. Dr. K.H. Bauer

Prof. Dr. Karl Heinrich Bauer

Prof. Dr. Karl Heinrich Bauer
© Chirurgische Universitätsklinik Heidelberg

Prof. Karl Heinrich Bauer was one of the founders of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.

After his medical studies, K.H. Bauer specialized in surgery, at least in part due to the urgent need for surgeons during World War I. After the war, he specialized in genetics, a study that brought him on the path of cancer research.In 1928, he published his first paper on cancer, ‘Die Mutationstheorie der Geschwulstbildung‘ (The role of genetic mutations in Cancer). He was appointed as professor in Breslau in 1933, where surgery was his main focus of research.

On 1 January 1943, K. H. Bauer became the head of the Surgery Clinic of the University of Heidelberg. At the conclusion of World War II, when the American troops marched into Heidelberg, the university was closed down. On 15 August 1949, under Bauer's leadership and with new statutes, the University of Heidelberg was the first German university to re-open.

In the following years, Bauer dedicated more of his time on cancer research. In 1949, he published ‘Das Krebs Problem’ (The Cancer Problem), a comprehensive study on the problems and solutions in oncological research. This paper, and a subsequent monograph published in 1963, gave him an international reputation in the field of oncology. Today K.H. Bauer is considered one of the pioneers of modern oncology. He was one of the founders, in 1964, of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

K.H. Bauer is also considered a leader in the development of rescue work. He developed the ‘Klinomobils’, surgical operation rooms on wheels, forerunners of the modern emergency rescue vehicles.  

The K.H. Bauer Foundation

In the course of 2009, Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler, scientific director of the German Cancer Research Center, and Prof. Dr. Markus Büchler, head of the Dept. of Surgery at the University of Heidelberg and of the European Pancreas Center, decided to create an endowed professorship to fulfill the urgent need for a coordinated, interdisciplinary research program focused on the development of new treatment options for pancreatic cancer. Funding of this chair was based on a sum of money that had been collected by Prof. Dr. K.H. Bauer.

In 2011, Dr. Rienk Offringa was recruited for the K.H. Bauer chair to fulfill the following functions:

  • Head of the Div. of Molecular Oncology of Gastrointestinal Cancers at the German Cancer Research Center, focused at developing immunotherapeutic strategies for pancreatic cancer
  • Head of the Div. of Pancreas Carcinoma Research at the Dept. of Surgery, University of Heidelberg, with the mission to orchestrate an interdisciplinary research program on pancreatic cancer that makes optimal use of the vast patient cohorts in Heidelberg and boosts fruitful collaborations between clinicians and researchers.

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