Link to page: How a protein variant could explain resistance to sleeping sickness drug
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How a protein variant could explain resistance to sleeping sickness drug

A specific variant of the surface protein VSG of African trypanosomes, the causative agents of sleeping sickness, is associated with resistance to the important drug Suramin. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have now been able to find a possible explanation for the formation of resistance based on the crystal structure of this protein variant.

Link to page: Anticoagulants reduce the number of brain metastases in mice
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Anticoagulants reduce the number of brain metastases in mice

Brain metastases can only develop if cancer cells first exit the fine blood vessels and enter into the brain tissue. To facilitate this step, cancer cells influence blood clotting, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have now been able to show in mice. The cancer cells actively promote the formation of clots, which helps them to arrest in the fine brain vessels and then penetrate through the vessel wall into the brain. Drugs that inhibit the clotting factor thrombin were able to reduce the number of brain metastases in this experimental model.

Link to page: Biosafety at the DKFZ
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Biosafety at the DKFZ

Daily work routine of our more than 1,300 scientists at the DKFZ for the most part takes place in laboratories with different safety levels. Biological safety levels (at DKFZ: BSL1-BSL3) are based on the risk classification of the biological (or biomedical) work carried out. Each laboratory is designed around the safety level of its research, including the laboratory equipment, the specific working practices, and the typical protective equipment worn.

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Link to page: Artificial intelligence enables new imaging methods
Grant

Artificial intelligence enables new imaging methods

With its "ERC-Consolidator Grants", the European Research Council (ERC) supports excellent young scientists in developing their independent career. Lena Maier Hein from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) now receives the renowned grant for her project to analyze molecular tissue properties simply with light. What is special about her approach is that she uses methods of artificial intelligence (AI) on the one hand to develop realistic "digital twins" of medical devices and human tissue. In addition, AI helps to decode clinical data with algorithms trained in the virtual environment.

Link to page: One for all
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One for all

AI-based evaluation of medical imaging data usually requires a specially developed algorithm for each task. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now presented a new method for configuring self-learning algorithms for a large number of different imaging datasets – without the need for specialist knowledge or very significant computing power.

Link to page: Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas
Childhood cancer

Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas

Childhood neuroblastomas display extreme differences in the way they develop: they can shrink spontaneously or spread aggressively to healthy tissue. It is molecular super-enhancers that activate the regulatory circuits that steer the tumor down one path or the other. These are the findings of research conducted by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Heidelberg.

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Link to page: Neurobiologist Hannah Monyer Receives Lautenschläger Research Prize
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Neurobiologist Hannah Monyer Receives Lautenschläger Research Prize

Heidelberg neurobiologist Prof. Dr Hannah Monyer, an internationally renowned expert in the field of brain research, is being honoured with the 2020 Lautenschläger Research Prize. The prize is endowed with 250,000 euros. The award sponsor Dr h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger is Honorary Senator at the Heidelberg University. The awards is Germany's most highly endowed research prize from a private donor.

Link to page: Biomarkers for a long life
Award

Biomarkers for a long life

Epidemiologist Bernard Srour from the German Cancer Research Center receives one of the prizes for young scientists awarded annually by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller. The young scientist investigates how lifestyle factors and metabolic markers can be used to predict disease risks and also life expectancy.

Link to page: Twelve "highly cited researchers" at DKFZ again in 2020
Latest News

Twelve "highly cited researchers" at DKFZ again in 2020

In 2020, twelve scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have again made it to the top: They are among the leading one percent of the world's highly cited researchers in their respective fields. This means that scientists whose work is cited particularly frequently by their peers are considered to be highly recognized and important in their field. The citation frequency is therefore one of the most important measurements for classifying the influence and performance of individual researchers.

Link to page: How Molecular Chaperones Dissolve Protein Aggregates Linked To Parkinson’s Disease
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How Molecular Chaperones Dissolve Protein Aggregates Linked To Parkinson’s Disease

In many neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, protein aggregates form in the brain and are assumed to contribute to neuronal cell death. Yet there exists a cellular defense mechanism that counteracts these aggregates, known as amyloid fibrils, and can even dissolve fibrils already formed. This defense mechanism is based on the activity of molecular chaperones, i.e. protein folding helpers, of the heat shock protein 70 family (Hsp70). Molecular biologists from Heidelberg University and the German Cancer Research Center investigated how the Hsp70 system disaggregates amyloid fibrils of the Parkinson-specific protein α-synuclein in a test tube. The research team led by Bernd Bukau expects their results to provide new insights into how Parkinson's disease develops and what might be done to influence it. The results were published in two articles in the journal "Nature".

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