Press and Public Relations

Joint International Journal of Cancer and Klaus Tschira Stiftung Lecture at DKFZ

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - Prof. Thomas Graf

Dr. Thomas Graf is of Austrian-German origin and was raised in Venezuela. He did his PhD in 1969 at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen followed by a postdoc at Duke University, Durham NC. He then served as a Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and as a Program Coordinator at EMBL in Heidelberg. From there he moved to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he spent 8 years. Currently he is Program Coordinator at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain.

In his early work with acute avian leukemia viruses Dr. Graf developed cell culture assays for their oncogenic activity, co-discovered several oncogenes, including Myc, Myb and ErbB, and showed that at least two oncogenes are needed to cause an acute leukemia. He also demonstrated that some leukemia inducing oncogenes act by inducing a reversible block in blood cell differentiation. More recently he showed that specific transcription factors can reprogram specialized blood cells to switch their fate into that of another functional cell type. He is now studying the molecular mechanisms of how transcription factors induce transdifferentiation.

Dr. Graf has received the Paul Ehrlich-Darmstaedter and the Josef Steiner Prize, among others. He has organized conferences on oncogenes, growth control, leukemia, hematopoiesis and stem cells and is on the editorial board of several journals, including Cell Stem Cell. He is a member of EMBO, Academia Europaea and the Board of Directors of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Interview

Prof. Thomas Graf interviewed by Dr. Stefanie Seltmann

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