Strategic Communication and Public Relations

Molecular Causes of the Links Between Aging and Cancer

No. 27 | 13/05/2011

DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance holds a conference with leading international scientists


Molecular causes of the links between aging and cancer are the topic of a scientific conference with more than 300 participants from May 19 to May 21, 2011, in Heidelberg. This “Forum 2011 of the DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance” is hosted by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH). Leading international molecular biologists and cell biologists as well as epidemiologists and tumor researchers will present the latest research results concerning aging processes and the development of cancer at this three-day conference.

As life expectancy is rising, common age-related chronic diseases have become a problem with increasing relevance for healthcare. “Yet the molecular mechanisms leading to aging and the biological basis of many age-related diseases are little understood to date,” says Professor Dr. Bruce Edgar, a scientist who works at ZMBH and DKFZ and is one of the organizers of the event. “In aging cells, important cellular processes are altered and play a key role, for example, in the genesis of tumors and metastasis.”

The goal of the conference will be to present an overview of current research. Major topics are molecular mechanisms and biomarkers of human aging, the influence of nutrients and metabolism on cellular aging, and the role of cellular response in aging processes. Furthermore, the relevance of what is called genome stability will also be discussed. Speakers will include renowned scientists from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. Young scientists will have the opportunity to present their work in the form of posters during the event.

The conference entitled “Aging & Cancer: from Molecules to Organisms” will take place in the framework of the DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance. This alliance, a strategic collaboration of the German Cancer Research Center and the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University, is part of Heidelberg University’s “Concept for the Future” within the excellence initiative of the federal government and the German states. The event is also part of the anniversary program to commemorate 625 years of history of Ruperto Carola. Attendance is free. However, participants need to register on the conference Internet site at, where you will also find the up-to-date program. The conference language is English.

Editors please note:
The conference “Aging & Cancer: from Molecules to Organisms” will take place from May 19 to May 21, 2011 at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), Auditorium Center (Hörsaalzentrum), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, in Heidelberg.

Dr. Ralf Tolle, Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie (ZMBH)
Phone ++49 6221 54-6850,

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. More than 1,300 scientists at the DKFZ investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from developing cancer. They are developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to all questions on cancer.

Jointly with partners from the university hospitals, the DKFZ operates the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and Dresden, and the Hopp Children's Tumour Center KiTZ in Heidelberg. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of the six German Centers for Health Research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. NCT and DKTK sites combine excellent university medicine with the high-profile research of the DKFZ. They contribute to the endeavor of transferring promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improving the chances of cancer patients.

The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.


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