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HFSP grant awarded to DKFZ junior researchers

No. 38c | 19/08/2014

The Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) has awarded a Young Investigator Grant to an international 4-member-team, including the DKFZ Junior Group Metabolism & Stem Cell Plasticity. The grant will support a collaborative project with 1.2 Million US Dollars over 3 years aiming at modeling the information flow between tissues during organismal metabolic adaptation and disease. The project was among 34 proposals selected out of 844 submitted applications (

Dr. Alexandros Vegiopoulos

Dr. Alexandros Vegiopoulos

The Human Frontier Science Program is an international program of research support implemented by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) based in Strasbourg, France. Its aims are to promote intercontinental collaboration and training in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research focused on the life sciences. HFSPO receives financial support from the governments or research councils of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, UK, USA, as well as from the European Union.

Communication between tissues as a determinant of metabolic adaptation and disease

The coordination of the responses of different tissues to environmental challenges, such as calorie excess or exercise, is a critical determinant for the adaptation of systemic metabolism, as well as for the pathogenesis of chronic metabolic disease, including type 2 diabetes and cancer. The awarded project aims at modeling and manipulating the complex communication between multiple tissues in a synthetic culture environment. The DKFZ team headed by Dr. Alex Vegiopoulos will focus at the regulation of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells by remote signals, and their relevance for long term metabolic adaptation. The work will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jorge Ruas and Dr. Ana Texeira from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, as well as Dr. Jun Wu from the University of Michigan, USA.

For further information on the research of the DKFZ Junior Group Metabolism and Stem Cell Plasticity see:

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 Cancer 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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