Strategic Communication and Public Relations

Wolfgang Wick will be the new Chairman and Scientific Member of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center

No. 30 | 02/07/2015 | by Sel

Professor Wolfgang Wick has been appointed today by the board of trustees as the new Scientific Director and Chairman of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). He will succeed Professor Otmar D. Wiestler who will leave the DKFZ for the position of the president of the Helmholtz-Association in Berlin at September 1, 2015.

Professor Wolfgang Wick

On July 2, 2015, the chair of the Board of Trustees of the DKFZ, Bärbel Brumme-Bothe, Department Head in the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), announced that Professor Wolfgang Wick will be the successor of Professor Otmar D. Wiestler as Chairman of the Management Board and Scientific Director of the DKFZ. Wiestler, who came into office in 2004, will become the next President of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers in Berlin where his term of office will start on September 1, 2015.

“Thank you for this evidence of trust,” said Professor Wolfgang Wick in an initial statement. “I am looking forward to this responsible task. I will devote my energy to help further strengthen the Center’s excellent position in basic research. As a clinician, my concern is also to push forward the path of translation, that is, to translate successful research results as swiftly as possible into clinical applications.”

Wick has served as Managing Director of the Neurology Department at Heidelberg University Hospital since 2014. At the same time, he holds the first professorship for Neurooncology in Germany. In 2009, he became a member of the directorate of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg. At the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum - DKFZ), Professor Wick has led the Clinical Cooperation Unit “Neurooncology” since 2007. 

“The DKFZ is the flagship of cancer research in Germany and its excellent reputation reaches far beyond our national borders,” said Bärbel Brumme-Bothe, who has headed the search committee. “Therefore, I am very pleased that in Professor Wick we have selected a prominent researcher and clinician as well as a strong leadership personality for the succession of Otmar Wiestler.”

“I am sure that the DKFZ will benefit enormously from Wolfgang Wick’s outstanding scientific and medical expertise as well as from his experience as a strategist,” says Professor Otmar D. Wiestler. “Under his leadership, the DKFZ will further strengthen its position as an international center of excellence in cancer research. After more than eleven years, which have been extremely exciting and fruitful, this certainty makes it easier for me to say farewell to the DKFZ and its excellent people.”

Wick will head the DKFZ together with its Administrative Director, Professor Josef Puchta, who came into office in 1996. “Wolfgang Wick and I have been working together successfully for many years already,” says Puchta. “I have come to know and value him as a brilliant researcher and an excellent manager. I look forward to having him as a colleague and I am convinced that together we will push things forward and further advance the excellent development of our Center. In my view, Wolfgang Wick is the ideal successor for Otmar Wiestler.”

Professor Wolfgang Wick is one of the most renowned neurooncologists in Europe. His work and research focus on the treatment of brain cancer, with a special focus on glioblastoma. With his department, he is studying malignant gliomas with the goal of finding biomarkers that facilitate both diagnosis and predictions of how the disease will progress. In a second focus, he aims to unravel molecular mechanisms of various targeted therapies to treat glioblastoma. In addition, he pursues research aimed at developing tailor-made immunotherapies against malignant brain cancer. Wick has been the first German chair of the Brain Tumor Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). He has initiated major clinical studies in neurooncology in Germany and Europe and he has also made seminal contributions to introducing innovative therapies. As coordinator of the German NOA-04 and NOA-08 studies, he developed new treatment standards that are being employed around the world in the treatment of patients with a type of malignant brain cancer called glioblastoma. In addition, Wick headed a Phase II clinical trial on the effectiveness of APG 101, a novel agent against brain cancer that was developed on the basis of research by Peter Krammer, Ana Martin-Villalba and Henning Walczak from the DKFZ. The company Apogenix, which is a spin-off company of DKFZ, is developing APG101 to be used in the treatment of cancer and blood diseases. 

Wolfgang Wick studied medicine, first in Bonn and subsequently, from 1993 to 1994, at King’s College in London and, from 1996 to 1997, at Harvard Medical School in Boston, U.S.A. After earning his PhD from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Bonn, he qualified as a medical specialist in neurology at the Department of Neurology at Tübingen University where he attained his qualification to give lectures (‘Habilitation’) in 2003. In 2006, Wick received the Pette Award from the German Society of Neurology (DGN). In 2015 he was honored by the German Cancer Society and the German Cancer Foundation with the German Cancer Award, which is one of the most important distinctions in cancer medicine in Germany.

Wolfgang Wick is married and has a daughter and a son.

A picture for this press release is available at:

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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