Strategic Communication and Public Relations

Visit to DKFZ - A clear signal

No. 38 | 17/07/2017 | by Koh

During the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the German Cancer Research Center, they will tour a laboratory and converse with patients.

© DKFZ

The British Prince William and his wife, Duchess Catherine, will begin their Heidelberg visit on July 20 by making a stop at the German Cancer Research Center. "We are very proud that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided to visit the DKFZ. They have made a clear gesture which underlines the great importance of medical research for our society", said Prof. Dr. Michael Baumann, chairman and scientific chair of the DKFZ. His colleague, Prof. Dr. Josef Puchta, commercial chairman, added: "The decision to come to the DKFZ also serves to show that we are recognized internationally as a leading research institution."

The royals will be welcomed by Winfried Kretschmann, governor of the state of Baden-Württemberg, and the board of directors of the DKFZ. In addition, they will meet the Nobel Prize winner and long-time chairman of the DKFZ, Prof. Harald zur Hausen, for a brief conversation. Zur Hausen identified the Papillomavirus as the cause of cervical cancer and therefore paved the way for the development of a vaccine against this illness.

Afterwards, the couple will visit Dr. Michael Milsom in his laboratory. The British stem cell researcher leads the junior research group "Experimental Hematology". "I had never imagined that I would one day be presenting my research to my future King. This will be a very moving and exciting meeting for me", said the scientist. Milsom is a specialist for the development of blood stem cells. He will explain to the royal couple how a misdirected gene in blood stem cells can cause a particularly aggressive form of blood cancer.

After the laboratory visit, the royal couple will have a brief conversation with a cancer patient, who will be accompanied by her doctor, Prof. Dirk Jäger, the director for medical oncology at the NCT Heidelberg. The Duke and Duchess will learn how the most modern research results are applied directly to custom therapies. "The cancer researchers and medical doctors in Heidelberg are working together every day to remove the fear around cancer and to enable every patient to have a custom therapy which most optimally suits their needs", emphasized Michael Baumann. "We are very excited that we will be able to share this with our guests."

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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