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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.


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."

With more than 3,000 employees, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute. DKFZ scientists identify cancer risk factors, investigate how cancer progresses and develop new cancer prevention strategies. They are also 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 questions relating to cancer.

To transfer promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improve the prognosis of cancer patients, the DKFZ cooperates with excellent research institutions and university hospitals throughout Germany:

  • National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT, 6 sites)
  • German Cancer Consortium (DKTK, 8 sites)
  • Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ) Heidelberg
  • Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON Mainz) - A Helmholtz Institute of the DKFZ
  • DKFZ-Hector Cancer Institute at the University Medical Center Mannheim
  • National Cancer Prevention Center (jointly with German Cancer Aid)
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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