Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

Forschungskolleg “Clonal evolution in cancer" has been granted by the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation


This Forschungskolleg, chaired by Prof. Christiane Bruns and Prof. Christian Reinhardt, will promote the career development of the so-called Clinician Scientist.

The Else Kröner Forschungskolleg Cologne “Clonal evolution in cancer” integrates the joined activities of the Center for Integrated Oncology, the Medical Faculty, the Science Faculty, the Max Planck Institute of Metabolism Research, the Center of Molecular Medicine Cologne and the CECAD Cologne. The Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation will provide funding of about one Million Euros for the next three years.

“Cancer treatment is currently witnessing a fundamental paradigm shift. The recent progress in the understanding of the genetic changes, the molecular mechanisms of clonal evolution, the genetics of drug resistance, the cross-talk between malignant cells and the non-malignant stroma, as well as development of drugs interfering with “cancer-specific” targets is considered as an evolving field leading to individualized therapeutic strategies”, explains Prof. Christian Reinhardt and points out: "These developments, commonly referred to as “precision oncology”, will undoubtedly lead to an enhanced survival of our patients in the future”.

The developments in cancer therapy were only possible by a constantly growing molecular understanding and the introduction of modern technologies such as genome sequencing. "However, this rapid progress requires trained young oncologists. In addition to the solid clinical training, a comprehensive training in molecular cancer research is absolutely essential" says Prof. Dr. Christian Reinhardt (Dept. of Internal Medicine).

"The Else Kröner Research Fellowship closes this gap, as the career development to the so-called Clinician Scientist - that is, a clinically active physician who also researches - is optimally supported," says Prof. Dr. Christiane Bruns (Director, Dept. of General, Visceral and Cancer Surgery).

Eight scholarship holders will be able to benefit from a structured and contractually secured training as a specialist, which includes a two to three-year experimental research phase and is accompanied by a training program with mentoring. Scholarship holders are thus given the necessary equipment to guide their own research labs in the future.

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