Summary of the Research Program
The focus of cancer drug development has shifted from conventional chemotherapy to therapeutics targeting molecular lesions of cancer cells. Despite major efforts to catalogue genetic lesions that drive human cancers, a major challenge remains to integrate the findings from basic science and clinical investigations for improved patient outcome.
This Collaborative Research Center (CRC) aims to bridge this gap in a highly focused area of cancer research, that is, acute and chronic leukemias, diseases which are most prevalent in the elderly population. Ulm University has a long-standing commitment to cutting-edge basic, translational, and clinical research on hematopoietic malignancies, reflected by a large number of research groups focusing on diverse aspects of leukemia biology, as well as some of the largest biobanks and most prestigious clinical programs in this area.
Research within the CRC is organized in two Project Groups which closely interact with each other to fully exploit the potential of combining excellent basic science with clinical expertise. Projects in Group A use a broad spectrum of physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo experimental systems to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms of leukemogenesis. Projects in Group B have a strong translational aspect and aim towards the genetic, epigenetic, and functional characterization of leukemia samples from patients with acute and chronic leukemia and/or human-derived experimental systems.
In summary, the proposed CRC provides a superb opportunity to realize the concept of translational research “from bench to bedside and back” in acute and chronic leukemias. It is hoped that this approach will substantially contribute to improved understanding of leukemia biology, and, importantly, to a better clinical management of patients with these diseases.
Prof. Dr. med. Hartmut Döhner
Department of Internal Medicine III