Ten million Euro for Cancer Research


The German Cancer Aid establishes one of five Mildred Scheel Early Career Centres in Würzburg. Young cancer researchers will find the best working conditions here.

Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Würzburg - at these locations young scientists will contribute to the future of cancer research in Germany. Here, the German Cancer Aid is establishing new Mildred Scheel Early Career Centers. Over the next five years, the foundation will provide ten million Euros for each of these centers.

This was announced by the Cancer Aid at its annual press conference in Berlin on July 4, 2018. With this initiative, the foundation wants to counteract the "striking lack" of young cancer researchers in Germany, according to a press release.

In Würzburg, the Faculty of Medicine of the Julius Maximilian University (JMU) is hosting the Mildred Scheel Early Career Center. The application process was led by Professor Martin Eilers, cancer researcher at the Biocenter of the JMU. He expects the first research groups of the new center to start their work in autumn 2018.

Centre strives to achieve a balance between work and family life
Talented junior staff should be offered the best possible working conditions and a good work-life balance at the new Early Career Centers - for which there had been a total of 27 applications from all over Germany. In order to offer young researchers the best possible conditions particularly flexible working time models would be established, Martin Eilers stated. In addition the researchers are discharged from all obligations in clinic and teaching. The centre will also be able to use the funding from the Cancer Aid to finance childcare during holidays or congress trips.

Common research question unites the groups
"We want to establish up to eight research projects and groups in which a total of about 35 people work," says Eilers. It is important to have young talents from the natural sciences and medicine working together on research projects. The groups will work together at the medical campus in Grombühl under one roof. Their common research question is: How do tumor cells actively hide from the immune system? And how can control be restored by the immune system? The scientists hope that answering these questions will lead to further progress in the treatment of cancer.

Excellent research environment in Würzburg
The Mildred Scheel Early Career Center will find an excellent scientific environment in Würzburg: Several groups at the Biocentre and the Rudolf Virchow Centre are working on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of tumor development. The newly established Max Planck research groups work in the field of system immunology. In addition, groups in the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic II, the Department of Dermatology, the Department of Gynecology and the Pediatric Department of the University Hospital Würzburg are developing new strategies for immunotherapy. The Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research is investigating closely related methodological questions.


Press Release of the University of Würzburg