KiTZ Junior Group Leader receives ERC grant

The European Research Council (ERC) awards Starting Grants to support excellent young scientists when they are starting an independent science career. In this year's round of proposals, three scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been chosen at once for the prestigious award: Ana Banito, Fabian Erdel and Moritz Mall.

Ana Banito. Image source: Fernando Picarra

Ana Banito moved to Heidelberg from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Banito now leads a junior research group at the "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ), a joint institution of Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).
Banito is an expert on the biology of sarcomas, a group of malignant tumors that can arise from a great variety of tissues of the body. In children, sarcomas account for 15 to 20 percent of all cancer cases. Like in adults, they are very difficult to treat in children. A number of characteristic alterations driving malignant growth in cancer cells are known in the genome of sarcoma cells. Banito now plans to use genetic engineering to imitate these alterations in mice and subsequently study the effectiveness of agents to stop cancer growth in these animals. Additionally, Banito is studying the role of aberrant regulation of so called epigenetic modifications on childhood sarcoma.

You can find the full press release on the page of the DKFZ.