On December 12, Professor Stefan Pfister, KiTZ director, head of pediatric neuro-oncology at DKFZ and senior physician at Heidelberg University Hospital, as well as Jan Korbel, research group leader and senior scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), received the HMLS Investigator Award.
The award, which includes prize money of 100,000 euros, is given to Heidelberg scientists who pursue extraordinary research in the field of life sciences, promote the location with strategic commitment, initiate structural research and support young researchers as mentors.
Professor Thomas Rausch, bio-scientist at the Heidelberg University and spokesman for the Research Council of the "Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences" (HMLS) initiative, opened the ceremonial evening.
The institutions DKFZ, EMBL and Heidelberg University Hospital represent what can be achieved with good cooperation. "As an outstanding physician and scientist, Stefan Pfister promotes the pioneering exchange between the HMLS partner institutions. On this basis he acts as a mentor supporting the careers of many young scientists." the jury explains. Stefan Pfister is also honored for his involvement in large-scale collaborations such as the project "Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer Pediatric Preclinical Proof-of-concept Platform (ITCC-P4)”.
Professor Peter Lichter, head of the department of molecular genetics at DKFZ, deputy managing director of NCT Heidelberg and longtime mentor to Stefan Pfister, highlighted the exceptional motivation and commitment to childhood cancer research in general and particularly in Heidelberg. He esteemed Stefan Pfister as an outstanding physician, scientist, manager and mentor with a "healthy dose of impatience".
Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences (HMLS) is an initiative in the research field "Molecular and cell biological principles of life", which supports cooperation between the Heidelberg University and important non-university institutions. It is part of the Heidelberg institutional strategy, which proved a success in the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments. Integrated are the faculty of lifesciences and the two medical faculties Heidelberg and Mannheim as well as the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, the DKFZ and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL.
At the beginning of his professorial career, HMLS supported Stefan Pfister with a start-up professorship.