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Jan Pencik receives "Young Investigator Award" of the prestigious Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Foundation

Klaus W. Grätz (Decan of Medical Fakulty), Georg Umbricht (Stiftungsrat), Michael Kiessling, Hella A. Bolck, Jan Pencik, Phil F. Cheng, Christian M. Schürch, Markus G. Manz (Director Klinik für Hämatologie and Scientific Organisor)

The Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Foundation bestowed recently their biennial prize to five young investigators, who contributed to their Scientific Symposium 2015. Jan Pencik received one of these awards for his research on "Aberrant STAT3-ARF signaling targets distinct subgroups of lethal prostate cancer".

New publication reports STAT5 regulates stem cell proliferation during regeneration in the gut

The human gut has the largest surface area (400 m2) among all organs, whose size and shape are actively controlled and maintained. The gastrointestinal tract poses severe clinical problems upon chronic injury as in inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease) during chemotherapy or targeted therapy. At least seven unique differentiated cell types are known to form the gut and they originate from intestinal epithelial stem cells (IESC). Homeostasis refers to the process maintaining the size of an organ through controlling the overall number of cells.

First ERC starting grant for researcher at Ludwig Boltzmann Institute

Dr. Florian Grebien, shortlisted for a ERC starting grant

Florian Grebien of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research (LBI-CR) will receive a coveted Starting Grants of the European Research Council (ERC). It is the first ERC Grant, for a researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft. With the aid of EUR 1.5 million funding Grebien will expand its research group, which he founded in January 2014 with the support of the Institute. He explores how blood cancer develops and progresses with a specially developed technology platform.

LBI-CR participates in LBG-Health Sciences Meeting

The goal of the meeting is to promote and support scientists by offering them a stage to present their work and to give them a chance to assert themselves within the scientific setting, connect with other players of the health sciences community and to start new cooperations. Therefore every research area had its own session including a key note lecture and four oral presentations of the best submitted abstracts. The oral presentations in oncology were moderated by Prof. Richard Moriggl, who welcomed Prof. Nancy Hynes from the FMI in Basel to present her research on breast cancer.

Stem cell survival and function requires JAK2

The JAK-STAT signaling pathway is an important pathway in malignant transformation. On the basis of these observations, JAK2 kinase inhibitors have been developed for clinical use, and ruxolitinib, a JAK2/JAK1 inhibitor is approved for primary myelofibrosis. More importantly, different JAK2 inhibitors have entered clinical trials for use in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), acute lymphoblastic T-cell leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome patients.

Lymphomas are a late and rare complication of breastimplants

A comprehensive review of the 71 reported cases of breast implant associated ALCL (iALCL) is presented indicating the apparent risk factors and main characteristics of this rare cancer. The average patient is 50 years of age and most cases present in the capsule surrounding the implant as part of the periprosthetic fluid or the capsule itself on average at 10 years post-surgery suggesting that iALCL is a late complication. The absolute risk is low ranging from 1:500,000 to 1:3,000,000 patients with breast implants per year. The majority of cases are ALK-negative, yet are associated with silicone-coated implants. The mechanism of tumorigenesis which is discussed in relation to chronic inflammation, immunogenicity of the implants and sub-clinical infection reamins to be determined. However, capsulotomy alone seems to be sufficient for the treatment of many cases suggesting the implants provide the biological stimulus whereas others require further treatment including chemo- and radiotherapy although reported cases remain too low to recommend a therapeutic approach.

Interferons play opposing roles during inflammatory bowel disease

The contribution of the innate immune system to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is under intensive investigation. While research in animal models has demonstrated that type I interferons (IFN-Is) protect from IBD, studies of patients with IBD have produced conflicting results concerning the therapeutic potential of IFN-Is. Now a team of researchers based in Vienna with a contribution of the LBI-CR have resolved this issue.