Top-level funding for top-level research
Cologne entrepreneur Dieter Morszeck, former managing director and owner of RIMOWA, donated part of his fortune to the Dieter Morszeck Foundation in 2017. The foundation has three priorities and supporting research on cancer is one of them. The foundation is donating around 30 million euros in research support to the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). It is thus supporting five promising projects at the same time.
His own sister's cancer gave Dieter Morszeck the idea of promoting cancer research. This is how he established contact with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). “We took a look at the Centre and were able to convince ourselves that the research there is meaningful and valuable. I was very impressed by the DKFZ's position in Europe and the world”, said Morszeck when signing the contracts for individual projects. “My gratitude is also to be taken as gratitude for the dedication given to my sister”.
“At DKFZ, we are focusing on future patients to whom we wish to offer better therapies”, said Michael Baumann, the CEO of DKFZ, on the occasion of signing the contract. “If we are to succeed in this, we have to deliver top scientific achievements on a sustained basis - both in research and in the development of personalised precision oncology. The support granted by the Morszeck Foundation is wonderful”.
“Innovative cancer research is associated with considerable costs. Private research funds, in particular such an enormous sum like those 30 million euros donated by the Dieter Morszeck Foundation, help us to pick up on promising projects and implement them much quicker”, says Josef Puchta, Commercial Director of DKFZ, who is pleased with the financial support.
Dieter Morszeck intends to accompany the projects he supports at DKFZ with interest and promises: “This is only the beginning of a long-term cooperation”. An example that is unprecedented.
With funds from the Dieter Morszeck Foundation, DKFZ will construct a building for the fully and semi-automated collection of biosamples. Up to now, the collection of these blood and tissue samples, which are vital for preventive research, has required extensive manual work, which is to be carried out by robots in the new “biorepository”.
DKFZ intends to close the current gap at the transition from preclinical development to patient use with a newly established research group for imaging and image-guided therapies. Another new junior research group will combine molecular diagnostics, such as liquid biopsy, with high-performance imaging methods that advance cancer screening.
Today, single cell genomic analysis enables to better comprehend the molecular diversity of tumour cells. In the long term, these results may contribute to the development of more effective therapies. With the help of the Dieter Morszeck Foundation, DKFZ can set up a research group and a laboratory unit for single cell analyses. Another important concern of DKFZ is to train the next generation of researchers and researching physicians. With a funding programme that takes in five to eight clinician scientists per year, DKFZ can now make a decisive contribution to the education and further training of young talents in this important occupational group.
More Information: Deutsche Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
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