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Cancer researcher receives Leibniz Prize

Prof. Jürgen Ruland, from TUM’s Rechts der Isar Hospital at the Partner Site of the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), will receive the 2021 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. The Professor of Clinical Chemistry is being honored for his outstanding scientific work in the field of immunology, which has led to a fundamentally new understanding of the signal transmission pathways in immune and cancer cells, as announced by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The most important German research award includes 2.5 million euros in prize money. The award winner can use this money for future research.

Andreas Heddergott / TUM

Prof. Ruland focuses on normal signaling processes in the immune system and those that are disrupted during illness. With his working group, he is investigating how immune cells recognize pathogens, initiate the immune defense, and how pathologically altered signals in blood cells lead to the development of cancer. The aim is to provide the basis for the therapeutic manipulation of the immune system. One of his most important scientific findings is an “emergency stop” switch for defective cells that he and his team discovered in 2017.

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann paid tribute to the award winner’s outstanding work: “Prof. Ruland is one of the most important cancer researchers of our time. With his research, he tries to better understand the body’s self-healing powers at the molecular level and thus fight diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma. We are proud to have him in our ranks, because he embodies TUM’s high standards: Top international research combined with practical benefits for mankind.”

Prof. Ruland studied medicine in Giessen and Pittsburgh and received a doctorate in pharmacology. After medical and scientific work at TUM, the University of Freiburg, the Ontario Cancer Institute, and the AMGEN Research Institute of the University of Toronto, he headed a junior research group of the German Cancer Aid at TUM starting in 2003. He qualified as a professor of medicine in 2005 and was Professor of Molecular Immunology at TUM from 2010 to 2012. He has been a full professor of clinical chemistry since 2012. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Since 2018, he has been the spokesman for the DFG Collaborative Research Center 1335 “Aberrant Immune Signals in Cancer.”

Ruland has already received numerous awards and grants for his scientific work, including:

  • European Research Council Advanced Grant (2013 & 2019)
  • Paul-Martini Prize (2010)
  • Wilhelm-Warner Prize for cancer research (2010)
  • Science Award of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Internistische Onkologie (2007)
  • Artur-Pappenheim Prize of the German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (2006)

Original Publication: https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36378/