€2.45 m to investigate leukaemia causes and therapies

The Heidelberg-based LeukoSyStem consortium investigates leukaemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukaemia. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research financially supports this collaboration between Heidelberg University Hospital, HI-STEM gGmbH, the German Cancer Research Center and EMBL.


Leukaemia stem cells are located in a patient’s bone marrow (shown here in blue) in the so-called stem cell niche. The green structure is the bone itself. Credit: Dr. Raphael Lutz, Haas Lab


The Heidelberg-based LeukoSyStem consortium investigates leukaemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukaemia. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research financially supports this collaboration between Heidelberg University Hospital, HI-STEM gGmbH, the German Cancer Research Center and EMBL.

Leukaemia stem cells are considered to be the starting point of leukaemia; their elimination is a basic prerequisite for a successful long-term therapy. Scientists at Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD), the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine at the German Cancer Research Center (HI-STEM/DKFZ), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have now obtained research funding of €2.45 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the junior research alliance LeukoSyStem. The aim of their project is to investigate the cells that are the origin of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and thus “get to the root of the problem”. The scientists intend to use isolated single cells from patient samples to investigate characteristic markers, mutations, functional data, and metabolic pathways, to gain a better understanding of leukaemia stem cells and their environment in bone marrow. The collected data will be evaluated comprehensively with the help of computer algorithms specially developed for the purpose.


The funding of the junior research alliance LeukoSyStem by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) enables the young scientists from Heidelberg to carry out interdisciplinary research in systems medicine. The project started at the beginning of 2020. The total funding amounts to approximately €2.45 million over five years, with a share of approximately €1.3 million for the Department of Haematology, Oncology and Rheumatology at UKHD.


Original News (EMBL)

Original News (DKFZ)

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