Career path as clinician scientist in the Else Kroener-Research College Magdeburg

Research on novel therapies in the funding program for young clinicians is being expanded

The Else Kröner-Fresenius foundation supports highly qualified young clinicians who, in addition to their daily clinical work, want to dedicate themselves to the demanding task of research. Already in 2014 such an innovative research college was established at the Medical University Magdeburg. The thematic focus of this programme has recently been expanded. Under the title “Cancer and tissue-destroying inflammation – the role of the inflammatory microenvironment”, the college will continue to provide research time for young physicians over the next two years. The aim of this research is to improve existing and develop novel approaches in the therapy of diseases driven by inflammatory processes. This includes cancer as well as, e.g., chronic neurodegeneration.

The cross-disciplinary training and research program supports the fellows in their career path towards becoming clinician scientists. Clinician scientists are physicians that in addition to their daily clinical work are particularly active in research. They are important to expedite the translation of basic research findings into clinical applications for better patient care, thus shortening the way from “bench to bedside”.
„We are very pleased about the support by the Else Kröner-Fresenius foundation; it encourages us to continue our previous efforts for the scientific education of clinicians”, says Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer, Director of the Department for Hematology and Oncology and spokesman of the EKFK. “The EKFK is a very important building block of academic career development for clinician scientists in Magdeburg. Our long-term goal is to pick up medical students interested in research already during their studies and to support them in their scientific career through targeted offers and funding opportunities.”

The young resident Dr. Miriam Mengoni is currently researching the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the development of melanoma in the Else Kröner-Research College Magdeburg. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor controls important metabolic processes in the skin, amongst others in cancer. The long-term objective of her research is to enhance the impact of cancer therapies through targeting the aryl hydrocarbon receptor signalling pathway. When asked about her motivation to invest time and energy into research in addition to a stressful daily clinical routine, she doesn’t have to think twice: “In everyday clinical practice, you always reach limits where you can no longer help patients.” With her work in the laboratory, the young doctor is well on her way to become a clinician scientist, a researching and clinically active physician who ensures that patients at Magdeburg University Hospital are not only treated according to the current state of science, but that novel and more effective treatment options are also developed in the future.

Since its establishment in 2014, the EKFK Magdeburg has focused on the significance of the inflammatory microenvironment for cancer development. In the projects has been and is being investigated, how inflammatory processes and reactions of the immune system can contribute to the formation and growth of tumors. However, similar tissue-destroying inflammatory processes are also crucially involved in the development of other diseases. Therefore, in the future, there will also be projects in the EKFK dealing with the importance of inflammatory processes for the development of autoimmune, infectious and degenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic neurodegeneration. Prof. Thomas Tüting, Director of the Department of Dermatology and spokesman of the EKFK, welcomes this thematic expansion: “This forward-looking content-specific reorientation of the College enables integration and combination of both research foci of the Medical Faculty, immunology and neurosciences. The college will thus become a focal point of collaboration from which both research fields will greatly benefit."


The Research College’s unique feature is linking scientific work with clinical specialist training. The sponsorship provides the young clinicians with temporal freedom and favourable conditions for independent research work. Advanced training events, such as methods courses and workshops on key competencies, as well as seminars with international guest speakers, support the fellows on their scientific career paths. Another important component of the program is the personal supervision and guidance by experienced clinician scientists.


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Photo: Dr. Miriam Mengoni is researchig the role of the aryl hydrocarbon rezeptor in the development of melanoma as a fellow of the Else Kroener-Research College Magdeburg. Photographer: Christan Morawe/UMMD.

Last Modification: 13.04.2021 - Contact Person:

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