1st Summer School of the Clinical Research Unit 5010 CATCH ALL

New insights into acute lymphoblastic leukemia

– Exchange and discussion of previous results with the aim of developing more precise, age-spanning therapies
– Guest speaker was Prof. Falk Nimmerjahn, Erlangen, expert in tumor immunology
– The Lab Rotation Grants endowed with 5000€ go to Dr. Malwine Barz and Marta Lustig

The first summer school of the CATCH ALL Clinical Research Unit, which has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for four years since the beginning of 2022, took place from 2 to 3 June 2023 in Rendsburg, bringing together 35 participants from the actively involved institutions. The summer school, organized by researchers from Christian Albrechts University Kiel (CAU), Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital (UKSH) in Kiel and Lübeck and Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, offered a platform for exchange and discussion of the results to date.

The CATCH ALL clinical research unit met together with guests in Rendsburg.

Prof. Falk Nimmerjahn from the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen was invited as a guest speaker. In his inspiring lecture, he presented his current research results on tumor localization and targeted recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages and their influence on the immunotherapeutic response. Furthermore, he explained interesting findings on tissue-specific macrophages and their crucial role in the development and coordination of tissue biology. His expertise and insights contributed significantly to the success of the summer school.

Two Lab Rotation Grants of 5000€ each were awarded during the summer school. Marta Lustig, a doctoral student in the research group of Prof. Thomas Valerius at UKSH Kiel, will visit the laboratory of the renowned Nobel Prize winner Carolyne Bertozzi at the University of Stanford in the USA for several weeks. There, she will work intensively on combining targeted antibody therapies with the blockade of glyco-immunological checkpoints for the ALL treatment. The second winner is Dr. rer. medic. Malwine Barz, a research associate in the group of Prof. Claudia Baldus at UKSH Kiel, will invite Guilia Mouro from the group of Prof. Konrad Basler at the University of Zurich to Kiel. Together they will work on a project to investigate fusion genes in high-risk ALL using capture-based single-cell RNA sequencing.

Prof. Claudia Baldus presents the lab rotation grants to Marta Lustig (left) and Dr. rer. medic. Malwine Barz (right).

The summer school was a valuable opportunity for an interdisciplinary exchange between the researchers and the joint further development of the clinical research unit. Through the intensive discussions and presentations of the participants, important insights were gained and new impulses for future work were set.

Prof. Claudia Baldus, spokesperson of the CATCH ALL Clinical Research Group and Director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine II at UKSH, Kiel Campus, was delighted with the success of the Summer School and emphasized: “The cooperation with our partners from CAU Kiel, UKSH Kiel and Lübeck, as well as Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, is of great importance for the research into ALL. The summer school has helped to further advance our common goals.”

The Clinical Research Group CATCH ALL has been funded by the DFG for four years since 2022 with around 5 million euros. With its interdisciplinary expertise and unique infrastructure, it aims to deepen the understanding of ALL and open up new ways to treat this disease.
Scientific contact:
Prof. Claudia Baldus
Spokesperson of the CATCH ALL Clinical Research Group
Director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine II with a focus on hematology and oncology, UKSH, Campus Kiel
E-mail: claudia.baldus@uksh.de
Text and photos: Dr. rer. nat. Claudia Taubenheim

Participating Institutes