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Physician-Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Earn Prestigious European Science Awards


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

CINCINNATI – Physician-researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have earned two prestigious European prizes for their work in hematology / oncology research.

Christopher Baum, MD, received the Sir Hans Krebs Award, given annually to honor a significant paper in basic science research related to medicine. Dr. Baum and several co-authors of a study published in Science earned the award for their work showing potential consequences of gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells. Their findings have major implications for diagnostic gene marking and the discovery of genes regulating stem cell turnover.

Christof von Kalle, MD, Dr. Baum and two additional European scientists will receive the Langen Science Award 2005. This award was given by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute for achievements in the field of gene therapy. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institute is the national institute in Germany that supervises biological therapies.

Each of the awards carries a prize of 10,000 Euro, approximately $11,800.

Drs. Baum and Kalle have been integral parts of the translational research programs developed in gene therapy at Cincinnati Children's starting in 2002.

In 2003, Dr. Baum established a research team at Cincinnati Children's in the Molecular and Gene Therapy program of the Division of Experimental Hematology. The team interacts closely with colleagues from the Laboratory for Experimental Cell Therapy, which Dr. Baum founded in 2001 at Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany, and continues to operate. The Baum lab's goal is the development of novel cell and gene therapeutics for inherited or acquired disorders of the hematopoietic system. Dr. Baum is considered one of the foremost scientists in retrovirus vector design in the world.

Dr. Kalle is an internationally recognized expert in the study of human hematopoietic stem cells using stem cell tracking methods in human gene therapy trials. He has pioneered the methodology to identify and track specific insertion sites of vectors in the human genome. Dr. Kalle joined the Division of Experimental Hematology at Cincinnati Children's in 2002 as associate professor and program leader of the Molecular and Gene Therapy Program. In July 2005, Dr. Kalle was appointed director of the National Center for Tumor Diseases and Chair of the Department of Translational Oncology in Heidelberg, Germany.

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, jim.feuer@cchmc.org, 513-636-4656