Professor Ugur Sahin receives German Cancer Award 2019

Prestigious award for Mainz cancer scientist

Professor Ugur Sahin has been awarded the 2019 German Cancer Award, one of the most prestigious distinctions in cancer medicine in Germany. Professor Sahin receives the award in the category Translational Research for his seminal work on individualized cancer immunotherapies, in particular for the development and clinical testing of mRNA-based vaccines that are tailored to each patient’s mutation profile.

Every patient’s cancer is unique. Ugur Sahin and his team are developing technologies to identify and exploit the distinct characteristics of each cancer in combination with innovative treatment approaches that direct the immune system to recognize the patient’s specific tumor and destroy it.

Ugur Sahin is Professor at the Mainz University Medical Center, member of the board of directors of the University Cancer Center Mainz, co-founder of the non-profit translational oncology research institute TRON and the private biotechnology companies Ganymed Pharmaceuticals and BioNTech. Sahin’s key focus is solving deeply rooted challenges in the complex process of translating innovation from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside, a mission that was originally prompted by his experience as a physician. His work has resulted in the development of various novel immunotherapies that are currently being evaluated in the clinic.

“Ugur Sahin is an innovator and leader in the cancer immunotherapy field. We are very proud of his accomplishments and the continued acknowledgement of his groundbreaking work in deciphering the genome of each patient’s tumor and developing the corresponding personalized treatments,” explained the Chief Scientific Officer and Dean of the Mainz University Medical Center, Professor Ulrich Förstermann. Professor Norbert Pfeiffer, Chair of the Executive Board and Chief Medical Officer, added: “The work of Ugur Sahin describes translation par excellence: Results from basic research in immunology are immediately transposed to clinical work. This rapid implementation from ‘bench to bedside’ is a special strength of our university medical center.”

The German Cancer Award is awarded annually by the German Cancer Society and the German Cancer Foundation and honors outstanding achievements in the field of clinical, translational and experimental cancer research in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This year’s ceremony was held in conjunction with the 20th International AEK Cancer Congress in Heidelberg, Germany, on February 27th, 2019.


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