Dr. Thomas Schmidt receives 3 years of support for path-breaking studies with the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for Medical Research 2014
8The project has a an ambitious title: “The role of angiogenesis and the metastasis microenvironment within colorectal metastases”.
Hamburg, January 8th 2014. The project has a an ambitious title: “The role of angiogenesis and the metastasis microenvironment within colorectal metastases”. And the innovative research carried out by Dr. Thomas Schmidt, which will be supported with a total of 210,000 Euro over three years with the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for Medical Research 2014, are equally ambitious. Dr. Schmidt is studying the basic principles of the vascularization of intestinal cancer metastases at the cell and molecular level. The Board of Trustees awarded the prize to the scientist because “understanding these as yet unexplored processes and structures can open up new possibilities both for diagnostics and the treatment of intestinal cancer”.
The 33-year-old doctor was employed by Leuven University in Belgium until 2012 and is now continuing his research as a research associate and junior doctor at the clinic for general, visceral and transplantation surgery at the Heidelberg university hospital. The prize will enable him to intensify his research following his return to Germany.
Intestinal cancer is such a dreaded disease because it poses an unpredictable risk. The main tumor itself, which is the starting point of the cancer, is relatively easy to overcome and remove in this day and age. But the metastases are still always difficult to beat with modern medicine. The research carried out by Dr. Schmidt in Heidelberg could be set to change this. He is focusing on the basic principles of the vascularization of intestinal cancer metastases and searching for ways to cut off these supply lines. This would enable the metastases to be switched off and surgically removed.
Although his research is centered on the cell and molecular level, the dedicated physician with two doctorates never loses sight of the big picture: “Today, science enables us to look at the molecular details of a disease. This leads to individualized treatment options, for cancer patients, for example. Despite this wealth of details, we must not focus on these alone – the patient as a whole must be at the heart of a humane approach to medicine.” A strong motivation, which is also reflected in his work motto. The top young researcher loves taking on the most difficult of challenges: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The ‘hard’ is what makes it great.”