Institute

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Hematology and Oncology

History

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Hematology and Oncology was launched in 2008 as Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology (LBC ONC). The foundation of the cluster was based on the consolidation, continuation and expansion of two former Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes in the field of clinical-oncology: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical-Experimental Oncology and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Leukemia Research and Hematology. The combination to a cluster allowed a scientific focus in the field of preclinical and translational oncology.

The fusion of research groups from the Department for Internal Medicine I, Department of Dermatology, Clinical Institute of Medical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, and the Center for Pathophysiology at the Medical University of Vienna and the Department of Oncology of the Hanusch Hospital concentrating on one topic – ‘tumor stem cell research’, is a successful example of an interdisciplinary focus on a crucial topic. Scientific expertise and resources from different research groups flow into the project. Working groups of physicians and basic researchers of different specialties are involved.

In 2018, the LBC ONC was transformed to the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut for Hematology and Oncology (LBI HO).

Structure and Organization

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Hematology and Oncology consists of a team of high-ranking scientists.

On a scientific level, the Institute for Hematology and Oncology is coordinated by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Valent and his deputy Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Grunt, on the administrative level by Dr. Emir Hadzijusufovic.

Part of the LBI HO program are scientific projects on tumor stem cells for myeloid leukemias, lymphatic leukemias, solid tumors* and melanomas*.

The infrastructure for the scientific projects is ensured by 5 platforms covering the fields of flow cytometry, gene expression profiling, mouse model analysis, clinical applications as well as public relations including training and advanced training.

The projects of the institute are supported by numerous funding agencies, the core consortium is sponsored by the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft.

*Based on the evaluation in 2010, the “Solid Tumors” program line was discontinued in 2011 and the “Melanoma” program line was transformed into the new “Mastocytosis and Mast Cell Leukemia” program line.

The Scientific Advisory Board of the LBI HO consists of the following members:

  • Cem Akin, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • Michel Arock, Molecular Oncology and Pharmacology, LBPA CNRS UMR8113, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France
  • Kimmo Porkka, Department of Hematology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Duties and Aims

The aims of the Institute for Hematology and Oncology are derived from the successful collaboration of preclinical basic research and clinical medicine in the field of tumor stem cell research.

Molecular cell and tissue research results are being implemented in the development of new strategies for cancer and leukemia treatment.

The research objectives are determined by new concepts for clinical applications that are the outcome of results from our in vitro-studies.

The overarching goal of the LBI HO is to develop new therapeutic concepts in cancer research aiming at eliminating cancer stem cells in leukemias and solid tumors.

Personnel development

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Hematology and Oncology started in 2008 with a total of 6 employees including one administrative assistant. Since then the team has been growing steadily.

Additional personnel resources required for the institute projects are covered by the partner cooperations (Medical University of Vienna, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and Hanusch Hospital). The management of the institute and the core facilities is also carried out in cooperation with the partners.

A key goal in the development of personnel in the LBI HO is the career development at the level of the academic carrier (scientists). The management of the LBI HO is committed to give scientists the opportunity to develop in their environment and research area to the maximum and to learn all relevant techniques. In addition, the process of project development, the development of scientific concepts and the presentation of data are trained and promoted. The ultimate goal is the creation of viable new concepts and solid first author manuscripts. Strategic long-term goals are above all the preparation of habilitations and the independent development of projects and project-specific environmental work (applications, group management, strategic planning, management of cooperation projects, etc).

The following specific objectives have been implemented since 2008:

  • Sorting courses for the LBI HO team
  • Networking with the doctoral program of the MedUni Vienna
  • Post-seminar round table series – collaboration reviews
  • Regular project development meetings
  • Regular small group meetings
  • Regular manuscript reviews

The LBI HO is actively promoting young talents. Several PhD and diploma theses are currently ongoing, new ones are starting continuously. The institute and its partner institutions are also constantly looking for new employees and interested students who would like to start a scientific career in the field of oncology.