Konjetzny Award 2003 for Scientists at HPI

Wednesday, 28. April 2004

Dr. Carol Stocking, Dr. Maike Täger und Dr. Jürgen Löhler from the Molecular Pathology working team at the Heinrich-Pette-Institute for experimental Virology and Immunology at Hamburg University were presented the Georg-Ernst-Konjetzny Award in the Erika-House auditorium at 4:30 pm on April 29, 2004.

The scientists from HPI received the award for their outstanding work on the generation of acute myeloic Leukemia. (AML)
This malignant blood disease rampantly reproduces white corpuscles, which untreated, are precipitously fatal. Frequently, typical aberrations in the chromosomes – the conveyers of hereditary disposition – are detectable in the patient’s malignant leukemia cells. Certain chromosome ruptures are not properly repaired, but instead, erroneously mould into another area of the genotype. A new gene fusion occurs at this convergence point, which, for example, engenders the composition of the so-called hybrid protein AML 1 – ETO. This protein is detectable in 15 % of all myeloic leukemia cases, which, however, is not deemed sufficient in itself to trigger acute myeloic leukemia, according to current scientific knowledge.

Dr. Carol Stocking’s team has managed, by the application of a mouse model, to examine the creation of acute myeloic leukemia in humans. (J. Exp.Med., Vol.196, Nov 4, 2002).
The mouse model illustrated that AML-ETO alone influences the generation of the various blood cells. The scientists discovered that the leukemia, together with the generation of the AML1-ETO protein can cause a second kind of damage in the genotype. The damage in the gene is due to a protein called ICSBP, the abbreviation for Interferon Consensus Sequence Binding Protein. Both types of damage occur simultaneously and together lead to the formation of malignant leukemia cells - so-called blasters - in the mouse model. These research results contribute significantly in better understanding the generation of acute myeloic leukemia in humans.

The scientist’s leukemia research project is fostered by the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation in Germany.

The Georg-Ernst-Konjetzny Award is presented annually by the Hamburg Cancer Society. It distinguishes research results of scientists working in Hamburg who have made significant contributions in the field of cancer research and cancer prevention.

For further information:
Dr. Carol Stocking