Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin has awarded Dr Arianna Calcinotto, Group Leader at the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR, affiliated to USI Università della Svizzera italiana) the Peter Hans Hofschneider Professorship 2020/2021. This is the third time the Zurich-based foundation has conferred the award in Switzerland.
Arianna Calcinotto, who since 2019 heads the Cancer Immunotherapy research group at the IOR, has distinguished herself nationally and internationally for her work and related major publications – including Nature – on an innovative methodology capable of counteracting the progression of prostate cancer. “Recently, immunotherapy has achieved excellent clinical results in several tumour types. However, while most immunotherapies currently aim to reactivate the immune system blocked by the tumour, our studies focus on a different way of conceiving immunotherapy, namely blocking factors produced by the immune system cells that act as nutrients for the tumour. We have recently discovered that one type of immune system cell, myeloid cells, confers a strong resistance to therapy in prostate cancer patients. We are currently conducting a promising clinical trial in patients with this tumour. Very similar mechanisms seem to be shared by other tumour types, such as breast cancer. The funding we received will allow us to study the role of these immune cells in contributing to response to therapy and relapse in breast cancer patients with the aim of identifying new therapeutic possibilities,” says Arianna Calcinotto.
The Peter Hans Hofschneider Professorship is awarded in honour of the work of Prof. Dr. Peter Hans Hofschneider (1929 – 2004), who made a significant contribution to research in the field of molecular medicine, and is intended to promote young scientists who are active in this field and who distinguish themselves through outstanding scientific achievements. The competition is open to candidates working in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The prize has been awarded every two years since 2008, in all fields of medicine, and guarantees the winning candidate a professorship salary for three years, funding for a doctoral student, and CHF 50,000 in material resources.
“We are very pleased that in awarding this prestigious Professorship in Switzerland for the third time, the Foundation has chosen our youngest Group Leader, a position she assumed less than two years ago, from among the many candidates,” says Prof. Franco Cavalli, President of the Foundation for the IOR. “This is a remarkable recognition not only of the importance of the research conducted by Dr Calcinotto in the field of breast cancer, but also of the quality of the entire research programme of the IOR. It is our intention to open the competition for the recruitment of at least two more Group leaders, as soon as we have better logistical conditions when we move into the new research building in Via Chiesa this autumn“.
The Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin is a Swiss non-profit foundation based in Zurich, operating under the supervision of the Federal Department of Home Affairs. The aim of the Foundation is to promote research projects in the fields of molecular biology of cardiovascular diseases, molecular hepatogastroenterology and molecular dermatology. It is also involved in the promotion of scientific outreach. The Foundation’s field of activity extends to Switzerland, Germany and Austria. More information: www.experimentelle-biomedizin.ch