Long Night of Children's Cancer Research

This year's title: „Secret codes and communication in cancer cells“


The CCRI launched its 9th open door event "Lange Nacht der Kinderkrebsforschung", showcasing the diversity of intriguing research topics and state-of-the-art techniques used in the laboratories. Drawing a full crowd and record-breaking attendance numbers, scientific director Prof. Kovar believes that this year’s event was one of the most successful ones ever.

Much of the research at the CCRI is highly interdisciplinary and researchers come from a wide variety of scientific backgrounds. Accordingly, the range of theoretical approaches and experimental techniques used by the individual groups is very large. To get a better grasp on the latest CCRI science, selected talks by CCRI group leaders provided both basic information on children’s cancer research and novel methods.


Scienfitic lectures „Secret codes and communication in cancer cells“

Visitors learned that in neuroblastomas, there can be 100-200 copies of a gene (Prof. Ambros), that chimeric proteins are involved in leukaemia progression (Dr. Strehl) and that Flow Cytometry (FACS) protocols are useful for staining and analysing cell populations prior to actual disease outbreak (Prof. Dworzak). Assoc. Prof. Felzmann highlighted how the immune system can be mobilised to detect and regulate cancer cells, while Prof. Panzer-Grümayer pinpointed at the potential of RNAi techniques for recognition and silencing of fusion genes. As Prof. Kovar explained, microRNAs constitute a recently discovered class of molecules that play key roles in the regulation of gene expression and hence, are of particular interest in cancer research. In Assoc. Prof. Heitger’s talk, approaches to improve transplantation by combating graft versus host disease were discussed. Finally, Assoc. Prof. Fritsch delivered a humorous and lively lecture on the past and future of blood stem cell transplantation.

Hands-on science
To absorb a vast amount of information, children and adult attendees had the opportunity to look behind the curtain of the CCRI laboratories. Hands-on experiments included basic cell disruption and separation techniques to extract DNA from vegetables and making a DNA sequence bracelet. To depict genetic mutations that are crucial in cancer diseases, musical sequences were modified to represent altered genetic patterns.

Many thanks for your support.

With the help of committed volunteers, the enthusiasm of the researchers in communicating their science and the support of sponsors, we would like to say thank you to those who participated in our 2012 open door event.


Impressions of our "Long Night" 2012

Dr. Claudia Schmied, Fed.Minist. of Educat., Arts & Culture, Prof. Kovar, PhD

Prof. Renate Panzer-Grümayer

Entertainment for our young interested guests

Lecture of Assoc. Prof. Dworzak, MD

Information by Assoc. Prof. Felzmann, MD

Open labs and thrilling experiments

Assoc. Prof. Ambros about neuroblastomas

Assoc. Prof. P. Ambros, PhD, explaining scientific contents

Sabine Strehl, PhD, giving a lecture

Assoc. Prof. Heitger, MD, in the lab