Important steps in the history of the Children´s Cancer Research Institute

  • 1988: After one year of construction, in June the research institute is inaugurated, its international name is St. Anna Children's Cancer Research Institute (CCRI). Five laboratory units accommodated on an area of 650 square meters in the attic of the St. Anna Children's Hospital are put into operation.
  • 1990: The number of working groups has risen to seven, with the major focus being on genetics. The equipment is expanded to include tools for computer-aided chromosome analysis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for DNA amplification.
  • 1991: The research staff already comprises more than 50 employees; as yet another research technique, flow cytometric analysis is introduced.
  • 1993: Research activities are gradually extended to other forms of cancer as well as to the fields of virology and immunology. In the course of the decade, the number of employees continuously increases to about 70.
  • 2004/2005: The research institute enters cooperations with the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) of the Medical University of Vienna and participates in the development of a cancer research institute of the Ludwig Boltzmann Society. Its purpose, among other things, is to perform research in animal models for new therapeutic approaches. In 2006, Labordiagnostik für krebskranke Kinder GmbH (Labdia) is founded as a subsidiary of the CCRI to unify all paediatric diagnostics in one structure.
  • 2006 to 2008: Against the background that the continuous growth of the amount of data requires clinical studies to comply with increasingly strict, internationally standardised rules, S²IRP, the department of Studies and Statistics for Integrated Research and Projects, is founded, which is soon to become the largest of groups active at the research institute.
  • 2009: A completely new research institute is built directly adjacent to the St. Anna Children's Hospital and connected to it by a bridge, expanding the working space of the CCRI to approx. 3,400 m2, including additional rented premises. Furthermore, the Bioinformatics Core Unit is established to process the increasing amounts of genomic raw data.
  • 2010: The CCRI exceeds the 100-employee mark. 2012: Helmut Gadner, founder, initiator and mastermind of the CCRI, retires. His functions, including the medical management of the St. Anna Children's Hospital, are taken over by Wolfgang Holter.
  • 2014: In addition to the existing working groups, the Department of Innovative Cancer Models is established. Its research focus is on the investigation of central mechanisms of cancer development and the testing of new drugs using zebrafish larvae.
  • 2017: Foundation of the Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) Biology group, one of the last of meanwhile 13 research departments. The St. Anna Children's Hospital and the CCRI receive the designation as National Expertise Centre for Rare Diseases and become the coordinator of a European Reference Network against Paediatric Cancer (ERN-PaedCan). Together with the Medical University of Vienna and the Research Centre for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), the CCRI becomes a partner in the new Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases.
  • 2018: 30 years anniversary of CCRI
  • 2019: Appointment of the new scientific director Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Kaan Boztug

A retrospective in pictures

The first children´s hospital in Austria, St. Anna Children´s Hospital, established in1837, is the basis for the later foundation of CCRI.

Prof. Theodor von Escherich, MD, Hospital Director 1901-1911
Prof. Helmut Gadner, MD, St. Anna's Medical Director (1980-2010), CCRI's Dir.
Converting the empty attic of the hospital to CCRI´s first research labs in the late eighties.
The research institute is “bursting at the seams”: Shortage of space lead to the opening of the new independent research institute in 2009, which is directly linked to the St. Anna Children´s Hospital through a glass bridge.
Official opening of the new CCRI with Dr. Heinz and Margit Fischer (President of Austria ret. and his wife):
Annual Long Night of Children´s Cancer Research
Charity soiree on the occasion of the 30-year anniversary
Symposium "From Lab to Life" on the occasion of the 30-year anniversary
Copyright/credits: archives of the St. Anna Children´s Cancer Research Institute or the St. Anna Children´s Hospital