Professor Anton G. Henssen is a physician at the Department of Pediatrics with a focus on Oncology and Hematology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and a researcher at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC). The ECRC is a joint institution of Charité and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC). On June 1, he will take up a W3 professorship in “Functional Pediatric Cancer Genomics” at Charité.
Last year, he received the Young Investigator Award at the Berlin Science Prize for his pioneering research. With his work, he is contributing significantly to understanding new mechanisms in the development of childhood tumors and thus enabling new approaches in diagnosis and therapy.
Rare tumor types in children
A specialist in pediatrics and adolescent medicine, he has been leading an Emmy Noether junior research group at the ECRC since 2018, investigating the causes of rare tumor types in children such as neuroblastoma. He focuses on the role of DNA rings – a completely new genetic mechanism of cancer development – and uses technologies such as single-cell analysis. His goal is to be able to better help his young patients with personalized therapies in the future. Since 2020, his research has been funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).
With the Mildred Scheel Professorship, the German Cancer Aid Foundation supports young, highly qualified scientists who are active in innovative areas of clinic-related basic oncological research or clinical cancer research. Succeeding the funding of Professor Frederik Damm a year earlier, the endowed professorship went to Charité for the second time in a row.
Multiple award-winning scientist
Anton George Henssen studied medicine in Düsseldorf before receiving neuroscience training at Forschungszentrum Jülich. In 2013, he received his doctorate in medicine from RWTH Aachen University. As a resident at the University Hospital Essen, he then dealt in depth with childhood tumors for the first time. During a research stay in the USA at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 2013 to 2016, he specialized in DNA sequencing of childhood tumors. Since then, he has been working as a physician at the Clinic for Pediatrics with a focus on Hematology and Oncology at Charité. A grant from the Clinician Scientist Program of the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) and Charité enabled him to pursue his research in parallel. Anton Henssen is a scientific member of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the Berlin site. The specialist in pediatric and adolescent medicine has received several awards for his research achievements, including the Hector Foundation Research Prize, the Kind-Philipp Foundation Prize for Pediatric Oncology Research, and the Young Investigator Award of the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis.