Dr. rer. nat. Manfred Schwab
Professor for Genetics (emerit.), Senior Scientific Member
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg

Curriculum vitae

1972 Diploma Biology, University of Giessen, Germany
1974 Dr.rer.nat., University of Giessen, Germany
1980 Habilitation (Genetics), University of Giessen, Germany
1980-1984 Heisenberg Visiting Scientist, University of California, San Francisco, USA
1984-1987 Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco, USA
1987-1992 Group Leader, Young Investigator, DKFZ (First Young Investigator at DKFZ)
1992- 2013

Director Department "Tumor Genetics"

Research fields


  • Biology and Genetics of Neuroblastoma
  • FRAGILOME Project; Functional Genomics of common fragile site genes

Main personal achievements

  • Work out genetics of risk for cancer (melanoma, neuroblastoma) in a fish genetic model (Schwab (1987) Trends in Genetics 3, 38-42; Schwab (1986) Advances in Cancer Research 47, 63-97)
  • First establishment and use of parallel (array) analysis for mRNA expression profiling (Schwab et al. (1983) Nature 303, 497-501
  • Discover the MYCN-gene and its amplification in neuroblastomas by mRNA expression profiling (Schwab et al. (1983) Nature 305:245-248), work out MYCN-protein transforming functions (Schwab et al. (1985) Nature 316, 160-162) and localisation of amplified MYCN to previously enigmatic abnormal chromosomal structures specific to tumor cells (Schwab et al. (1984) Nature 308, 288-291); amplified MYCN was the very first oncogenetic molecular marker for human cancer, now worldwide in clinical use for personalised treatment design of neuroblastoma (Schwab et al. (2003) Lancet Oncology 4:472-480).

Activities in the scientific community (selected)

Editor-in-Chief: "Cancer Encyclopedia" (Springer)
Editor-in-Chief: Journal "Cancer Letters" http://ees.elsevier.com/can/

1994-1995 Chairman Section Tumor Genetics, German Cancer Society
1995-1996 Vice-President, German Cancer Society
1995-1996 Member, General Motors Award Panel
1998-1999 Member Pezkoller Award Panel
2003-2006 Member, Executive Committee, European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)
2000-2007 Member Managing Board, European Science Foundation COST Action B19
1996-2007 European Commission, many Assignments in Evaluating and Monitoring Panels
1985-2008 Assignments in numerous evaluation panels of grant organisations in Europe (Germany, Italy-AIRC, UK, Finland, Portugal, France)
2007- Chairman for Europe and Russia Region, International Board on Advances in Neuroblastoma Research
2007- Member, International Steering Board, Advances in Neuroblastoma Research
2008- Member, International Scientific Advisory Board, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome
2005-2008 Coordinator (together with A. Eggert) of Research Network "Systems Biology of Embryonal Tumors: Neuroblastoma as a Model" within National Genome Research Network (NGFN-2), funded by Federal Ministry of Research and Technology



2012 -

Coordinator (with A. Eggert) of Research Network "ENGINE Extended Neuroblastoma Genome Interaction NEtwork (ENGINE): Further Steps Towards Personalized Medicine" within NGFN-plus.

Chairman of the Board, Alumni Association DKFZ

Honors & Awards

1979 Heisenberg Award, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
1992 Deutscher Krebspreis (National Cancer Award)
1998 Gerhard Domagk Award

2012 Lifetime Achievment Award


Total 212, as of May 2013