Important steps of the last 35 years

1988 – The foundation year
After several consideration, St.Anna Kinderkrebsforschung (St.Anna CCRI) was founded as an association to establish a research institute being the first of its kind in Europe. The research work started with the development of five research groups.

The number of working groups has risen to seven, with more than fifty employees, 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 and another research technique, flow cytometric analysis is introduced.

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 seventy.

The research institute enters cooperations with the Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) and 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.

Labordiagnostik für krebskranke Kinder GmbH (Labdia) is founded as a subsidiary of the St. Anna CCRI to integrate pediatric diagnostics in a single structure.

Due to the continuous growth of data, clinical studies are required to comply with increasingly strict, internationally standardized rules. Therefore, S2IRP, the Department of Studies and Statistics for Integrated Research and Projects, is founded.

A completely new research building is erected directly next to St. Anna Children’s Hospital, increasing CCRI’s working area to approximately 3,400 m2.

Helmut Gadner, founder, initiator and mastermind of the CCRI, retires. His functions, including the medical directorship of St. Anna Children’s Hospital, are taken over by Wolfgang Holter.

Adding 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.

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.

Foundation of the Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) Biology group, one of the last of meanwhile 13 research departments. St. Anna Children’s Hospital and the CCRI receive the designation as National Expertise Centre for Rare Diseases and assume 5 the function of coordinator of a European Reference Network against Paediatric Cancer (ERN-PaedCan).

Kaan Boztug takes over as Scientific Director of the Research Institute. Focused research groups work together in the fields of tumor genomics and epigenomics, immunology, molecular biology, cell biology, bioinformatics and clinical research to align scientific-experimental findings with the clinical needs of physicians and to apply advances in biomedical research for the benefit of patients.

In a newly established Christian Doppler Laboratory, scientists are developing next-generation CAR T cell therapies for high-risk childhood tumors. The institute is transferred into the structure of a company with limited liability.

The institute leadership of Kaan Boztug (Scientific Director) and Jörg Bürger (Director of Administration and Finance) is complemented by Leo Kager as Head of Institute.

Find out more about our research

The CCRI Reports document our research activities, major achievements and facts and figures during the past years.