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Presenter: M. Hegi

Associate Professor for Translational and Experimental Neuro-Oncology
Monika Hegi completed her studies at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) with a Doctorate in Natural Sciences with specialization in biochemistry and toxicology. She pursued her post-doctoral training in molecular toxicology and molecular carcinogenesis at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA (1989-1993). She then focused her research on molecular mechanisms involved in the evolution of human brain tumors at the Institute of Neuropathology at the University Hospital in Zurich (1993-1997). Since 1998 she directs the Laboratory of Brain Tumor Biology and Genetics at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her efforts are centered on translational aspects of brain tumor research aiming at identifying predictive factors for response to therapy and outcome in clinical trials based on molecular tumor profiles. This work is in close collaboration with clinicians in Lausanne, the Brain Tumor Group of the EORTC, and other international cooperative groups. Her efforts as project leader in the program of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Molecular Oncology (Switzerland) comprise identification of new targets and mechanistic investigations of glioma relevant pathways.
Analyzing multidimensional molecular profiles established from tumors of patients enrolled in clinical trials has identified several factors of treatment resistance (Godard et al. Cancer Res. 2003; Murat et al JCO, 2008; PloS One 2009; Hegi et al. MCT 2011). Clinically most relevant, however, was the demonstration in clinical trials that silencing of the repair gene MGMT by promoter methylation is predictive for benefit from treatment with the alkylating agent temozolomide in newly diagnosed glioblastoma (Hegi et al Clin Cancer Res 2004 & NEJM 2005; Stupp Lancet Oncol 2009). This has led to a paradigm change and the MGMT methylation status is now used as biomarker for stratification or patient selection in most clinical trials for glioma.
In 2009 Dr Hegi was appointed associate professor for translational and experimental neuro-oncology at the University of Lausanne. Her work on translational cancer research has been acknowledged with the 2002 Award of the Jacqueline Seroussi Memorial Foundation for Cancer Research (Israel), the Wenner Prize 2006 for Cancer Research (Swiss), and the Swiss Bridge Award in 2011.


University:University Hospital Lausanne
Department/Institute:Department of Clinical Neurosciences
Address:Laboratory of Brain Tumor Biology and Genetics
City:Lausanne, Switzerland