Finnish Academy Professor Kari Alitalo visits FOR 2240

Lymph-angiogenesis expert Kari Alitalo, a world-leading and widely cited cancer researcher who is now Director of the Wihuri Research Institute in Helsinki, Finland, addressed a lively audience on January 27th, 2016 on the topic of “Novel roles of lymphatics in the eye, the brain and in tumor metastasis”. The talk was held in the auditorium of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in the framework of Professor Alitalo’s invited stay as Visiting Professor to the DFG-funded research group FOR 2240 in the Dept. of Ophthalmology at the University of Cologne and as a special session of the Cologne Cancer Club. He discussed significant discoveries about the molecular systems that control the development of lymphatic vessels and lymphatic metastasis as well as his team’s textbook-challenging discoveries about the presence of lymphatic vessels in the eye and central nervous system, and the potential role of these discoveries in developing better treatments for a number of widespread diseases. On a lighter note, participants at the event also received a tip about the possible advantages of sleeping in a side position with regard to the ideal rejuvenation of the delicate lymphatic systems in the brain. Recent highlights of the long list of honors that have been bestowed upon Professor Alitalo and prizes he has won include membership in the National Academy of Sciences (USA, 2013) and the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize (NL, 2014).

Pictured from left: Academy Professor Kari Alitalo-Visiting Professor, Prof. Claus Cursiefen- Speaker of the FOR 2240 and Director of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Cologne