Skip to main contentSkip to breadcrumbsSkip to sub navSkip to doormat


Award-winning leukaemia research at the IMP receives further support

20 Oct 2023
Johannes Schmoellerl (left) and president of the Austrian Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology Ewald Wöll (credit:

Johannes Schmoellerl is a postdoc in the lab of Johannes Zuber. His research into the molecular mechanisms of acute myeloid leukaemia now receives recognition from the Austrian Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology and support from the Fellinger Cancer Research Fund.

The oncogene EVI1 is known to cause an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), but its exact function has been a mystery. Johannes Schmoellerl and Inês Barbosa, both from the lab of Johannes Zuber, showed that EVI1’s cancer causing effect relies on activating a single gene – the stem cell transcription factor ERG. This discovery marks a crucial step towards understanding EVI1’s role in leukaemia, offering hope for more effective therapies in the future. The Austrian Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology recognises the potential of these findings and presented the authors with The Wilhelm Türk Prize, endowed with 5,000 Euros.

In the coming years, Postdoc Johannes Schmoellerl’s research will delve deeper into EVI1’s regulation. His focus will revolve around examining the role of candidate chromatin and transcription factors in modulating the expression of EVI1 in AML. Chromosomal rearrangements involving EVI1 define a highly aggressive subtype of AML with a bleak prognosis – hence the urgent need for therapeutic concepts that hinge on a better grasp of EVI1’s regulation and oncogenic functions. This research will now be supported by a grant worth 20,000 Euro from the Fellinger Cancer Research Fund.

About the Wilhelm Türk Prize

The Wilhelm Türk Prize, awarded by the Austrian Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology, pays tribute to the Austrian haematologist Wilhelm Türk (1871-1916). This accolade recognises promising scientific contributions in the field of clinical haematology and is endowed with 5,000 Euro.

About the Fellinger Cancer Research Fund

Barbara Fellinger established the Fellinger Cancer Research Fund in honour of her late husband Karl Fellinger (1904-2000), one of Austria’s most esteemed physicians in the second half of the 20th century. The association is dedicated to managing and allocating funds to support promising cancer research in Austria. The grants of Fellinger Cancer Research support both basic and clinical cancer research.

Further reading

Research with Johannes Zuber

Key function of important leukaemia gene demystified