The cooperation between the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology (MOST) in cancer research began in 1976 and is implemented by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and Israeli research institutions and universities. Research focuses, inter alia, on cell and tumour biology, functional and structural genome research, tumour immunology, infection and cancer as well as on translational cancer research and personalised medicine.
The joint scientific projects, each with a duration of three years, consist of an Israeli and a DKFZ sub-project with a high degree of complementarity. So far, 187 projects have been funded within the framework of the DKFZ-MOST cooperation. The scientific success of the cooperation is reflected in numerous publications. By 2018, there were more than 1,520 publications in renowned scientific journals. Since 2008, topic-specific Cancer Research Schools for young scientists have been held annually, funded by DKFZ and MOST. The 11th, and latest Cancer Research School took place in Germany in 2023.
The DKFZ-MOST programme serves to strengthen existing collaborations and to initiate new collaborations between the Israeli and German partners, with a special focus on supporting young research group leaders. Here, the DKFZ-MOST programme acts as an efficient catalyst in the early stages of the scientific career for advancing an independent research profile and as a basis for long-term research collaborations, which often also function as a starting point for larger, transnational research alliances.
Within the framework of German-Israeli cooperation in the field of cancer research, numerous outstanding research results have already been achieved. One example of this is the work of Aaron Ciechanover from the Medical Faculty of the Haifa Technical University, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005. His research work from 1999 to 2003 was partly financed by the German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP).