European Cancer Organisation

Young Investigators Award 2011

2013 Awardee: Thomas R. Geiger, Ph.D.

About the Award: The ECCO/EJC Young Investigator’s Award is open to young basic scientists and clinical oncologists of all disciplines relevant to cancer research. The Award will be given to a young scientist or doctor in the field of basic, translational or clinical oncology research for recent original work in cancer research, treatment or care.




Dr Geiger was born in Switzerland and studied Cell Biology at the Biocentre of Basel University. He worked on his master thesis in the laboratory of Prof. Wilhelm Krek at the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI). After a short internship at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (Oncology) in Basel, he moved to the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam to obtain his PhD.

Under the mentorship of Prof. Daniel Peeper, Geiger authored three research articles on the oncogenic and metastatic functions of the neurotrophic receptor TrkB, isolating its critical drug-amenable function and molecular mechanism. His review article on metastasis mechanisms is ranked at number 1 on ScienceDirect’s Top 25 articles in BBA Reviews on Cancer for the academic year 2009/2010.

In 2010, Thomas joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr Kent Hunter’s research group, studying metastasis susceptibility in mouse models of breast cancer. Employing the latest genetic mapping tools developed by the Collaborative Cross consortium, he designed an in vivo genome-wide genetic screen for stromal metastasis regulators. He received an NCI Director’s Innovation Award 2012 for his project, which revealed numerous novel potential metastasis regulator genes in the host tumor microenvironment.

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