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The Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology Mainz (HI-TRON Mainz) is a joint venture of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in cooperation with the Research Institute for Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (TRON gGmbH), the University Medical Center Mainz (UM) and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The main goal is to combine the internationally outstanding expertise of these partners in the field of personalized immunotherapy in Mainz with the comprehensive spectrum of cutting-edge cancer research at the DKFZ. HI-TRON Mainz aims to position itself among the world-leading centers for personalized cancer immuno-oncology.

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The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is the largest cancer research institute in Europe and a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. In over 90 divisions and research groups, our more than 3,000 employees, of which more than 1,200 are scientists, are investigating the mechanisms of cancer, are identifying cancer risk factors and are trying to find strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They are developing novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful.



TRON – Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz GmbH is a biopharmaceutical research organization that pursues new diagnostics and drugs for the treatment of cancer. A focus of TRON is the development of novel platforms for individualized therapies and biomarkers, translating basic research into drug applications. TRON partners with academic institutions, biotech companies and the pharmaceutical industry, executing research with leading-edge technologies and supporting the development of innovative drugs to promote human health.



The University Medical Center Mainz stands for a close integration of top-level medicine, research and teaching. As the only University Medical Center in Rhineland-Palatinate, the University Medical Center in Mainz is already making tomorrow's medicine today - because it ensures that the latest findings of medical research reach the patient quickly.



With around 31,000 students from over 120 nations, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is one of the largest and most diverse universities in Germany. JGU unites almost all academic disciplines under one roof, including the Mainz University Medical Center, the Mainz Academy of Fine Arts, the Mainz School of Music, and the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies in Germersheim.


HI-TRON Mainz aspires to revolutionize cancer therapy, particularly with personalized approaches turning the patient‘s immune system into powerful weapons against cancer.


HI-TRON Mainz aspires to revolutionize cancer therapy, particularly with personalized approaches turning the patient‘s immune system into powerful weapons against cancer.

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HI-TRON Mainz has three standing committees: a Board of Trustees, a Steering Committee (SC) and a Scientific Management Board (SMB).
Besides, the HI-TRON Mainz has a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Board of Trustees

Chair: Dr. Barbara Ohnesorge (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
Miriam Hirsch (Ministry of Science and Health Rhineland-Palatinate)

Steering Committee

Chair: Prof. Dr. Michael Baumann (DKFZ)
Michael Föhlings (TRON gGmbH)
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Förstermann (University Medical Center Mainz)
Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Prof. Dr. Dirk Jäger (DKFZ)
Ursula Weyrich (DKFZ)

Scientific Management Board

University Medical Center Mainz

Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Schild


Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin


Prof. Dr. Özlem Türeci


PD Dr. Niels Halama


Dr. Guoliang Cui


Prof. Dr. Michael Platten

Administrative Coordination HI-TRON Mainz

Dr. Julia Neuhaus

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Ivan Đikić (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Prof. Dr. Olivera Finn (University of Pittsburgh)
Prof. Dr. Claudia Lengerke (University Medical Center Tübingen)
Prof. Dr. Cornelis J.M. Melief (Prof. Emeritus Leiden University Medical Center and ISA Pharmaceuticals’)


Latest news

copyright UM / Peter Pulkowski


ERC-Förderung: Wie Muskeln die antivirale Immunität unterstützen

Mit seinen „ERC-Consolidator Grants" unterstützt der Europäische Forschungsrat (ERC) exzellente Wissenschaftler beim Ausbau ihrer unabhängigen Karriere. Guoliang Cui vom Deutschen Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) kann sich nun über diese prestigeträchtige ERC-Förderung freuen. Mit den zwei Millionen Euro Fördermitteln will der Immunologe erforschen, wie die Skelettmuskulatur bei chronischen Virusinfekten das Immunsystem unterstützt. Cui leitet eine Forschungsabteilung, die am DKFZ als Träger des Helmholtz-Instituts für Translationale Onkologie* (HI-TRON) Mainz angesiedelt ist.



Uǧur Șahin baut Abteilung am HI-TRON Mainz auf

Der Immunologe, Krebsforscher und Unternehmer Uǧur Șahin baut am Helmholtz-Institut „HI-TRON Mainz" eine wissenschaftliche Abteilung für mRNA-basierte Krebs-Immuntherapie auf. Im HI-TRON Mainz kooperieren das Deutsche Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), die TRON gGmbH als eine Tochtergesellschaft der Universitätsmedizin Mainz, die Universitätsmedizin Mainz und die Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Ziel der Partnerschaft ist es, wirksame Immuntherapien zu entwickeln, neue Biomarker für die Behandlung von Tumorerkrankungen zu identifizieren und so die personalisierte Krebstherapie weiter voran zu bringen.


Research Area 1

Personalized biomarker research

HI-TRON Mainz will set a focus on the discovery of therapeutic targets and biomarkers for personalized cancer immunotherapy with special emphasis on the multiomic characterization of individual tumor profiles to gain a better understanding of the inter-relationship of tumor antigenicity, tumor microenvironment and immune response. Integrated bioinformatic solutions will be implemented for prompt analysis and interpretation of personalized OMICS data.

Picture: © Jürgen Arlt,

Research Area 2

Innovative immunotherapies

HI-TRON Mainz is dedicated to the development of innovative immunotherapy concepts and their preclinical exploration. Precision immunotherapeutics such as individualized RNA vaccines and engineered T cells targeting neoantigens will be complemented by personalized approaches based on biomarker profiling. Testing of combinatorial approaches in novel model systems is informing the selection of synergistic combinatorial approaches.

Research Area 3

Clinical translation and implementation

The HI-TRON Mainz partners will establish a Clinical Implementation platform (CIP) to foster clinical translation and implementation of personalized cancer immunotherapy studies. The CIP will particularly focus on the early clinical testing and iterative optimization of individualized treatment approaches. It will act as the cooperation interface for scientists and physicians involved in clinical research, ensuring rapid translation and continuous improvement of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches within the framework of clinical trials.

Picture: © Jürgen Arlt,

Technology Platforms

Technology Platforms make their technical and methodological know-how available within the framework of projects conducted at HI-TRON Mainz. The T-Cell Discovery Platform is the first of HI-TRON Mainz’s Technology Platforms and is headed by Dr. Michael Volkmar. Here, cancer-specific T-cell receptor candidates are to be identified, isolated and functionally characterized.


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HI-TRON Mainz Kick-Start Seed Funding Program 2021

In order to expand and develop groundbreaking ideas, HI-TRON Mainz opened a call for innovative Kick-Start Seed Funding projects starting in 2021. The funding program aims at facilitating the rapid transfer of scientific findings into clinical applications and to foster synergies between scientists based in Mainz and Heidelberg. The HI-TRON Mainz Kick-Start Seed Funding Program provides seed funding to cross-institutional projects with a clear clinical translational focus and path towards implementation in patient care.


The current job advertisements are available over the following links.



Coming soon.


Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology Mainz (HI-TRON Mainz)
- A Helmholtz Institute by DKFZ
Obere Zahlbacherstr. 63
Building 911
55131 Mainz
Phone: 06131-2161 141
Mail: hitron-mainz[at]

By public transport

From Mainz main station you can reach us with the bus lines 62, 67, 69, 76, 92, 652 and 660 and get off at the stop “Universitätsmedizin”. You will find yourself directly in front of the main entrance to the University Medical Center Mainz and only need to cross the street to get to HI-TRON Mainz. Access and exit are barrier-free as the buses all have low-floor technology and boarding ramps.
From Mainz main station, you can reach us with tram lines 50, 52 and 53. Get off at the stop “Am Gautor”. From there it is about ten minutes' walk to HI-TRON Mainz.

By car

From the motorway junction Mainz-Süd continue towards the city centre and then follow the signs "Universitätsklinikum". Please park preferably in the nearby multi-storey car park "Am Augustusplatz". The entrance to the parking garage is "Am Römerlager".

By plane

There are two airports located in the vicinity of Mainz: Frankfurt Airport and Frankfurt Hahn Airport. Please take trains to Mainz main station and continue your travel as explained above.

Copyright © 2020 HI-TRON Mainz
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Copyright © 2020 HI-TRON Mainz
Data privacy protection

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