Leading expert in childhood cancer receives Rigshospitalet's international KFJ Award

Strengthened cooperation with one of the world's leading childhood-cancer experts and her research team is one of the key reasons for selecting this year's recipient of Rigshospitalet's international KFJ Award, Professor Mary Relling from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Prof. Mary Relling will receive Rigshospitalet's international KFJ Award on 11 November 2014 for her work to improve treatment for children suffering from leukaemia using customised medication, which has been Prof. Relling's primary research area for many years.

- This award is a great honour for our team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and sharing the award with Prof. Kjeld Schmiegelow and his colleagues from Rigshospitalet makes it even more special. We have known each other for many years, and I believe that we share many of the same scientific and clinical goals. My team and I have been working with Prof. Schmiegelow and his team for some time to improve international cooperation within genetic studies of acute lymphatic leukaemia, and I hope that this award will strengthen our cooperation, and that it will help form new working relationships with more research groups in Europe and in the rest of the world, said Prof. Relling.

Video interview

Obvious winner

Prof. Kjeld Schmiegelow, consultant at the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Rigshospitalet, explains why he has nominated Prof. Relling for the KFJ Award.

- It was obvious to me to point at Prof. Relling, because she is at the forefront in some of the areas we want to focus on in our research within childhood cancer. During her career, Prof. Relling has focussed on drug metabolism, including customised medication, side effects and on why children get leukaemia. I also believe that Prof. Relling agreed to cooperate with us because she is well aware that together we will be able to achieve far more than we ever could alone. Therefore, I'm very pleased that the panel of judges has chosen her, and thereby us, because our research supplements each other so well, explained Prof. Kjeld Schmiegelow.

Impressive publication profile

This is the fourth year in a row that the KFJ Award has been presented to a high-profile cooperation partner, and according to Jannik Hilsted, Chief Medical Officer at Rigshospitalet, this year the award is again being given to a very relevant researcher profile.

- Prof. Mary Relling is highly qualified academically, with a very impressive publication profile and an h-index of 76. We're certain that closer cooperation is of great importance to future development work within paediatric oncology at Rigshospitalet and in Denmark. We look forward to the continued close cooperation between Rigshospitalet, and Prof. Mary Relling and her research centre, said Jannik Hilsted, Chief Medical Officer and member of the panel of judges.

More specifically, future cooperation between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Rigshospitalet means that Prof. Mary Relling will visit Rigshospitalet twice a year, and a joint annual symposium will be organised. In addition, the two hospitals will have joint scholarships, PhD students and research protocols within childhood cancer.

About Rigshospitalet’s international KFJ Award

The award is presented every year to a highly profiled international cooperation partner. The DKK 1.5 million award has been donated by the Kirsten and Freddy Johansen Foundation. DKK 1.25 million must be spent directly on research, whereas award winners can spend the remaining DKK 250,000 as they themselves see fit.

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