Welcome to the 6th AEK Autumn School 2024

Elmar WolfDear colleagues and cancer scientists,

Encouraged by the success of the previous Autumn Schools, it is our great pleasure to announce the 6th AEK Autumn School to be held in Eggersdorf near Berlin from November 4th to 6th, 2024.

The Autumn School is organized by the Experimental Cancer Research Section of the German Cancer Society ("Abteilung Experimentelle Krebsforschung", AEK), which represents the majority of experimental cancer researchers in Germany. The main goal of the AEK is to stimulate scientific exchange in cancer research and to support young cancer researchers.

The 6th AEK Autumn School addresses a particularly exciting and rapidly developing area of current experimental and clinical cancer research:

Degradation of oncogenic proteins by PROTACs and Glues: Towards clinical application

New technologies such as genome sequencing and genetic screens have led to an explosion of knowledge about tumor-causing mutations and processes in recent years. As a result, the understanding of oncogenic targets, defined as proteins on which tumors depend and whose inhibition has a therapeutic effect, has increased significantly. However, the therapeutic exploitation of this knowledge is often limited by the fact that only a minority of the newly identified targets can be blocked by conventional, i.e. monovalent, inhibitors. Thus, targeted therapies are mainly directed against proteins with enzymatic activity, leaving about 80% of the intracellular proteome undruggable. This limitation is largely overcome by the concept of "degrader molecules". These compounds, known as PROTACs or molecular glue degraders, bind to their target and a cellular E3 ligase, thereby inducing target ubiquitylation and degradation. Despite its novelty, the concept of degrader molecules has transformed the development of targeted cancer therapies and the first PROTACs and molecular glues are already in clinical development and testing.

The format with nationally and internationally renowned speakers, a limited number of participants, and the outstanding conference venue will allow for in-depth and comprehensive discussions in an inspiring environment. We are delighted that the Autumn School will be held for the first time in Eggersdorf, a picturesque lakeside location surrounded by nature, yet close to the German capital and cultural center of Berlin.

We are grateful to the German Cancer Society (Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft) and German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) for their support, enabling us to organize this Autumn School and allowing us to provide travel bursaries for the three participants with the best scientific contributions.

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 25. All abstract submitters are cordially invited to present a poster as well as a short lecture.

We hope you will enjoy the 6th AEK Autumn School's exciting scientific program in an inspiring environment. We are confident that you will return from the conference with many new insights and ideas, as well as with new friends and scientific contacts that will enrich your further scientific work.

Kind regards,
Prof. Dr. Elmar Wolf