Keynote speakers

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Olaf Witt is the Director of the Translational Program of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), Division Head of the CCU Pediatric Oncology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and the Section Head of the Phase I/II Clinical Trial Unit and Brain Tumors Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, Immunology and Pulmonology at the University Hospital Heidelberg. He studied medicine at the Universities of Münster, Hamburg and Michigan, USA and is specialized in the field of pediatrics, neonatal medicine and pediatric oncology and hematology. Olaf Witt started his scientific career at the University of Göttingen Medical School and was appointed to his current position as a full professor for pediatric oncology in 2005.


Professor Witt’s major interest is the identification of biomarkers for response prediction in precision medicine as well as in developing rationale treatment combination strategies to overcome resistance in pediatric oncology. Since 2015, Olaf Witt is coordinating the (inter)national precision program in pediatric oncology termed “INFORM” (INdividualized Therapy FOr Relapsed Malignancies in Childhood) and based on this is developing innovative phase I/II biomarker driven combination basket trials series termed “INFORM2”. He is coordinating investigator of the pan-European low grade glioma phase III trial (LOGGIC Europe Trial) study group and elected board member of the German Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH). He is author of more than 150 publications.

Dr. Jinghui Zhang is the inaugural Chair of Department of Computational Biology and Endowed Chair of Bioinformatics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her research is to understand the effect of genomic variants on initiation and progression of pediatric cancer. Using innovative genomic analysis tools developed in her lab, she discovered novel targetable fusions in high-risk leukemia and brain tumors leading to new clinical trials. Her analysis on germline cancer susceptibility mutations in pediatric cancer led to a recommendation of genetic testing on every patient. She mapped the genomic landscape of >20 subtypes of pediatric cancer while her pan-cancer study unveiled major differences between pediatric and adult cancer genomes, emphasizing the need for developing distinct therapeutic approaches. She has led the development of an integrative clinical sequencing platform with analytics advocating incorporating whole-genome sequencing for pediatric oncology testing. She developed St Jude Cloud, an ecosystem for accessing, analyzing and visualizing 1.2PB omics data from >10,000 pediatric cancer patients. Dr. Zhang was a recipient of the 2019 American Association of Cancer Research Team Science Award and Microsoft Healthcare Innovation Award. She was also named the Digital Edge 50 for 2019 for her work on St Jude Cloud.

Andreas von Deimling received his basic medical education in the city of Freiburg, Germany. Clinical training began with a first residency at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, in 1988 followed by a research program in the Neuro-Oncology Department of the Massachusetts General Hospital from 1990 to 1992. Neuropathology training was completed in the Department of Neuropathology at the University of Bonn from 1992 to 1994. From 1995 to 1988 he served there as consultant and was awarded the endowed “Schilling Professorship”. In 1998, he was appointed as Director of Neuropathology at the Charité, Humboldt University, in the city of Berlin. This was followed by relocation to the city of Heidelberg in 2007, accompanied by a combined appointment as director of Neuropathology at the University of Heidelberg and director of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuropathology at the German Cancer Institute. His scientific focus is on molecular tumor neuropathology with special attention to developing diagnostic tools and algorithms. This included the mutation specific antibodies H09 targeting the IDH1-R132H and VE1 targeting the BRAF-V600E mutations. Recent work focused on a methylation based classification systems for brain tumors and sarcomas. He is a member of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina).

Dr. Cynthia Hawkins obtained her MD/PhD from Western University. She completed her residency training in neuropathology at the University of Toronto, including a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Zurich. Dr. Hawkins is a Neuropathologist and the Medical Director of Translational Molecular Pathology at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She is also a Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute, a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at The University of Toronto and holds a Garron Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research.    

Dr. Hawkins’ clinical practice specializes in pediatric neuropathology. She is best known for her expertise in pediatric brain tumors and has a research lab devoted to pediatric glioma. Her research interests include molecular pathogenesis and therapeutics for pediatric glioma and clinical implementation of novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic markers for pediatric brain tumors. As a neuropathologist, Dr. Hawkins has been instrumental in translating high impact genomic research into the clinic using emerging technologies. Dr. Hawkins’ research defined the clinical relevance of histone mutations and the genetic and epigenetic landscape of pediatric midline glioma/ diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas as well as infant glioma. The Hawkins lab has published multiple landmark studies concerning the prevalence, oncogenic function and clinical relevance of histone mutations as well as the discovery of a novel cancer gene, ACVR1.

Dr. Bouffet is an Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics in the University of Toronto. He was the Head of the Neuro-oncology Section in the Division of Haematology/Oncology at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto from 2000 till 2022 and the Garron Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research between 2011 and 2022. He graduated in 1980 from medical school at the University of Lyon and worked as paediatric oncologist in Lyon, Bristol, London and then Toronto where he moved in 2000 to develop the Paediatric Neuro-oncology Program within the Division of Haematology/Oncology. He is an Emeritus Senior Associate Scientist in the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children. His research interests are in the area of novel treatments and clinical trials in children with brain tumours and implementation of neuro-oncology programs in countries with limited resources. He is author or co-author of over 600 peer-reviewed manuscripts and author/co-author on numerous book chapters in the field of neuro-oncology. He was President of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (2016-2019) and is Member of the Board of Directors of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and the GFAOP (Franco-African Group of Paediatric Oncology).


For questions regarding the scientific programme, please contact Johanna Sandgren:

For questions regarding registration, please contact the conference administration secretariat, Academic Conferences:

For questions and support regarding abstract submission, please contact the conference administration secretariat, Academic Conferences:

Important dates

5 Sep 2022

Abstract submission opens

14 Nov 2022

Extended deadline abstract submission

21 Nov 2022

Notification of acceptance

22 Nov 2022

Registration closes

1-2 Dec 2022

Barntumörbanken Symposium

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