Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Heckl

Since 2016, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Heckl has been a fellow of the Max-Eder Program (German Cancer Aid) and heads a junior research group focused on functional genomics in leukemogenesis. In 2019, Prof. Heckl became the head of the Experimental Pediatrics group at the Martin-Luther-University in Halle (Saale). His research focuses on the complex interplay of oncogenic events during the malignant transformation process. Through the application of genome engineering approaches for disease modelling and drug target discovery, his central aim is to advance our understanding of acute myeloid leukemias and treatment options for this disease.

Dirk Heckl studied Plant Biotechnology (B.Sc., Leibniz University Hannover), Biomedicine (M.Sc., Hannover Medical School), and graduated with a Dr. rer. nat from the Molecular Medicine PhD program at Hannover Medical School. During his doctoral thesis, he investigated gene therapy treatment approaches for congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT), and completed an internship at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) in the laboratory of Professor David Williams. For his postdoctoral thesis, Dirk returned to Boston and investigated the molecular basis of leukemogenesis in the laboratory of Professor Benjamin Ebert (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA). There, he entered the field of genome editing and functional genomics, in which his research group now proceeds with technology- and application-driven approaches.

Honors
2007  Award for excellent performance in the Bachelor program Plant Biotechnology
2007  Student excellence award in the Master program Biomedicine
2007  Scientific Prize Lower Saxony 2007; Category III: Students
2008  Hannover Biomedical Research School stipend
2011  Dr. Mildred-Scheel fellowship of the German Cancer Aid
2016  Max-Eder junior research group fellow of the German Cancer Aid

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