Prof. Dr. Rita Schmutzler
Professor Rita Schmutzler is senator of the Helmholtz Association for the Research Field Health and Director of the National Center for Familial Tumor Diseases.
As specialist in the care of individuals with a familial burden of gynecological tumor diseases such as breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, she began her scientific career by studying human medicine at the University of Bonn. After her doctorate and various research stays in the USA as well as her further training in gynecology and obstetrics, she took over the management of several externally funded projects on the identification and diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic significance of breast cancer-associated risk genes by the German Cancer Aid, the DFG and the BMBF in 1994. In the same year, she began the establishment and management of the Center for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer at the Women's Hospital of the University of Bonn. From 1994 to 1997, she habilitated in the field of gynecology and obstetrics on the topic of molecular genetic alterations in sporadic breast carcinoma within the framework of a DFG fellowship. In 2003, Schmutzler was appointed Endowed Professor of German Cancer Aid for Molecular Gyneco-Oncology at the Women's Hospital of the University of Cologne. Also since 2003, she has been a university professor and head of the focus on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer at the Women's Hospital of the University of Cologne. Since 2005, she has been coordinator of the German Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer and has successfully promoted to establish risk-adapted prevention for these cancers as a benefit of statutory health insurance. Since 2014 she has been Director of the Center for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer and since 2015 Director of the National Center for Familial Tumor Diseases at the CIO of the University Hospital of Cologne.
Rita Schmutzler's research interests in gynecological oncology have made her an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of risk-adapted cancer prevention. Her research results could be directly applied to improve patient care, for which she was awarded the German Cancer Award, Translational Part, in 2020 and the Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2021. In addition, Rita Schmutzler performs a wide range of expert activities and is active in various expert committees of scientific organizations and professional societies.