We proudly present the PhD Student of the Month November 2021, Maximilian Mair. He is enrolled in the N790 programme Clinical Neurosciences (CLINS) and works at the Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine I, and at the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Personalized Immunotherapy under the supervision of Anna Sophie Bergmeister-Berghoff and Matthias Preusser.

Maximilian’s research interests lie in the field of neuro-oncology. In his thesis project, he focuses on clinical and biological factors impacting the prognosis of WHO grade 2-3 gliomas, a group of brain tumors primarily affecting young adults. As the survival ranges from few months to more than 10 years, a precise estimation of survival is key to guide therapeutic decisions and aid patient counseling. By gaining a deeper understanding of tumor – immune system interactions and the (epi-)genetic profile of gliomas, he aims to identify novel markers which could reveal innovative treatment targets and support the design of future clinical trials. Beside his thesis project, he investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer who are at a particularly high risk of a severe course and mortality in case of a COVID-19 infection. Specifically, Maximilian evaluated the effects of protective measures such as SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and mobility restrictions in oncological patients.

Maximilian’s research efforts already led to numerous publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including first-author publications in the “Journal of Neuro-Oncology” and the top-ranked journals “ESMO Open”, “Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy”, “International Journal of Cancer” and most recently “JAMA Oncology”.