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Barth Group

BARTH, Prof Dr Dr Stefan - Position presently held
South African Research Chair in Cancer Biotechnology, Tier 1 (NRF 47904)

Research interests
Knowledge-driven development of disease-specific diagnostic and therapeutic fusion proteins

Main areas of research/expertise
Medical biotechnology, antibody technologies, protein engineering, immunodiagnostics, bioassay development & integration, immunotherapeutics, targeted human cytolytic fusion proteins, SNAP-tag based fusion proteins, ex vivo / in vivo targeting

Biosketch
Tier 1 South African Research Chair in Cancer Biotechnology hosted by the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) and the Department of Integrated Biomedical Sciences, awarded by the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), administered through the National Research Foundation (NRF) (since 2015). Full professor in the Department of Integrated Biomedical Sciences at University of Cape Town and full member at the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine IDM (since 2015). University Professor for Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapy at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University, Germany (2006-2015). Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Product Development at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Aachen, Germany (2000-2015). Habilitation in Experimental Internal Medicine (2001), DMSc in Experimental Medicine (Dr. rer. medic.) at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany (1997), PhD in biology (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Institute of Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology of Plants, University of Bonn, Germany (1994), MSc in Biology at the University of Bonn, Germany (1991).

Prof. Barth is co-founder of CURIT Biotech SA (PTY) Ltd; was co-founder of Pharmedartis GmbH (HRB 13916) and TOXAVIS GmbH (HRB 61471; financing POCDIA GmbH (HRB 9178) and TOXAVIS Pharmaceuticals GmbH (HRB 62750)), start-up companies in the areas of biotechnology and medical technologies. He is/was member in different scientific societies including e.g. German Society for Haematology and Oncology, German Cancer Society, European Association for Cancer Research and the British Society of Immunology. He has acted as reviewer for different funding societies including German Research Foundation (DFG), Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, Wilhelm Sander Foundation, Bavarian Research Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, Austrian Science Fund, Dutch Cancer Society, Worldwide Cancer Research. He also served as reviewer for different scientific journals including Cancer Letters, Biological Chemistry, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Haematologica, Journal of Controlled Release, International Journal of Cancer, PLOS ONE, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Oncology, Apoptosis, mAbs, Biomaterials, Theranostics, and Nature Methods. He received a Tier 1 South African Research Chair in Cancer Biotechnology, 1st prize in Boehringer Ingelheims InnoCentive Challenge for novel treatment approaches to stop the allergic march towards asthma, eight 1st poster prizes at international conferences and three 1st funding prizes for the business concept of Pharmedartis. He is continuously invited to international conferences and workshops in scientific areas including medical biotechnology, immunotherapy, and others. 

Prof. Barth started his work in medical biotechnology in 1994 and was managing a research group of up to 60 members in Germany until March 2015. Research was exclusively funded by grants and soft funded members were composed of Fraunhofer as well as University employees. During the last about 20 years of work in the field of medical biotechnology he successfully applied for about 60 funded projects in Germany, 10 in South Africa, and 1 in Brazil, thus raised R443.133.016 (21.889.000 € (R386.938.761) in Germany and R56.194.255 in South Africa), filed 34 different patent family applications (the first 22 are granted – mainly US & EU) in total 172 individual patent applications, wrote 187 peer-reviewed publications with a cumulative total IF of >740 (h-Index: 36, i10.index: 131) with >200.000 downloads from journal homepages, >34.000 views at Mendeley, >27.000 reads in Research Gate, and >5.000 citations in Google Scholar, and supervised 145 students (92 bachelor/master, 53 PhD/MD). 27.6 % of the former PhD students are working in academia, 60 % in industry including Bayer, Covagen, Ganymed, Grünenthal, Janssen, Limmatech, Miltenyi, Morphosys, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis including e.g. Sales and Marketing Director of Milenyi Biotech, Project Leader Mass Spectrometry at Evotec, Senior Director Corporate Portfolio Management at Grünenthal, Senior Scientist at F-star Biotechnology, Director External Innovation at Covagen, Patent Lawyer at König Szyka Tilman von Renesse, Senior Director, Business Development & Licensing at Bayer Healthcare, to specify a few.

During the first five years since establishing a laboratory at IDM in July 2016, he directly supervised a total of 60 students (8 PostDocs, 15 PhD, 12 MSc, 12 Hons, 13 Interns) and graduated 11 Hons students, 2 MSc students, 1 MSc upgraded to PhD, and 2 PhD students; in 2020 2 MSc and 6 PhD students will submit their theses. In 2021 he is directly supervising 33 students (2 PostDocs, 12 PhD, 9 MSc, 3 Interns and 7 WIL).