Prof. Dr. Franz Blaes

Justus-Liebig-University, Germany

Modification of onconeuronal antigens in the neuroblastoma of paraneoplastic OMS by free RNA

Dr. Blaes has been a Pablove Childhood Cancer Grant recipient from 2015-2017. He investigates a rare condition called opsoclonus-myoclonus-syndrome (OMS) and neuroblastoma-immune system interactions from his laboratory in Germany. His interest in the disease started during a post-doc in the Neuroscience group, Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford under the supervision of Angela Vincent and Bethan Lang (another Pablove researcher!). In 2000, he established an OMS research group at Justus-Liebig-University and was also a co-founder of the German OMS parents group. Today, Dr. Blaes is head of the neurological department at the Gummersbach academic teaching hospital and still runs his research group.



What is Prof. Dr. Franz Blaes currently researching?

Modification of Onconeuronal Antigens in the Neuroblastoma of Paraneoplastic OMS by Free RNA: “Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome, also known as dancing eye syndrome, is a severe disease of the brain. Children with OMS may have uncontrollable eye movement, muscle jerks, and coordination problems. Half of all children with OMS also have neuroblastoma, a tumor that is one of the most frequent childhood cancers. Some research suggests that when the immune system attacks the neuroblastoma tumor, it mistakenly triggers OMS in children. In our research project with Pablove, we are interested in finding out how the immune attack starts in the neuroblastoma tumor. We are investigating how RNA, a kind of genetic material, might be responsible for the immune response against neuroblastoma and against the brain of OMS children.” – Dr. Blaes

This grant is funded by the Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome Research Fund. Learn more about our Named Funds at

Awarded in 2015, 2016