Professor Kovar is head of the Molecular Biology of Solid Tumours group at St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute, Vienna, Austria.
His research is mostly laboratory-based and concentrates on Ewing sarcoma, one of the most common cancers of children and young adults. The team aims to link clinical observations to molecular patterns which can then be used to diagnose Ewing and suggest new treatment targets. Professor Kovar is investigating the cell type and developmental stage of Ewing sarcoma origin and how the cells can change and behave differently (plasticity).
He also seeks to describe the molecular changes caused by the Ewing fusion protein. If successful he aims at designing drugs to target these cells, destroying the tumour with fewer side effects. It will also help to understand why some patients are cured whilst others relapse and their cancer spreads. He uses cutting-edge gene editing, high-throughput screening for potential new drugs and 3D cell cultures to create Ewing models for research both within his own lab and with collaborators from multiple other centres.
Professor Kovar is scientific advisor to numerous international research institutions.