Dr. Michael Höckel’s career epitomizes the harmonious fusion of scientific inquiry and clinical practice, resulting in tangible benefits for countless patients. Born in 1950, Dr. Höckel was socialized and educated in the Rhein-Main area, West Germany. He studied chemistry and medicine at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz and was trained in obstetrics and gynecology at the University Hospital. His clinical career terminated with the chairman position of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Leipzig, former East Germany, held from 1998-2017.

In his professional work, he strived to combine the logic of scientific argument with clinical practice. First attempts included the use of biologicals for therapeutic angiogenesis to overcome tissue hypoxia in surgical flaps. The hypoxia issue paved the way to pathophysiology and finally pathoanatomy of malignant tumors as prerequisites for cancer surgery.

From the analysis of locoregional carcinoma spread patterns in the context of current insights into metazoan evolution and development, tissue regeneration and peripheral immune tolerance, he deduced a morphogenesis model as foundation of ontogenetic anatomy and the ontogenetic cancer field model, clinically translated into novel surgeries to treat gynecologic cancer with better outcome.

2Dr. Höckel’s remarkable journey reminds us that a single individual’s passion and dedication can have a profound and lasting impact extending far beyond the research lab and operating room. His receipt of the IGCS Lifetime Achievement Award is a testament to a lifetime dedicated to clinical research and surgical innovation in pursuit of improving the lives of women affected by gynecologic cancers everywhere.