Research Leadership: Kay-Uwe Wagner, Ph.D.

Kay-Uwe Wagner, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored Feb. 2 at a ceremony for UNMC’s 2014 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Kay-Uwe Wagner, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor, Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases
  • Joined UNMC: 2000
  • Hometown: Eisenach, Germany

Describe your research briefly in layman’s terms.
My research team studies the biological function of genes that play a role in the development of breast and pancreatic cancer.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?

On a global scale, breast cancer affects a staggering 1.7 million women each year. Identification of genetic causes for various types of breast cancer is our overall objective. Genetic tools and research reagents that my team has generated are being used in laboratories around the world.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?

I cannot think of the best advice, but I have come to realize that life is indeed a journey, not a destination. I can never tell what tomorrow brings, since complex biological systems have a lot of secrets to reveal.

List three things few people know about you.

  • The year 2014 began for me with a performance as guitarist in a band at a local bar on New Year’s Eve.
  • My oldest daughter will be a member of the OAKE National Honors Choir in 2015 in Minneapolis.
  • While traveling, I developed a hobby of taking spherical images (street view) of famous landmarks and less-known places with my phone. Some of those can be viewed with geolocation on Google Maps Views.


  1. Sherry Martin says:

    Congratulations Dr. Wagner on your recent award. I am proud to be associated with you through the Eppley Institute and look forward to many more years of working for the same great organization. Oh by the way, I'm looking for a guitarist to back up my singing! Best of continued good fortune in your future!

  2. Kay says:

    Thanks Sherry! 🙂

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