Genrich Tolstonog (MD, PhD) is currently an investigator at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, CHUV (Lausanne) and leader of the research project on the local recurrence / cancer stem cells project . Dr. Tolstonog studied medicine and natural sciences at the Russian State Medical University in Moscow, Russia and received his MD in 1993. He earned in 1997 his PhD in cell biology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Cell Biology, Ladenburg and Heidelberg University (Germany) under the supervision of Prof. Peter Traub and continued as a postdoctoral researcher to work on the nuclear function of cytoplasmic intermediate filament proteins. In 2004, he joined the team of Prof. Wolfgang Deppert at the Heinrich-Pette-Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology in Hamburg (Germany), where he contributed as a project leader to further developing the concept of gain-of-function of mutant p53 in cancer cells. In 2012, Dr. Tolstonog moved to Lausanne to establish together with Prof. Christian Simon a research laboratory at the CHUV dedicated to basic, preclinical and clinical research on head and neck cancer. Dr. Tolstonog and his colleagues developed preclinical models of head and neck cancer that closely recapitulate the course of human disease under standard-of-care therapy including surgery. These models served to explore the cellular processes leading to relapses after tumor resection, in particular, to investigate evolutionary clonal dynamics in head and neck cancer and the role of clonal heterogeneity in the emergence of postsurgical local recurrences. In the current studies, Dr. Tolstonog and his colleagues aim at developing effective therapeutic approaches for tumor relapse prevention by elucidating the mechanisms underlying tumor regrowth after treatment by surgery alone or in combination with other treatment modalities, thereby improving the outcome in head and neck cancer patients.