Heisenberg Professorship for CRC 841 scientist Prof. Dr. Jörg Heeren
21 September 2015
He wants to better understand the obesity-related diseases of civilization: Prof. Dr. Jörg Heeren, principal investigator within our CRC 841, is awarded a Heisenberg professorship in the field of immuno-metabolism by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The professorship, located at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IBMZ) of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), is initially funded for five years by the DFG and subsequently permanently funded by the Medical Faculty of the University of Hamburg. Prof. Heeren’s projects focus on a hot topic in the field of inflammation and obesity research: How do metabolically active organs such as the liver and heart become ill as a result of overweight?
In Germany, about 20 percent of the population are severely overweight, with an upward trend. Obesity-related diseases, such as atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes or non-alcoholic fatty liver inflammation (NASH), are thus an increasing challenge for physicians and the health care system. In order to develop new therapeutic options, a better understanding of the development and progression of such diseases are urgently needed.
“We know that chronic inflammation caused by obesity and related disorders in fat and glucose metabolism plays a decisive part,” explains Prof. Dr. Jörg Heeren. “However, the exact molecular and cellular mechanisms and the interaction with the immune system are poorly understood. One reason is that inflammatory and metabolic research had been viewed as two strictly separated fields in the past; the newly emerged interdisciplinary research field of immuno-metabolism therefore opens up promising prospects for the future”.
Within CRC 841, Prof. Heeren investigates the inflammatory processes leading to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). For more information about the project B6: TREM-2 as a regulatory factor of metabolic liver inflammation and NASH progression.
In a video interview, Prof. Heeren explains what we know about the effects of fats in our body and especially in the liver (in German only):