Peter Hans Hofschneider Professorship for CRC 841 Scientist

26 March 2012
Samuel Huber, MD, of the Collaborative Research Centre 841 (CRC 841) has been awarded with the Peter Hans Hofschneider Professorship for Molecular Medicine 2012 conferred by the Swiss foundation “Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin”. The 33 year old physician convinced the international jury with his research on Interleukin 22, a messenger of immune cells.
The experts were impressed by the high quality of the results and the excellent talk. In its statement for Samuel Huber, the foundation advisory board highlighted the enthusiasm that Huber shows to his work. ”I am very honoured and delighted with the award. The endowed professorship enables me to realize my research projects during the next few years”, says Huber. The award includes the personal salary equivalent to that of an assistant professor, one graduate student position and CHF 50,000.00 for running costs. The funding is initially limited to three years; an extension for another two years is possible. Professor Dr. Ansgar Lohse, spokesman of the CRC 841 and Medical Director of the I. Department of Internal Medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) congratulated the young physician: “This is an exceptional award for his research activities and underscores the scientific value of Dr. Samuel Huber’s group for the CRC 841.”
Together with his research group, Huber investigates Interleukin 22 (IL-22), a messenger of the immune system. IL-22 can protect damaged tissues by inducing wound healing. However, IL-22, notably in high concentrations, can also increase the risk for the development of cancer. Huber wants to find out how IL-22 is regulated. “There is a decoy receptor that binds IL-22, the IL-22 binding protein (IL-22BP)”, explains the physician. “When IL-22 binds to this receptor, it is neutralized.” In response to tissue damage, an excess of IL-22 is produced but less IL-22BP, thus increasing the activity of IL-22. However, thus far the cellular sources of IL-22 and IL-22BP and the regulation of their synthesis are not clear. Furthermore, the scientist investigates whether IL-22BP may help to prevent cancer.
The professorship is conferred every other year by the Swiss foundation “Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin” in honour of the life-time achievements of Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Hans Hofschneider. The work of Hofschneider, who deceased in 2004, had a major impact on the research field of Molecular Medicine. The Peter Hans Hofschneider professorship is dedicated to young scientists who have made outstanding scientific achievements in the field of Molecular Medicine. It allows scientists to build up an own independent research group.
The award ceremony will be held on June 29th at a mini symposium in Hamburg.