DZHK Conference 2019

Lucie Carrier

Professor of Functional Genomics of Cardiomyopathies | University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Germany

Lucie Carrier, PhD, is Professor of Functional Genomics of Cardiomyopathy at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and group leader of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research, partner site Hamburg/Kiel/Lübeck. Her main research interest is the genetics, pathophysiology and therapy of inherited sarcomeric cardiomyopathies, with expertise in the proteasome/autophagy systems, iPSC-disease modeling, gene editing and gene therapy.


Thomas Eschenhagen

Director | Department of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Germany

Thomas Eschenhagen is chairman of the Board of Directors of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research. He pioneered the engineered heart tissue (EHT) technology in 1994, which, in combination with human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes, provides a medium throughput assay for drug testing and hiPSC-based disease modeling. He is President-Elect of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR).


Terri Gaskell

Head of Programme Management | Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, London, UK

Terri Gaskell holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Dundee and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Edinburgh. Terri has 9 years of academic experience in cell and developmental biology followed by four years in senior roles in industrial R&D. She has now been at CGT Catapult for over five years where she is involved in strategy development and leads the team responsible for delivery of a diverse portfolio of cell and gene therapy projects.


Gary Gintant

Senior Research Fellow | Department of Integrative Pharmacology, Integrated Science and Technology, AbbVie, North Chicago, USA.

Dr. Gary Gintant is involved in multiple drug discovery and safety activities with a focus on translation of in vitro and in-vivo models to clinical findings. His research interests include cardiovascular pharmacology, cellular electrophysiology/ion channels, arrhythmias, human stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes and tissues, and biomarkers-translational medicine. He gained his PhD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.



Gerd Hasenfuß

Chair |Clinic for Cardiology and Pneumology and Heart Center Göttingen, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany

Gerd Hasenfuß is Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Since 2011 he is member of the Board of Directors of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research and since 2012 speaker of the SFB 1002, CRC (Collaborative Research Center) "Modulatory Units in Heart Failure". Dr. Hasenfuß has won several prizes and obtained a number of fellowships, awards and honours. He has been a Principal Investigator of several clinical trials.


Craig T. January

Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine | University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, USA

Dr. January’s pioneering research demonstrated an essential role of the L-type Ca++ channel and its 'window current' in generating early afterdepolarizations, a trigger for potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmias. His recent research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of the acquired and congenital long QT syndrome. He received his medical degree in 1976 and a doctorate in Physiology and Biophysics in 1978 from the University of Iowa.


Bert M. Klebl

Managing Director and Chief Scientific Officer | Lead Discovery Center, Dortmund, Germany

Bert Klebl has gathered almost 20 years of professional experience in the life sciences industry. Since 2008, he is the managing director and chief scientific officer of the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), a drug discovery incubator, which has been established by the Max-Planck Society. He earned his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Konstanz and did postdoctoral work at the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute in Montréal, Canada.


Esther Lutgens

Professor of Experimental Vascular Immunopathology | Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany

Esther Lutgens, is a Professor of Experimental Vascular Immunopathology at the LMU and at the Amsterdam UMC (AMC). She did both her MD and PhD studies in Medicine at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. During her post-doctoral training, she worked at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA and Dartmouth University, Hanover, USA. She received a Sofja Kovalevskaja grant in 2008, and started her laboratory at the RWTH, and later at the LMU. Prof. Lutgens focuses on the interactions of the immune system in cardiovascular disease.


Stefan Luther

DZHK Professor of Optical Imaging and Numerical Simulations, Head of Biomedical Physics Group | Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany

Stefan Luther is a DZHK professor at the University Medical Center Göttingen and head of the Biomedical Physics Group at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen. He studied physics in Hannover and Göttingen. During his postdoctoral training, he worked at the University of Twente, Netherlands, and at the Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His research focuses on modelling, imaging, and control of cardiac arrhythmias.


Timothy A. McKinsey

Associate Professor and Associate Division Head for Translational Research | School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Colorado, Aurora, USA

Dr. McKinsey is also Director of the University of Colorado's newly formed Consortium for Fibrosis Research & Translation (CFReT; www.cfret.org).  Prior to joining the university, Dr. McKinsey was Associate Director of Biology at Myogen/Gilead, where he was engaged in drug discovery for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.  Dr. McKinsey received his PhD from Vanderbilt and did postdoctoral training with Eric Olson at UT Southwestern in Dallas.


Patrick Most

Head of Molecular and Translational Cardiology | Department of Internal Medicine III | University of Heidelberg, Germany

Patrick Most is currently professor for molecular and translational cardiology at Heidelberg University and DZHK PI, partner site Heidelberg. His translational work focuses on ATMP/GTMP development for heart failure harnessing novel know-how about molecular cardiac performance control. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded e.g. the academic spin-off InoCard GmbH and worked for many years in successive biotechs in the cardiac gene therapy field.


Pierluigi Nicotera

Scientific Director and Chairman of the Executive Board | German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn, Germany

Pierluigi Nicotera is a renowned scientist and leading international expert in the field of neuronal cell death. He studied General Medicine, Cardiology and Biochemical Toxicology in Pavia and Stockholm. From 1995 to 2000 Nicotera headed the division of Molecular Toxicology at the University of Konstanz and was then appointed Director of the UK Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit. Since 2009 he is Scientific Director of DZNE in Bonn.



Benjamin L. Prosser

Assistant Professor of Physiology | University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA

Ben Prosser is an Assistant Professor of Physiology at Pennsylvania in the School of Medicine. He earned his B.S. in Biomechanics at Wake Forest before earning his Ph.D in Molecular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he also performed post-doctoral training in Molecular Cardiology under Dr. W. Jonathan Lederer. In 2014, Ben started his own research group focusing on Cardiac Mechanics and Mechanobiology. 



Thorsten Stafforst

Professor for Nucleic Acid Biochemistry | Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, Germany

Thorsten Stafforst studied chemistry in Göttingen and expanded to chemical biology and bio-engineering during his postdoctoral stay in Zürich. In 2011, he started his independent junior lab in Tübingen, supported by an ERC Consolidator Grant. Since 2016, he is permanent professor in Tübingen supported by a Heisenberg-Professur (DFG).


Holger Stark

Director of the Department Structural Dynamics | Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany

Prof. Stark is the director of the department of Structural Dynamics at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. His work focuses on new biochemical strategies for complex isolation and stabilization, improvement in electron microscopic imaging and development of novel software strategies for computational image analysis. He obtained his PhD from the Free University Berlin and did postdoctoral work at the Imperial College in London.


Martin Ungerer

Cardiologist- Chief Medical Officer | advanceCOR - Procorde, Martinsried, Germany

Martin Ungerer studied medicine in Munich, Germany and Marseille-Nice, France, and did his medical specialty training as a cardiologist at the German Heart Centre, Munich. During his postdoctoral training, he worked at the lab of Martin Lohse, Gene Center, Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried. Since 2000, he co-founded the biotech companies Procorde, Corimmun (which was sold to J+J-Janssen in 2012) and advancecor, all in Martinsried.


Jérôme Van Biervliet

Head of Discovery Sciences & Business Development | VIB - Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Ghent, Belgium

Dr. Van Biervliet has 20 years cross-disciplinary experience in the medical, business and biotech environments. He trained as a veterinary internal medicine specialist at Cornell University and continued with a PhD at VIB, finishing with a land-mark paper in Science. He is the current Head of Business Development of VIB’s Innovation & Business unit and founder and head of VIB Discovery Science, an internal drug discovery unit at VIB.


Veronika von Messling

Head of Directorate-General 6: Life Sciences | Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Berlin, Germany

Prof. Dr. Veronika von Messling, is Director General of the Life Science Division at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. After graduating from Veterinary School Hannover, she pursued postdoctoral training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA. She was Assistant Professor at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier in Laval, Canada, and then Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, before becoming Director of the Veterinary Division at Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Germany.


Kenneth Walsh

Lockhart B. McGuire Professor of Internal Medicine | University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA

Kenneth Walsh is the director of the Hematovascular Biology Center at the University of Virginia. The Walsh Lab broadly examines the molecular events that drive cardiovascular cell growth, differentiation and cell death. At the forefront of this science, his newest studies have investigated how clonal hematopoiesis functions as a new causal risk factor for CVD. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.


Florian Weinberger

Group Leader in the Department of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology | University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Germany

Florian Weinberger graduated from Hamburg Medical School in 2008 and received his training at the Charité Berlin, the UKE in Hamburg and the University of Washington. His recent work focuses on pluripotent stem cell derived engineered heart tissue (EHT) technology for cardiac repair applications and has shown that human EHT survive after transplantation, can couple to host myocardium and improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction.


Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann

Director, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology | University Medical Center Goettingen (UMG), Germany

Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann is a professor of pharmacology at the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG). Since 2011, he is the speaker of the DZHK partner site Göttingen. He studied medicine and molecular biology at the University of Hamburg, was appointed as Juniorprofessor for Cardiac Tissue Engineering in 2003 and completed his training in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2006. In 2008, he was appointed to his present position as director of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the UMG.