DZL scientist is the first pneumologist to receive prestigious Else Kröner clinician scientist professorship

For his research in the area of lung fibrosis Dr. Jonas Schupp receives a Clinician-Scientist professorship of the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Foundation (EKFS).

Jonas Schupp is medical specialist in the Department of Respiratory Medicine and Infection Medicine at Hannover Medical School (MHH) and scientist in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) at its partner site BREATH. The pulmonologist researches chronic lung diseases and is now being funded with 1.1 million euros for a maximum of ten years.

It is the time that a Clinician Scientist professorship of EKFS is awarded to a pneumologist, and also the first for DZL. „With this award the EKFS honors the outstanding individual achievements of Jonas Schupp, for which I congratulate him immensely. At the same time it testifies the outstanding research environment at MHH and the DZL”, comments Professor Dr. Tobias Welte, Director of the Department of Respiratory Medicine and Infection Medicine at MHH and Director of the DZL.

"My goal is precision medicine,"says Jonas Schupp. "I want to develop new treatment approaches that are precisely tailored to the needs of each individual patient."

Precision medicine for targeted treatment

Jonas Schupp research focuses on interstitial lung disease. This disparate group of different lung diseases affects tissue around the alveoli. They can occur in many rheumatic diseases and after lung transplantation. The lung tissue becomes increasingly scarred and in many cases leads to pulmonary fibrosis, in which the lungs harden. The physician has long been dedicated to basic research in the field of the lungs. Before coming to the MHH and DZL in 2021, he already spent four years at the renowned Yale School of Medicine at Yale University in the USA researching pulmonary fibrosis

In order to understand what happens in the individual cells of the diseased organ, PD Dr Schupp uses modern technologies such as single cell RNA sequencing. Single-cell RNA sequencing technology makes it possible to analyse the genetic information translated into RNA of thousands of cells in a single sample. This makes it possible to better understand pathological changes at cellular level. With the help of "spatial transcriptomics", the altered cells in tissue sections can also be assigned to their spatial location. Thanks to this technology, the scientist has already discovered cell groups that only exist in diseased lung tissue, but not in healthy lungs. He now wants to use the new methods to find and test biomarkers for the early detection of lung diseases, the assessment of disease progression and new molecular therapeutic approaches.

Text: Kristen Pötzke, MHH / BREATH AZ

Foto: Jonas Schupp

PD Dr Jonas Schupp, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Infectiology at Hannover Medical School, DZL-PI at site BREATH