Prof. Dr. Susanne Herold. Photo: JLU/Rolf K. Wegst

LOEWE top professorship for Prof. Susanne Herold

News 2022-105 EN

Prof. Susanne Herold, a lung and infection researcher from Giessen, has been awarded a LOEWE top professorship and will receive funding of three million euros from the state of Hesse over the next five years. The grant will enable Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) to retain the renowned scientist, who has also become known to a wider audience as a corona expert since the beginning of the pandemic, in Giessen. Prof. Susanne Herold conducts research in an area of the highest social relevance and topicality: pneumonia is an often fatal widespread disease and a major factor in the development of acute respiratory failure.

"Prof. Susanne Herold is one of the key figures of Giessen's lung research and thus of a profile-defining focus area of Justus Liebig University Giessen," emphasizes JLU President Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee. "We are very pleased that we succeeded in convincing her to stay at JLU with the help of the support of the State of Hesse and the highly endowed LOEWE top professorship." The LOEWE funds will be used, among other things, to finance an additional professorship to be affiliated with Prof. Susanne Herold's department. In addition to the funding from the state, JLU and its Department of Medicine have also massively strengthened Prof. Susanne Herold's working environment.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weidner, Dean of the Department of Medicine, stated, "In the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic situation, we have all once again become aware of the relevance of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Prof. Susanne Herold ideally represents the highest scientific and clinical expertise in the field of viral lung infections, with her translational research approach including experimental studies in the lung."

Prof. Dr. Werner Seeger, Chairman of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) and Medical Director of the University Hospital Giessen and Marburg (UKGM), emphasized "I am very happy that it was possible to keep Prof. Susanne Herold at the Giessen site. Her research at the intersection of lung and infection has received the highest international attention, and her retention will further strengthen this research segment in Giessen"

Viral pathogens are becoming increasingly important as triggers for severe pneumonia. Currently, this is impressively illustrated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. But other pathogens, such as the highly pathogenic influenza viruses, are also triggers with pandemic potential. Another problem is the rapidly increasing global emergence of multi-resistant bacteria, which will be met for years by a complete lack of development of new antibiotics. At the new LOEWE top professorship for Internal Medicine with a focus on Clinical Infectiology and Experimental Pneumology, research will be conducted, among other things, on how to reduce tissue damage and accelerate tissue repair processes in pneumonia.

Prof. Susanne Herold is vice and site spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center "Innate Immunity of the Lung" and member of the steering committee of the only Hessian Cluster of Excellence „Cardio-Pulmonary Institute (CPI)". She received her PhD from JLU in 2003 and her Ph.D. in 2008. In 2010, she received her specialist accreditation in internal medicine and infectious diseases, followed by her habilitation on the mononuclear phagocyte system of the lung in acute pneumonia. In 2015, funded by the German Center for Lung Research, she became Professor of Acute Lung Failure at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. and thus at the same time at the University Hospital Giessen. In 2016, she passed another examination to become a specialist in pulmonary medicine. In 2018, Susanne Herold took over the professorship for infectious diseases of the lung and at the same time became department head of the focus on infectiology at the University Hospital Giessen. She leads the DFG-funded clinical research group KFO309 on virus-induced lung injury.

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