DZL PhD student Lars Lunding received two awards at the 55th Annual Congress of the German Respiratory Society.
Dr. Lars Lunding was awarded the prize for the best PhD thesis in the field of pneumology by the Deutsche Lungenstiftung e. V. The prize of 3.000 € was awarded at the 55th Annual Congress of the German Respiratory Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pneumologie und Beatmungsmedizine e.V., DGP) which took place this year in Bremen. Lunding is member of the research group of Prof. Heinz Fehrenbach (Forschungszentrum Borstel, DZL site ARCN) and works on the influence of the immune system on the development of allergic asthma. He received his doctoral degree from the University Lübeck in 2013 for his thesis „The role of the interleukin 1/Toll like receptor-superfamily in the immunopathogenesis of allergic asthma”. Lunding was supervised by Dr. Michael Wegmann who established his independent DZL Junior Research Group in the same year. “A major finding from my thesis is that these receptors transduce signals that both inhibit and promote inflammation“, summarized Lunding. “This finding has substantial impact on the progression of allergic asthma.”
But that’s not all. At the same congress the DGP jury honored Lunding with a poster prize, granting him 2nd place among all conference contributions. He was therefore given the opportunity to present his new research project on asthma exacerbations – the acute aggravation of the disease – in a talk entitled „IL-17 producing NK cells are suspected to be critical for the IL-17 dependent, TLR-3-triggered aggravation of experimental asthma“. This work is being carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Wegmann, the DZL Junior Research Group Leader. Lunding found in a mouse model that inhalation of double-stranded RNA with viral origin is sufficient for triggering an exacerbation. „The elucidation of the exact mechanism might lead us to a better treatment of exacerbations in asthma“, says Lunding.