The 2013 Oskar Medicine Prize was awarded to two DZL researchers from the UGMLC site, Prof. Dr. Andreas Günther and Prof. Dr. Philipp Markart. They shared prize for their pioneering work on interstitial lung diseases.
The award is granted by the Berlin-based Oskar-Helene-Heim Foundation (Stiftung) and comes with €50,000, making it one of the highest medicine prizes in Germany.
Interstitial lung diseases are of great clinical significance. There are more than 100 different forms of this heterogeneous disease, characterized primarily by inflammation and fibrosis of the thin tissue wall between alveoli (the pulmonary interstitium). The most common symptom of interstitial lung disease is shortness of breath which generally worsens as the disease progresses. The cause of most cases of interstitial lung disease is not known, making treatment particularly challenging. Current therapeutic options include anti-inflammatory agents, long-term oxygen therapy, and in severe cases, lung transplantation.
The award was granted to Profs. Günther and Markart in recognition of their research on the pathogenic mechanisms of interstitial fibrotic lung diseases. The ultimate goal of their research is the development of innovative therapies to combat this major public health problem. The 2013 Oskar Medicine Prize was presented during the 3rd Congress of the Scientific Working Group for the Treatment of Lung Diseases (WATL) on January 24, 2014 in Berlin.