Renowned award for MHB thoracic surgeon

Neuruppin/Amsterdam, 18 June 2017

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Jungraithmayr, professor of thoracic surgery at the Brandenburg Medical School, was honoured with the renowned Walter Brendel Award as best lecturer at the 52nd Meeting of the European Society for Surgical Research (ESSR) in Amsterdam. The title of his lecture: "Induction of persistent tolerance to lung transplants by IL-2 complex-stimulated regulatory T cells in vivo".

Prof. Jungraithmayr describes the background of his lecture: “In 2009 we designed a mouse model for lung transplants and demonstrated that interleukin-2 complexes resulted in the generation of so called regulatory T lymphocytes, so that as a consequence the lung transplant was effectively and persistently protected from rejection by the recipient. This means that the recipient’s immune system does not recognize the lung transplant as foreign and thus ‘tolerates’ it; the receiving organism treats the transplant as its own. We now demonstrated this correlation for a period of up to two months in our study.”

Confirmation of these results in further studies would have a number of positive consequences for patients with lung transplants: “There would be no need for immunity-weakening medication which affects a patient’s immune response and may lead to severe infections and even tumours apart from a host of other serious side effects. We would not only avoid such severe effects and consecutive symptoms but be able to dramatically improve or even completely restore the patient’s quality of life.”

Prof. Jungraithmayr who holds an MHB professorship of thoracic surgery since 1 June 2017 welcomes the award for himself and his team from a medical association which in his opinion encourages and stimulates multidisciplinarity, internationality and the integration of science and surgery to an outstanding degree.

First presented in 1966, the Walter Brendel Award has become one of the most renowned and appreciated prizes in the European congress landscape. It reflects in quite a unique manner the integration of surgical practice and surgical science. Walter Brendel was a pioneer of experimental surgery and in 1966 was a co-founder of the ESSR and the congress which has been organized once per year ever since.

The ESSR committee selects the winner from a list of the six best congress contributions. Criteria are 1st scientific content and value, 2nd the ability to present findings in a plausible and understandable manner to all surgical disciplines, and 3rd the lecture style. The award includes the honour to present the lecture to affiliated associations in the United States, UK and South Africa.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Jungraithmayr (1st from left) receiving the award in Amsterdam