For the fifth consecutive year, the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation (EKF) is awarding three Else Kröner Clinician Scientist Professorships, with one of them designated for the University Hospital of Cologne.
This year, one of the endowed professorships has been granted to PD Dr. Dr. Philipp Schommers at the University Hospital of Cologne's Clinic I for Internal Medicine and associated with the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne at the UNiversity of Cologne. Schommers focuses on enhancing the development and administration of anti-infective antibodies. Each professorship is funded with 1.1 million pounds for up to a decade, pending a favourable five-year interim evaluation.
Objective of awarding professorships to outstanding clinical scientists
In order to further advance application- and patient-oriented medical research, physicians should integrate clinical practice with research by pursuing careers as clinician scientists. Unfortunately, the attractiveness of the clinician scientist career pathway is limited due to a shortage of suitable follow-up positions once existing clinician scientist programs end.
As a potential solution, the EKFS has been awarded three Else Kröner Clinician Scientist Professorships each year since 2019. The professorships are each endowed with € 1.1 million for a maximum of ten years - subject to a positive evaluation after five years.
According to Professor Dr. Michael Madeja, Chairman of the EKFS Board, these professorships offer physicians with outstanding achievements in patient care and research the chance to dedicate half of their work hours to research, while the other half is allocated to teaching and long-term patient care. A multi-stage selection process resulted in the selection of three candidates from a pool of 19 applications.
PD Dr. Dr. Philipp Schommers (Clinic I of Internal Medicine) was selected for the professorship due to his outstanding excellence in patient care and research.
In his research, Philipp Schommer is dedicated to advancing and optimising to enhance antiviral therapies and vaccines. Over the past two decades, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have transformed the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. In recent years, there has been a surge in the development of mAbs that effectively target viruses and bacteria. These anti-infective mAbs exhibit unique characteristics that make them promising candidates for novel therapeutic and preventive approaches against a diverse array of viruses and bacteria. However, physicians currently lack extensive experience with this emerging class of medications for broader clinical applications
There is an urgent demand for innovative antibodies that can effectively combat a broad spectrum of pathogens, overcome resistance challenges, and demonstrate their safety and efficacy in rigorous clinical trials.
Schommers research activities implement the following strategies:
Schommers Laboratory of Antiviral Immunity