Press release 43/19 - 02.04.2019

Protease-Expertin für Lehrstuhl Biochemie & Molekularbiologie

Mit der Berufung von Prof. Dr. Regina Fluhrer zum 1. April 2019 sind im Institut für Theoretische Medizin an der Medizinischen Fakultät der Universität Augsburg fast alle grundlagenwissenschaftlichen Lehrstühle besetzt.

Augsburg / AR - The biochemist Prof. Dr. Regina Fluhrer yesterday took over the Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Augsburg’s Faculty of Medicine. The subject of biochemistry deals with the chemical and molecular biological processes in living things at cellular level. Biochemistry plays an important part in the elucidation and treatment of a number of diseases such as diabetes, but also in the development and effect of new cancer drugs. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is of great importance for the development of the Institute for Theoretical Medicine and thus for the launch of the Human Medicine study course at the University of Augsburg in October 2019. 


Move from the University of Munich to the University of Augsburg 

Prof. Dr. rer . nat. Regina Fluhrer, born in 1976, studied food chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich and the Technical University of Munich and successfully completed her doctorate in the biochemistry of Alzheimer's disease at the LMU in 2003. A post-doctoral qualification followed in 2008, focusing on enzymatic activity in cell membranes, also at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, where she has taught since 2015 as an adjunct professor in biochemistry and molecular biology. Since 2012, Fluhrer has been part of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), which is a registered association. In addition to the "Boehringer Ingelheim APOPIS Award for Young Scientists" in 2006, the biochemist was awarded the "2011 Prize for Good Teaching" by the Bavarian Minister of State for Science and the Arts. 

Research on proteases and associated diseases 
In her research, Fluhrer deals with proteases, that is, with enzymes that can cut other proteins. Not only are they critical to the diagnosis of numerous diseases, such as diseases of the digestive system, but also for their development. A particular group of proteases is active in the membrane of body cells and is involved, for example, in the development of Alzheimer's disease, infection with hepatitis viruses or malaria. In a current research project, the biochemist is testing possible effects of these proteases on the development and metastasis of tumours, as well as on sugar metabolism, and thus on possible effects in the context of diabetes. 

Influence of environmental factors on cancer 
However, environmental factors such as diet also affect enzymatic or chemical reactions at cellular level. These, in turn, may influence the future course of cancer. "Her studies, which focus inter alia on the connection between cancer and environmental influences, make our colleague Dr. Fluhrer an ideal candidate for our Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology," says President Prof. Dr. Sabine Doering-Manteuffel, because: "Her expertise in this area underpins the research focus on Environmental Health Sciences  with which we are breaking new ground in medical research and raising our national and international profile." 

Basic medical research at the Institute for Theoretical Medicine 
Together with the already occupied Chair of Physiology (Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schubert) and the Chair of Anatomy, for which an appointment is expected soon, biochemistry / molecular biology forms the nucleus of basic medical research at the Institute for Theoretical Medicine of the University of Augsburg’s Faculty of Medicine. The founding Dean of the Medical School, Prof. Dr. Martina Kadmon, comments as regards the successful first appointment to the Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: "An excellent basic researcher is coming to us in Augsburg in Prof. Fluhrer, who also has extensive experience of teaching. Her links to cancer medicine, which is already well established at our University Hospital, are also of particular interest to us." 

Augsburg University Medical School ... 
... comprises on the one hand the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Augsburg, the University Hospital of Augsburg, and, as a cooperation partner, the Augsburg District Hospital’s Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics of the University of Augsburg. The main research areas of the Faculty of Medicine are in the areas of Medical Informatics as well as Environment and Health. Around 100 professors will ultimately be involved in biomedical and human medical research and teaching. Starting in the winter semester of 2019/20, the Faculty of Medicine will offer a model study course in human medicine that integrates preclinical and clinical content and places particular emphasis on the academic education of the future 1,500 students. 

The Augsburg University Hospital (UKA), which has been under the auspices of the Free State of Bavaria since 2019, offers optimal medical care to the population of the city and region through its involvement in university medical research and teaching at the University of Augsburg’s Faculty of Medicine. 1,740 beds are available at UKA, including day hospital beds. 24 clinics, three institutes and 18 centres guarantee diagnosis and treatment in all medical disciplines at the highest level, caring for around 250,000 outpatients and inpatients annually. With about 80,000 attendances a year, the UKA’s Emergency Department is the second largest in the Federal Republic. Every year more than 2,450 children come into the world at the UKA. With 560 training places, the UKA-affiliated Academy of Health Professions is one of the largest training providers in the region. 

Prof. Dr. Regina Fluhrer has held the Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Theoretical Medicine of the Medical Faculty since April 1, 2019. Dr. Barbara Nietz

Media contact

Dr. Anna Ruile 
University of Augsburg 
Communication and Marketing Unit
Department of Press and Public Relations 
86135 Augsburg 
Telephone 0821 / 598-2099