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Technical University of Munich biologist receives Bavarian Distinguished Professorship

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The biologist and medical researcher Matthias Hebrok is being awarded a Bavarian Distinguished Professorship. The Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts is thus supporting Hebrok’s scientific activities as Professor of Applied Stem Cell and Organoid Systems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Hebrok works with pancreatic organoids in order to investigate diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities in pancreatic cancer and to enable cell replacement therapies for diabetes patients.

Bavarian’s Minister of Science and the Arts Markus Blume says: “The appointment of Professor Hebrok under the Bavarian Distinguished Professorship Program makes Munich shine even brighter as a world-class Biotech center: Professor Hebrok’s groundbreaking research on the creation of organoids will further continue Bavaria’s outstanding diabetes research and the fight against pancreatic cancer at TUM. Progress close to humanity as a protective shield for the future: This is the positive power of the Hightech Agenda Bavaria!”

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann expressed his gratitude to the Bavarian state government: “The Distinguished Professorship Program creates excellent conditions in Bavaria for internationally leading researchers. I am very pleased that TUM has gained Professor Hebrok, yet another outstanding scientist. His expertise in stem cell and organoid research will help us find new approaches to the complex processes of both organ development and biomedical innovations.”

Prof. Hebrok is a highly renowned researcher worldwide. He studied biology at the University of Freiburg. Following his doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, he conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard University, USA, with a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship. He then accepted a professorship at the University of California San Francisco, where he led the Diabetes Center from 2010 until 2020. Hebrok is Director of the new TUM Center for Organoid Systems (COS). By creating the COS, TUM has established a viable bridge between medicine at the university hospital TUM Klinikum rechts der Isar and Biomedical Engineering at the TUM Garching campus as well as to the Institute for Diabetes and Organoid Technology (IDOT) at Helmholtz Munich.

“I am very pleased about the appointment to a Distinguished Professorship and thank the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts for this outstanding support and for the research opportunities it entails,” says Hebrok. “Our science is here to help people. We work on pancreatic organoids, i.e. artificially generated miniature versions of the pancreas in cell culture. Here we are pursuing two objectives: First of all, we want to simulate and improve insulin-producing beta cells in order to enable cell replacement therapies for diabetes patients. Second, we want to gain a better understanding of pancreatic cancer in order to develop early-stage diagnostics and therapies,” says Hebrok, describing his dual research focus areas.