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Stefan Lorkowski

Full Professor for Nutritional Biochemisty and Physiology

Institute of Nutrition, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany


Stefan Lorkowski is Full Professor for Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology at the Institute of Nutrition of the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. He was born in Marl close to the Ruhr area in Germany in 1973, finished school at Albert Schweitzer Gymnasium in 1992, and studied chemistry and biochemistry at Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster, Germany, from 1992 to 1997, where he obtained a diploma in chemistry in 1997 and a PhD in biochemistry in 2001. He completed postdoctoral work at the Institute of Arteriosclerosis Research in Münster in 2003, and set up his own research group at the same institute in 2003. Stefan Lorkowski received his Habilitation and venia legendi in biochemistry and cell biology at Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster in 2006, and continued his research work at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in 2008. He has published more than 70 papers, and received numerous distinctions, awards and prizes.

Stefan Lorkowski began his research career at the Institute of Arteriosclerosis Research in Münster, working on macrophage foam cell formation and its contribution to atherogenesis. He identified key players of cellular cholesterol export, namely the ATP-binding cassette transporters ABCG1 and ABCG4, and worked on lipid droplet formation in macrophages. In the following years his research aimed at unraveling the heterogeneity of monocytes and the plasticity of macrophages in atherogenesis. A key finding of his work was that macrophages exhibit a complex Janus-like character not only with respect to their pro- as well as anti-inflammatory features but also with their ECM-conserving and ECM-degrading effects on plaque stability.

Stefan Lorkowski’s research at the Institute of Nutrition at Friedrich Schiller University Jena is focused on macrophage biology and the understanding of mechanisms that underlie the contribution of macrophages to the progression and stability of atherosclerotic plaques. A major focus of his work is macrophage foam cell formation, in particular the formation and degradation of lipid droplets as well as the mechanisms of cellular lipid uptake and export. Another major research topic of his group is to investigate the plasticity of macrophages and the ability of monocytes and macrophages to contribute actively to extracellular matrix remodeling by means of producing proteases as well as extracellular matrix components. A further interest of his research is to identify and functionally characterize the contribution of nutrients and their metabolites on regulatory and signaling processes during atherogenesis. The aim is to develop new approaches for better understanding atherogenesis and for preventing atherosclerosis and its complications by dietary and pharmacological means.

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Institute of Nutrition, Friedrich Schiller University
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