|Institution||Department of Medicine A, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany|
Prof. Lerch was born and educated in the Rhineland. He majored in Philosophy and Art History at the University of Freiburg before attending Medical School in Freiburg, Glasgow, Toronto and at the University of Massachusetts.
He received his MD (magna cum laude) from Freiburg in 1984 for experimental studies on the pathophysiology of the exocrine pancreas in renal insufficiency. After a Pathology Internship in Freiburg he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Technical University of Aachen. On a DFG research scholarship he spend three years at Harvard and the University of Milano, Italy, where he was trained in pathophysiology and cell biology. After a GI fellowship in Ulm and his board certification in Gastroenterology (1993), he obtained a second doctorate (Habiliation, PhD equivalent) in 1994, for work on the cell biology of pancreatitis, from the University of Ulm.
He then moved to the Max-Planck-Institut for Biochemistry in Munich to join the Molecular Biology Department of Axel Ullrich as a staff scientist and was board certified in Biochemistry. After serving as an assistant professor and consultant gastroenterologist in Homburg (Saar), and as tenured associate professor at the University of Münster (1997-2003) he accepted a professorship at the University of Greifswald (founded in 1456) where he was appointed chairman of the Department of Medicine A in 2007.
The research of his group focusses on the pathophysiology, cell biology and genetics of pancreatic and hormonal disorders and is by design translational. His research has been supported by the European Union (EU-FP7, EU-EFRE), the DFG (German Research Council), the BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Science and Education) and the Deutsche Krebshilfe/Mildred Scheel Stiftung (German Cancer Aid) as well as several foundations and charities.
The implementation of a bench-to-bedside strategy for this translational research found its way into three investigator initiated clinical trials (e.g. ISRCTN 00142233 & ISRCTN 46556454) and to several patent applications and patents (e.g. EP06776693.1, EP10164624, EP11167708), particularly in the area of biomarker development. Prof. Lerch is an elected Study Section member (Grants Committee of the German Research Council DFG) since 2008 and was appointed by President of the Federal Republic to serve on the ‘Council of Science and Humanities' of the German government in 2015.