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Martin Lohse awarded Poulsson medal

Pharmacologist Prof. Martin Lohse, who is Scientific Director of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) received the Poulsson Medal by The Norwegian Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology (NSFT). The scientific award honors Prof. Lohse's scientific contribution to the field and his efforts in teaching.


The Poulsson medal. Image: NSFT.

The board of the NSFT credits Prof. Lohse's contribution in the field of the role of receptors in heart failure, and on the mechanisms of their activation and inactivation with implication for treatments.

"Prof. Lohse and his group have been pioneers using optical techniques to study the function of these receptors. Both directly and through his excellent work, he has been an important scientific mentor and advisor for research networks and researchers in Norway in the fields of G-protein-coupled receptor signaling and heart research," the members of the NSFT state.

Currently, Prof. Lohse is collaborating with a research group led by Prof. Finn Olav Levy at the University of Oslo involving fluorescence technology.

On November 24, Prof. Lohse traveled to Norway to accept the award and hold a lecture titled "Receptor signaling in space and time" at the Rikshospitalet of the University of Oslo.

Prof. Lohse's research focuses on the role of receptors in heart failure and on the mechanism of their activation and inactivation. Working as a post doc with Robert Lefkowitz at Duke University, Lohse discovered beta-arrestins, proteins that regulate the function of certain cell surface receptors. In his early career, he discovered that beta-1 adrenergic receptors and their regulatory G-protein-coupled receptor kinases are dysregulated in heart failure. This and the observation that long-term beta-1 adrenergic signaling was not beneficial contributed to the use of beta-blockers in heart failure patients.

The Poulsson medal is awarded annually to candidates from basic pharmacology, clinical pharmacology or toxicology. It honors the memory of the first Norwegian professor in Pharmacology, Poul Edvard Poulsson (1858-1935).