Professor Martina Muckenthaler

Martina Muckenthaler is Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg as well as group leader within the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU) between the University of Heidelberg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Trained as a molecular biologist in leading international research laboratories in London and at the University of Oxford (UK) for her PhD, she joined the EMBL for her postdoctoral work where she quickly carved out her own scientific niche – studying Haemochromatosis and iron metabolism. As a primary author of two publications in Nature Genetics (2003 and 2004) she laid foundations for the understanding of hereditary hemochromatosis as a hepcidin deficiency disease. After establishing her own group in 2004, her team demonstrated that the key molecular defect for hereditary hemochromatosis localizes to hepatocytes (Cell Metabolism, 2008). Since then, the Muckenthaler team published a series of original reports that revealed detailed insights into the regulatory mechanisms that control the expression of the iron hormone hepcidin and its receptor ferroportin (published in prestigious, high impact journals including Cell Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Blood). Further important work presently focuses on the pathophysiological consequences of iron overload and iron deficiency (e.g. Cell Metabolism 2014, Eur. Heart Journal 2020). Additional work focuses on related topics including high altitude hypoxia, serving as an advisor to the WHO on aspects of anaemia and iron metabolism. She is involved in many renowned, collaborative national and international research programs and serves several national and international academic societies and bodies. She is the current president of the International Bioiron Society and also a member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina).