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Joachim Thiery is the new full-time Dean at the Faculty of Medicine

Joint Press Release by Kiel University and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Campus Kiel


Back in October 2018, Professor Joachim Thiery (67) was selected to be the new full-time Dean by the Faculty of Medicine’s Convention at Kiel University (CAU). On 1 April, the medical practitioner will take up his new position as Board Member for Research and Teaching at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH). Over the next five years, he will also take over the role of scientific director and spokesperson for Kiel's campus management. From now on, as full-time Dean he will head the Faculty of Medicine together with four Vice Deans, and is responsible for research and teaching matters.

Thiery wants to contribute towards keeping Kiel University and the UKSH on their existing track of success. Many years of being involved in the UKSH’s supervisory board mean that he knows the structure of medicine at both universities in Schleswig-Holstein and the UKSH extremely well. His goals are to support projects which address the dynamics of systems medicine and view the patient as a whole, faster transfer of findings from the strong fundamental research in Kiel into medical application and establishing a modern precision medicine at the UKSH in order to cure and keep each individual patient healthy. According to Thiery, “We must not stop at the statistical observation and significance of analytics, but instead we have to better understand the function of molecular medicine, the interaction with the environment and microbiome investigation. Digital medicine and new cell therapy concepts will show us the way.” To achieve this, the new Dean wants to get new collaborative research projects off the ground faster - including those on the current coronavirus crisis - and network Kiel more intensively with other national and international university locations.

One of his main priorities is close coordination of the future development of university medicine in Kiel with the faculty committees, the UKSH, Kiel University and the state. “This must go hand in hand and sometimes it is better to think ahead than to think back,” said the medical practitioner, looking forwards. He wants to further develop joint platforms for research infrastructures with the University of Lübeck and already sees some good approaches in this area. Thiery wants to fully commit himself to the further development of medical teaching for human medicine and dentistry. He brings particular experience with him from problem-oriented courses which he headed the set up of, from skills labs and from medical university lecturer training, which he would like to incorporate into a “culture of teaching and learning in Kiel”, together with the other lecturers and the students.

University President Professor Lutz Kipp wished Professor Joachim Thiery “The very best for this complex and responsible area of work. Safely navigating a big ship like the Faculty of Medicine in the vast medical ocean is a great art. I hope there is always a hand’s breadth of water beneath the keel.” Professor Jens Scholz, Chairman of the Board of the UKSH, warmly welcomed Joachim Thiery to the UKSH Board: “We are extremely pleased to have a high-profile expert like Professor Thiery to help shape research and teaching at the UKSH. Professor Thiery has already provided important impulses for our future university medicine on the UKSH’s supervisory board and on the external advisory committee for the Cluster of Excellence ‘Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation’. At the same time, we pass on our thanks to Professor Stephani for the outstanding cooperation on the UKSH’s Board and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Thanks to predecessor Ulrich Stephani

Thiery is following on from Professor Ulrich Stephani, who is retiring. Kiel’s University President Professor Lutz Kipp thanked Ulrich Stephani for his extraordinary personal dedication in designing the new management structure at the UKSH: “Ulrich Stephani has been a powerful voice in the past for decisions by the UKSH related to medical research. He considered it a great priority to establish modern organisational structures and a future-oriented concept for collaboration between research and patient care on campus within the scope of the new construction of the Medical Center’s buildings. The CAU owes him a great debt of gratitude. I am sure that we will ask him for his advice over the years to come, too.”

Joachim Thiery: acknowledged expert in German university medicine

After his degree in Medicine and a doctoral degree at Heidelberg University, Joachim Thiery worked as a research assistant in clinical chemistry at the UMG (University Medical Center Göttingen) and the LMU University Hospital of Munich. As from 1994 he was a senior physician in Großhadern and qualified to teach at professorial level in 1995 at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München. A research stay at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases at UCSF San Francisco followed. From 2000 to 2019, Thiery was the head of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics at Leipzig University, which he transformed into one of Germany's most efficient university laboratory institutes, particularly in the field of mass spectrometric diagnostics. From 2008 to 2013 he was also the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Leipzig University.

Joachim Thiery’s scientific focus is on the field of lipometabolism and the pathophysiology of lipids in cardiovascular diseases. He researched the genetic causes of arteriosclerosis and lipometabolism, and conducted metabolome analyses and genome-wide association studies on metabolic and vascular diseases. In doing so, he developed treatment concepts and biomarkers for the prevention of vascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Thiery was significantly involved in establishing the Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases, which is tracking down the causes of important widespread common diseases. His scientific achievements have given him a top position in German laboratory medicine.

Joachim Thiery at the lab
© Felix Adler

On 1 April he will take up his new position as full-time Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Kiel University: Professor Joachim Thiery.

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