Professor Elaine Fuchs Receives the 2015 Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship

25th Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship for medicine and pharmacy awarded / CEO Philip Burchard: “Building bridges between science and business”

The internationally renowned cell biologist Elaine Fuchs will be awarded the Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship for 2015. The American Professor conducts research on adult stem cells and their significance for the skin and skin conditions at the Rockefeller University in New York. During her week-long stay in Germany, she will be conducting, among other things, a scientific symposium and will be participating in a public panel discussion on stem cell research at Goethe University in Frankfurt. 2015 celebrates the 25th Guest Professorship for the fields of medicine and pharmacy to be awarded by Merz.

The Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship, first awarded in 1987, is one of the oldest guest professorships at the Frankfurt based university. “Through this commitment we would like to, on the one hand, strengthen the excellence in human medicine and pharmacy research,” explains Merz CEO Philip Burchard, “on the other hand, we are helping to bridge the gap between science and business by facilitating the exchange between internationally renowned scientists and the public, and also with our own researchers.”

Elaine Fuchs is an internationally recognized and award-winning expert. Her field of expertise is the skin as the biggest reservoir of adult stem cells as well as the development of upper layers of skin and formation of hair follicles from pluripotent stem cells. Since 2002, she has been working as a Professor at the Rockefeller University in New York City and leads the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development. Together with her colleagues, Professor Fuchs is advancing the development and utilization of modern stem cell technologies as well as fundamental research into the therapy of skin tumors.

Alongside Professor Fuchs, five other important physicians and scientists will be discussing the topic “Perspectives of stem cell research” during a public panel discussion at the Frankfurter Bürger-Universität on November 11. At the center of the contributions will be current medical projects which should be available for use in the foreseeable future, such as treatment for diabetes. The event, which will be hosted by the Vice President of the Goethe University, Professor Manfred Schubert-Zsilavecz, begins at 17.30 on November 11 in the foyer of the PA building at Campus Westend. The Hessian Minister for Science and the Arts Boris Rhein will give a welcome speech.

Alongside this public event, an all-day scientific symposium on the latest developments in stem cell research will be held at the University. Professor Fuchs will deliver an introductory address entitled “Epithelial Stem Cells in Silence, Action and Cancer”. Before returning home, the guest Professor will also meet with Merz researchers to exchange expertise on regenerative and aesthetic medicine.


The Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship

The Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship was founded in December 1985 in honor of the 100th birthday of the Merz company founder, Friedrich Merz, who, as one of the first members of the Senckenbergische Gesellschaft, had close ties with the University of Frankfurt and was a patron of science. The purpose of the Guest Professorship is to appoint an especially well-reputed scientist from the field of pharmaceuticals or human medicine to the University of Frankfurt each year. Awarded for the first time in 1987, the Professorship has been awarded yearly ever since with just two exceptions. Alongside the symposium, which presents a spectrum of topics ranging from basic research to health care research, the Guest Professorship offers researchers from both the academic world and the industry the opportunity to participate in an annual exchange of knowledge and to build a foundation for further collaboration in the future.


Merz Pharma Group

Merz is a privately held pharmaceutical company based in Frankfurt, Germany, with 33 affiliates in Europe, Asia Pacific and North and South America. The company is active in the research, development and distribution of innovative products, in the areas of aesthetic medicine and dermatology as well as in the field of neurologically induced movement disorders.

In the area of aesthetics, Merz offers a tailored and harmonized portfolio of products for minimally invasive treatments. With the dermal fillers Radiesse, Belotero, Glytone, the neurotoxin Bocouture/Xeomin, and the Neocutis care range, the company is an important player in the global aesthetics market. Through the acquisition of Ulthera, the product portfolio increased in the middle of 2014 with the addition of ultrasound technology. Merz has also developed Xeomin, the first botulinum toxin that is free of complex proteins for the treatment of neurologically induced movement disorders.

In the consumer products segment, Merz Consumer Care is the leading provider of OTC medication, dietary supplements and skincare products in the German-speaking countries with its well-known tetesept and Merz Spezial brands.


Professor Elaine Fuchs (right) receives the 2015 Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship

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