The Hans Bloemendal Medal for 2015 is awarded to Professor Heymut Omran, in recognition of his groundbreaking studies on ciliopathies.
Heymut Omran obtained his medical degree from the Albert-Ludwigs-University in 1994 and subsequently completed his habilitation in 1980 on kidney failure in children. Specifically, nephronophthisis, a rare genetic disorder affecting cilia function. This early work formed the basis of his interest in ciliopathies. Currently, Heymut’s clinical and research specialty focuses on primary ciliary dyskinesia, (PCD) another ciliopathy that causes defects in cilia function in the respiratory tract. The diagnosis of PCD is a speciality in itself. Only a few centers worldwide have the necessary expertise. Heymut Omran is the Chief Medical Director of one such center at the University Hospital Münster. In his scientific quest to understand rare hereditary diseases, his group was able to decipher many genetic defects of ciliopathies and characterize the importance and molecular mechanisms of action of motile cilia / flagella. His research has significantly contributed to clarifying the aetiology of cystic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease, retinal degeneration, infertility and hydrocephalus. Using molecular genetics and cell biological techniques he characterized evolutionarily conserved biological mechanisms involved in the setting of left & right body asymmetry and mucociliary cleansing of the airways. Heymut Omran has won numerous awards for his research activities, most recently in 2015 the Eva Luise Köhler Research Prize for Rare Diseases. He is also an elected fellow of the prestigious Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences, one of the oldest academies of science in the world. Heymut Omran is a passionate and devoted paediatrician with a clear ambition to make a significant impact on healthcare. An inspiration to all, he has trained and mentored many young scientists to follow in his footsteps.
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