Oskar Lapp Research Award for Young Heart Scientists


Award ceremony with (from left to right) Prof. Dr. Hugo A. Katus, Nele Marlena Lapp, Dr. Holger Winkels, Matthias Lapp, Prof. Dr. Thomas Nordt and Prof. Dr. Stephan Baldus Photo: DGK/Thomas Hauss

In the presence of about 8700 cardiac specialists from all over the world, the Oskar Lapp Research Award 2019 was presented at the 85th annual conference of the German Society for Cardiology - Heart and Circulatory Research e.V. (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie - Herz- und Kreislaufforschung e.V., DGK) in Mannheim. The award is given every year by the Oskar Lapp Foundation and this year went to the heart scientist Dr. Holger Winkels (33), who conducts research at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in San Diego (USA). The award is endowed with a total of 12,000 euros.


In his research, Dr. Holger Winkels dealt with the "Definition of the immune cell atlas in murine atherosclerosis using single-cell RNA sequencing and mass cytometry". This involves further research into the causes of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammation of the vessels that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. For the first time, he identified a detailed immune cell atlas on aortic vessels of healthy and atherosclerotic mice using the latest high-resolution technologies. He found that not only the distribution but also the characteristics of the leukocyte populations of diseased and healthy mouse aortae differ. The deeper understanding of the immune system in atherosclerosis has the potential to develop new and more specific treatment methods for sick people.


The Oskar Lapp Foundation was established in 1992 in honour of the Stuttgart entrepreneur Oskar Lapp, who died of a heart attack on 25th April 1987. His widow, Ursula Ida Lapp, is chairwoman of the foundation's board of trustees. The foundation wants to offer young scientists additional incentives to become involved in cardiovascular research. "With his research work, Mr. Winkels has made an important contribution to further research into cardiovascular diseases and I very much hope that this will soon lead to new treatment methods for people suffering from atherosclerosis," explains Ursula Ida Lapp. Every two years, an Oskar Lapp fellowship is also awarded, which is endowed with up to 20,000 euros for material resources. The funding period is up to two years.


In addition to the Lapp family, the board of trustees of the Oskar Lapp Foundation includes Prof. Dr. Gunther Arnold (former managing director of the German Society for Cardiology - Heart and Circulatory Research), Prof. Dr. Anton Both (retired medical director, Stuttgart Clinical Centre), Dr. Rolf Thieringer (formeFirst Mayor of the State Capital Stuttgart), Prof. Dr. Roderich C. Thümmel (lawyer), Prof. Dr. Thomas Nordt (Medical Director, Stuttgart Clinical Centre) and Konstantinos Papoutsis (Managing Director of the German Society for Cardiology - Heart and Circulatory Research).


The donation account of the Oskar Lapp Foundation is: IBAN: DE68 6005 0101 0002 0760 87, BIC: SOLADEST600.