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Portrait LHI Director Ali Önder Yildirim
Helmholtz Munich | Matthias Tunger Photodesign

LHI Director Ali Önder Yildirim appointed as Professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich


The newly established professorship of Experimental Pneumology, effective from July 1, 2023, focuses on investigating the immunological foundations of respiratory diseases.

The primary emphasis is on fundamental scientific programs that provide novel therapeutic approaches for chronic lung diseases and explore key environmental triggers. Key research areas include COPD, interstitial lung diseases, lung cancer and lung transplantation. Yildirim places particular emphasis on COPD, which has become the third leading cause of death worldwide:

“The lung is one of the organs with the largest surface area”, he says. “However, due to continuous exposure to harmful substances with every breath, its regenerative capacity is limited. My vision is to combat COPD so effectively that it ranks only 20th among causes of death!”

To accomplish this, the Chair of Experimental Pneumology will collaborate with the Institute of Lung Health and Immunity at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, the Asklepios Specialized Clinics Munich Gauting, and the Center for Thoracic Surgery Munich at the Grosshadern Campus, aiming to develop translational research approaches. The goal is to swiftly translate these approaches into clinical practice.

The clinical partner in this endeavor is the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic V within the Comprehensive Pneumology Centers (CPC). As CPC-Munich (CPC-M), it is one of the five locations of the German Center for Lung Research, supported by the German federal government.