Thum, Thomas

Thum, Thomas, Prof. Dr. med. PhD


REBIRTH Unit miRNA in Myocardial Regeneration, Institut für Molekulare und Translationale Therapiestrategie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover


T. Thum (*1974), MD, PhD, cardiologist and W3 professor for “Translational Strategies”, is director of the Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies (IMTTS) at MHH and since 2013 guest professor at the Imperial College London. After receiving his PhD from the Imperial College in London in 2008 he became one of the initial pioneers in cardiovascular noncoding RNA research. In 2016 Dr. Thum founded Cardior Pharmaceuticals, a successful MHH-spin off company focusing on translation of noncoding RNA therapies into the clinic, that received 15 Million Series A funding in 2017. His current major research focus is to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic noncoding RNA-based concepts in cardiovascular medicine.

Biography / About

Date of Birth:November, 1974
Function:Full (W3) Professor and Head of the Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies (IMTTS), Hannover Medical School (MHH)


1994 - 2001Studies of Human Medicine, MHH
2001State Examination Medicine (M.D.), MHH. Medical Thesis summa cum laude
2004 - 2009PhD in Molecular Cardiology at Imperial College London, UK
2009 - 2010Board Certification Internal Medicine and Clinical Cardiology

Academic appointments and Research posts:

2006 - 2009Research Junior Group Leader ‘Cardiac Wounding and Healing’; Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF), Julius-Maximilians- University, Wuerzburg, Germany
Since 2009Full Professor (W3) and Director, Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies (IMTTS), MHH
Since 2013Visiting Professor, National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London, UK

Other professional activities:

  • Editorial Board Member: Circulation Research; Eur Heart J; ATVB; J Mol Cell Cardiology (Associate Editor); Basic Research in Cardiology; American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology
  • Vice Chair WG Myocardial Function, European Society of Cardiology
  • Member “at large”, World section of Int. Soc. Heart Research
  • Advisory Roles Ministry of Singapore and INSERM Institute Lille
  • Founder of Cardior Pharmaceuticals GmbH

Awards and Prizes:

2001Hugo-Geiger-Preis, Bavarian Ministry of Science, Germany
2006William W. Parmley Young Author Achievement Award, American College of Cardiology, Atlanta, GA, USA
2008Oskar-Lapp-Preis, German Society of Cardiology
2009Deutscher PFIZER-Forschungspreis für Medizin, Freiburg, Germany
2010Albert-Fraenkel-Award, German Society of Cardiology
2011Outstanding Achievement Award, European Society of Cardiology
2014Sir Hans Krebs Award
2015Outstanding Investigator Award, ISHR Bordeaux Meeting

Major research interests:

  • Noncoding RNAs
  • Heart failure
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Translational research


Founder of Kardiowind e.V. to support young cardiologists and cardiovascular scientists
Member of the German Society for Gender Medicine

Selected Publications:

  1. Viereck J, Kumarswamy R, Foinquinos A, Xiao K, Avramopolous P, Kunz M, Dittrich M, Maetzig T, Zimmer K, Remke J, Just A, Fendrich J, Scherf K, Bolesani E, Schambach A, Weidemann F, Zweigerdt R, de Windt LJ, Engelhardt S, Dandekar T, Batkai S and Thum T. Long noncoding RNA Chast promotes cardiac remodeling. Science Trans Med. 2016. 17;8(326):326ra22. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf1475
  2. Fiedler J, Breckwoldt K, Remmele CW, Hartmann D, Dittrich M, Pfanne A, Just A, Xiao K, Kunz M, Müller T, Hansen A, Geffers R, Dandekar T, Eschenhagen T, Thum T. Development of Long Noncoding RNA-Based Strategies to Modulate Tissue Vascularization. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015. 3;66(18):2005-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.07.081.
  3. Bang C, Batkai S, Dangwal S, Gupta SK, Foinquinos A, Holzmann A, Just A, Remke J, Zimmer K, Zeug A, Ponimaskin E, Schmiedl A, Yin X, Mayr M, Halder R, Fischer A, Engelhardt S, Wei Y, Schober A, Fiedler J, Thum T. Cardiac fibroblast-derived microRNA passenger strand-enriched exosomes mediate cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. J Clin Invest. 2014. 124(5):2136-46. DOI: 10.1172/JCI70577
  4. Thum T. Noncoding RNAs and myocardial fibrosis. Nature Rev Cardiol. 2014. 11(11):655-63. DOI:10.1038/nrcardio.2014.125
  5. Dirkx E, Gladka MM, Philippen LE, Armand AS, Kinet V, Leptidis S, El Azzouzi H, Salic K, Bourajjaj M, da Silva GJ, Olieslagers S, van der Nagel R, de Weger R, Bitsch N, Kisters N, Seyen S, Morikawa Y, Chanoine C, Heymans S, Volders PG, Thum T, Dimmeler S, Cserjesi P, Eschenhagen T, da Costa Martins PA, De Windt LJ. Nfat and miR-25 cooperate to reactivate the transcription factor Hand2 in heart failure. Nature Cell Biol. 2013. 15(11):1282-93. DOI: 10.1038/ncb2866.
  6. Ucar A, Gupta SK, Fiedler J, Erikci E, Kardasinski M, Batkai S, Dangwal S, Kumarswamy R, Bang C, Holzmann A, Remke J, Caprio M, Jentzsch C, Engelhardt S, Geisendorf S, Glas C, Hofmann TG, Nessling M, Richter K, Schiffer M, Carrier L, Napp LC, Bauersachs J, Chowdhury K, Thum T. The miRNA-212/132 family regulates both cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyocyte autophagy. Nature Communications. 2012. 3:1078. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2090
  7. Fiedler J, Jazbutyte V, Kirchmaier BC, Gupta SK, Lorenzen J, Hartmann D, Galuppo P, Kneitz S, Pena JT, Sohn-Lee C, Loyer X, Soutschek J, Brand T, Tuschl T, Heineke J, Martin U, Schulte-Merker S, Ertl G, Engelhardt S, Bauersachs J, Thum T. MicroRNA-24 Regulates Vascularity After Myocardial Infarction. Circulation. 2011. 124:720-30. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.039008.
  8. Ucar A, Vafaizadeh V, Jarry H, Fiedler J, Klemmt PA, Thum T, Groner B, Chowdhury K. miR-212 and miR132 are required for epithelial stromal interactions necessary for mouse mammary gland development. Nature Genet. 2010. 42:1101-8. DOI: 10.1038/ng.709.
  9. Thum T, Gross C, Fiedler J, Fischer T, Kissler S, Bussen M, Galuppo P, Just S, Rottbauer W, Frantz S, Castoldi M, Soutschek J, Koteliansky V, Rosenwald A, Basson MA, Licht JD, Pena JT, Rouhanifard SH, Muckenthaler MU, Tuschl T, Martin GR, Bauersachs J, Engelhardt S. MicroRNA-21 contributes to myocardial disease by stimulating MAP kinase signalling in fibroblasts. Nature. 2008. 456:980-4. DOI: 10.1038/nature07511.
  10. Thum T, Galuppo P, Wolf C, Fiedler J, Kneitz S, van Laake LW, Doevendans PA, Mummery CL, Borlak J, Haverich A, Gross C, Engelhardt S, Ertl G, Bauersachs J. MicroRNAs in the human heart: a clue to fetal gene reprogramming in heart failure. Circulation. 2007. 116:258-67. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.687947

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