REBIRTH Mitglieder

Wollert, Kai

Wollert, Kai, Prof. Dr. med.


REBIRTH Unit Secreted factors and non-cell-based strategies for cardiac regeneration

Hannover Medical School
Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1
30625 Hannover



K. Wollert (*1964), MD, is a Cardiologist, W3 Professor, and Director of the Division of Mo-lecular and Translational Cardiology in the Dept. of Cardiology and Angiology at MHH. His research is focused on the molecular foundations and clinical applications of cardiovascu-lar cell and protein therapy and the discovery and clinical implementation of cardiovascular biomarkers; work which has led to the recent market launch of a new biomarker assay by Roche Diagnostics (GDF-15).

Biography / About

Date of Birth:October, 1964
Function:Full (W3) Professor for Molecular and Translational Cardiology, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School (MHH)


1984 - 1991Medicine, Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany
1991Medical Licensing Examination
1991Dr. med. Thesis
1992U.S. American Medical State Examination (ECFMG)
2000Board Certification Internal Medicine
2001Post-doctoral lecturing qualification (Habilitation)
2004 Board Certification Cardiology
2015Board Certification Interventional Cardiology

Academic appointments and Research posts:

1991 - 1993Intern, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Freiburg, Germany
1993 - 1995Postdoc, Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), La Jolla, CA, USA
1995 - 1996Resident, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Freiburg
1996 - 2002Resident, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, MHH
2001 - 2007Assistant Professor, Deparment of Cardiology and Angiology, MHH
Since 2002Clinical Fellow, Department of Cardiology and Angiology, MHH
2007 - 2010Professor (W2) for Cardiovascular Cell Therapy, MHH
2010Offer for Head of Department of Cardiology and Angiology and Professor (W3) at University of Gießen, Germany (declined)
Since 2010Professor (W3) and Director for Molecular and Translational Cardiology, MHH

Other professional activities:

2005 - 2011Spokesperson of the DFG-funded Clinical Research Unit ‘KFO 136: Regeneration and Adaptation in the Cardiovascular System: Molecular Signalling Pathways and Mechanisms’
Since 2007Editorial Board Member, European Heart Journal
Since 2010Editorial Board Member, Basic Research in Cardiology
Since 2016 Member of the DFG-funded Clinical Research Unit ‘KFO 311: (pre-) terminal heart and lung failure

Awards and Prizes:

1987 - 1991German Academic Scholarship Foundation (‘Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes’) awardee
1996Young Investigators Award, European Society of Cardiology, Working Group on Drug Therapy in Cardiology and Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy
2004Karl-Ludwig-Neuhaus Prize of the German Cardiac Society
2006Albert-Fraenkel-Prize of the German Cardiac Society
2006Innovation Prize of German Academic Medicine
2007Arthur-Weber-Prize of the German Cardiac Society
2009European Society of Cardiology, Council for Basic Cardiovascular Science Outstanding Achievement Award

Major research interests:

  • Heart failure
  • Tissue repair and regeneration
  • Inflammation
  • Secretome
  • Biomarker

Selected Publications:

  1. Wollert KC, Meyer GP, Müller-Ehmsen J, Tschöpe C, Bonarjee V, Larsen AI, May AE, Empen K, Chorianopoulos E, Tebbe U, Waltenberger J, Mahrholdt H, Ritter B, Pirr J, Fischer D, Korf-Klingebiel M, Arseniev L, Heuft HG, Brinchmann JE, Messinger D, Hertenstein B, Ganser A, Katus HA, Felix SB, Gawaz MP, Dickstein K, Schultheiss HP, Ladage D, Greulich S, Bauersachs J. Intracoronary autologous bone marrow cell transfer after myocardial infarction: the BOOST 2 randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur Heart J. 2017 accepted for publication 23rd March 2017
  2. Haddad S, Wang Y, Galy B, Korf-Klingebiel M, Hirsch V, Baru AM, Rostami F, Reboll MR, Heineke J, Flögel U, Groos S, Renner A, Toischer K, Zimmermann F, Engeli S, Jordan J, Bauersachs J, Hentze MW, Wollert KC, Kempf T. Iron-regulatory proteins secure iron availability in cardiomyocytes to prevent heart failure. Eur Heart J (2017) 38 (5): 362-372. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehw333
  3. Korf-Klingebiel M, Reboll MR, Klede S, Brod T, Pich A, Polten F, Napp LC, Bauersachs J, Ganser A, Brinkmann E, Reimann I, Kempf T, Niessen HW, Mizrahi J, Schönfeld HJ, Iglesias A, Bobadilla M, Wang Y, Wollert KC. Myeloid-derived growth factor (C19orf10) mediates cardiac repair following myocardial infarction. Nat Med. 2015. 21:140-149. DOI: 10.1038/nm.3778.
  4. Wang TJ,* Wollert KC,* Larson MG, Coglianese E, McCabe EL, Cheng S, Ho JE, Fradley MG, Ghorbani A, Xanthakis V, Kempf T, Benjamin EJ, Levy D, Vasan RS, Januzzi JL (*equal contribution). Prognostic utility of novel biomarkers of cardiovascular stress: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation. 2012. 126:1596-1604. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.129437
  5. Widera C, Pencina MJ, Meisner A, Kempf T, Bethmann K, Marquardt I, Katus HA, Giannitsis E, Wollert KC. Adjustment of the GRACE score by growth differentiation factor 15 enables a more accurate appreciation of risk in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome. Eur Heart J. 2012. 33:1095-1104. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr444.
  6. Kempf T, Zarbock A, Widera C, Butz S, Stadtmann A, Rossaint J, Bolomini-Vittori M, Korf-Klingebiel M, Napp LC, Hansen B, Kanwischer A, Bavendiek U, Beutel G, Hapke M, Sauer MG, Laudanna C, Hogg N, Vestweber D, Wollert KC. GDF-15 is an inhibitor of leukocyte integrin activation required for survival after myocardial infarction in mice. Nat Med. 2011. 17:581-588. DOI: 10.1038/nm.2354.
  7. Korf-Klingebiel M, Kempf T, Schlüter KD, Willenbockel C, Brod T, Heineke J, Schmidt VJ, Jantzen F, Brandes RP, Sugden PH, Drexler H, Molkentin JD, Wollert KC. Conditional transgenic expression of fibroblast growth factor 9 in the adult mouse heart reduces heart failure mortality after myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2011. 123:504-514. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.989665.
  8. Bonaca MP, Morrow DA, Braunwald E, Cannon CP, Jiang S, Breher S, Sabatine MS, Kempf T, Wallentin L, Wollert KC. Growth differentiation factor-15 and risk of recurrent events in patients stabilized after acute coronary syndrome. Observations from PROVE IT-TIMI 22. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011. 31:203-210. DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.213512.
  9. Anand IS, Kempf T, Rector TS, Tapken H, Allhoff T, Jantzen F, Kuskowski M, Cohn JN, Drexler H, Wollert KC. Serial measurement of growth-differentiation factor-15 in heart failure: relation to disease severity and prognosis in the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial. Circulation. 2010. 122:1387-1395. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.928846.
  10. Wollert KC, Kempf T, Lagerqvist B, Lindahl B, Olofsson S, Allhoff T, Peter T, Siegbahn A, Venge P, Drexler H, Wallentin L. Growth differentiation factor 15 for risk stratification and selection of an invasive treatment strategy in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome. Circulation. 2007. 116:1540-1548. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.697714

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