“Virus-induced signals are highly relevant for the pathogenesis of hepatitis B and C and are drivers of liver disease progression towards cancer. Studying virus-host interaction with signal transduction serves as a model to understand the general mechanisms of liver disease development and identifies druggable targets for cancer prevention in patients at risk.” Dr. Joachim Lupberger.
Dr. Joachim Lupberger studied Biotechnology at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany and graduated with a master thesis project in microbiology that he conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2007, he was awarded with a PhD from the Humboldt University of Berlin in the field of virus-host interactions in viral hepatitis. In 2007, he joined the team of Prof. Thomas Baumert at Inserm U1110 in Strasbourg studying the relevance of signaling molecules for the life cycle of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Among others, he identified receptor tyrosine kinases as novel entry factors for HCV and regulators of the co-receptor complex (Lupberger and Zeisel et al., Nature Medicine 2011; Zona and Lupberger et al., Cell Host and Microbe 2013) and highlighted the importance of virus-induced signal transduction for viral pathogenesis and cancer (Mailly et al., Nature Biotechnology 2015; Van Renne et al., Gut 2018; Lupberger et al. Gastroenterology 2019). In 2013, he was awarded by a tenured position as research associate (CRCN, Inserm).
Dr. Joachim Lupberger’s current research is focuses on the characterization of signal transduction induced by viral hepatitis B and C and their consequences for viral life cycle and the development of advanced liver disease, including fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Liver disease progresses from liver steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis with an ultimate high risk to develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This disease course is highly similarly induced by viral hepatitis, obesity, and alcohol, which suggests common molecular drivers. Combining state-of-the art infection models, high-throughput screening technologies and genome-wide -omics studies Joachim aims to identify specific and common signaling pathways as drivers for the viral life cycle and liver disease progression. Targeting disease-relevant signaling pathways by small molecules will be part of future chemo-preventive strategies to reduce cancer-risk in risk patients independent of the underlying liver disease etiology.
Dr. Lupberger obtained funding from the IdEx of the University of Strasbourg, the Agence nationale de recherche sur le sida et les hépatites virales (ANRS), Canceropol, La Ligue Contre Cancer, Conseil Régional Alsace and is partner in ERC (H2020, HEP-Car) and ANR (TheraHCC) consortia. Since 2014, Dr. Lupberger is a member of scientific committees of the ANRS (2014-2017: CSS7 “Recherches cliniques dans les hépatites virales”; 2017-present: CSS12 “Recherches fondamentales sur les hépatitis virales”). Moreover, he is a member and co-organizer of the ANRS think tank Action concertée AC42: “Carcinogenèse viro-induite”.