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Thorsten Walles (born 28 June 1972 in Lingen) is a German general thoracic surgeon and professor at the University Hospital of Würzburg. He is known for his works in the field of trachea surgery and his research for early diagnosis of lung cancer.

Thorsten Walles
Thorsten Walles (Mai 2016).jpg
Born (1972-06-28) 28 June 1972 (age 46)
Known fortrachea surgery and research for early diagnosis of lung cancer
Scientific career
Fieldsthoracic surgery
InstitutionsUniversity of Würzburg



Walles studied medicine at the Hannover Medical School from 1993 to 2000. During his dissertation he spent a research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University from 1997 to 1998. He earned his doctorate at the Hannover Medical School in 2000 with summa cum laude. Walles completed his specialist training in thoracic surgery at various established thoracic surgery units in 2008 and is recognized as Fellow of the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons. He was visiting scientist at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology in Stuttgart from 2005 to 2012. He received the habilitation at the University of Tübingen in 2009. In 2010 he became senior physician at the Clinic Schillerhöhe (Stuttgart). He was appointed professor for thoracic surgery at the medical faculty of the University of Würzburg in 2012, where he is heading the section of Thoracic Surgery since 2012.[1]

Walles is married to the biologist Heike Walles.[2]

Scientific contributionsEdit

Walles works on regenerative medicine[1] and tissue engineering research.[3] Being a thoracic surgeon, he focused on the generation of bioartificial airway tissues for tracheo-bronchial replacement.[3][4][5] His work resulted in the first clinical applications of bioartifical tissues for airway reconstruction.[6] In their follow-up of these first transplanted patients Walles and his coworkers demonstrated a post-transplant tissue-maturation process of the bioartificial tissues.[7][8] Pioneering the translation of bioartifical human tissues into clinical applications, he dealt with the legal framework for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in Germany and Europe.[9][10][11][12][13] As a specialist in lung cancer treatment Walles could also demonstrate that lung cancer can be detected in the patients' breath.[citation needed] The objective of his ongoing research is the development of technical devices for lung cancer screening.[14]

Honors and awardsEdit

  • 1998 Scholarship of the Carl Duisberg Foundation and of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the Biomedical Exchange Program
  • 2002 Young Investigator Award of the World Heart Federation
  • 2003 Young Researcher Award of the European Society of Artificial Organs (ESAO)
  • 2003 Young Investigator Award of the European Association for Cardio- Thoracic Surgery (EACTS)
  • 2010 Von-Langenbeck Award of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie (DGCH)[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Prof. Dr. med. Thorsten Walles verstärkt Universitätsklinikum Würzburg und Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken Archived 2016-05-11 at the Wayback Machine Universitätsklinikum]
  2. ^ Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken: Thorsten and Heike Walles - Therapy Pioneers University of Würzburg, Nov 4 2013
  3. ^ a b Walles T, Gorler H, Puschmann C, Mertsching H. Functional neointima characterization of vascular prostheses in human. Ann Thorac Surg. 2004; 77: 864-8
  4. ^ Walles T, Giere B, Hofmann M, Schanz J, Hofmann F, Mertsching H, Macchiarini P. Experimental generation of a tissue-engineered functional and vascularized trachea. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004; 128: 900-6
  5. ^ Walles T. Tracheobronchial bio-engineering: biotechnology fulfilling unmet medical needs. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2011; 63: 367-74
  6. ^ Macchiarini P, Walles T, Biancosino C, Mertsching H. First human transplantation of a bioengineered airway tissue. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004; 128: 638-41
  7. ^ Walles T, Biancosino C, Zardo P, Macchiarini P, Gottlieb J, Mertsching H. Tissue remodelling in a bioartificial fibromuscular patch following transplantation in a human. Transplantation. 2005; 80: 284-5
  8. ^ Steinke M, Dally I, Friedel G, Walles H, Walles T. Host-integration of a tissue-engineered airway patch: 2-year follow-up in a single patient. Tissue Eng Part A. 2015; 21: 573-9
  9. ^ Mertsching H, Walles T. Europe's advanced therapy medicinal products: Chances and challenges. Exp Rev Med Dev. 2009; 6: 109-10
  10. ^ Altmayer MM, Walles T. Bioartifizielle Transplantate in der rekonstruktiven Chirurgie: Translation und ökonomische Vorteile in der Krankenversorgung. Regenerat Med. 2009; 1: 23-25
  11. ^ Brucklacher U, Walles T. Das neue Gewebegesetz und seine Bedeutung für chirurgische Therapie und Forschung. CHAZ 2010 ; 11 : 561-5
  12. ^ Brucklacher U, Walles T. Nationale und europäische Rahmenbedingungen für Tissue Engineering. Pharma Recht 2010 ; 32 : 581-5
  13. ^ Hampel M, Dally I, Walles T, Steger V, Veit S, Kyriss T, Friedel G. Impact of neo-adjuvant radiochemotherapy on bronchial tissue viability. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2010; 37: 461-6
  14. ^ Ehmann R, Boedeker E, Friedrich U, Sagert J, Dippon J, Friedel G, Walles T. Canine scent detection in the diagnosis of lung cancer: revisiting a puzzling phenomenon. Eur Respir J. 2012; 39: 669-76
  15. ^ Ausgezeichnetes Tissue-Engineering-Verfahren für die regenerative Medizin Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB (1.5.2010)

External linksEdit