Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Melanie Königshoff, MD, PhD, ATSF, FERS

Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

Professor of Medicine

Associate Chief of Research


Phone: 412-648-7784

Office: UPMC Montefiore Hospital, NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-648-7784
Fax: 412-624-8373
Administrative Assistant:
Cindy Vinkovich
Phone: 412-648-7784
Fax: 412-624-8373
Education and Training
MD, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen and University of Hamburg, Germany, 2003
Dr. Med., University of Giessen, Germany, 2004
Dr. Phil/PhD, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany, 2009
Residency/Fellowship - Internal Medicine/Pulmonary, University Hospital Giessen, Department of Medicine, Germany, 2008
Postodoctoral Fellow, Pulmonary, Department of Medicine, University of Giessen Lung Center, Germany, 2010
Research Interest
Our research focuses on deciphering mechanisms involved in lung repair and regeneration, with the aim to identify novel therapeutic targets relevant for age-related chronic lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Our translational research program focuses on the comprehensive characterization of primary lung epithelial (stem) cells from experimental models and human tissue samples from patients with chronic lung disease. we aim to identify and investigate target signaling pathways that impact cellular mechanisms we identified the developmental WNT signaling pathway as a potent contributor to impaired lung repair and epithelial cell reprogramming, which is amenable to therapy and have further characterized features of epithelial cell reprogramming, such as cellular senescence. We further pioneered and apply patient-derived 3D Lung Tissue Cultures that allow to further validate and test potential novel drugs in an individualized fashion.
Educational Interest
Dr. Königshoff is highly committed to teach and educate early career professionals. As a mentor and supervisor, Dr. Königshoff sees her major responsibility in fostering curiosity and ambition, advance personal and professional knowledge and skill sets, and expose students and trainees to novel approaches and the opportunities of an academic career. She aims to support her trainees and team members by finding their individual career path, prepare them for the challenges of an academic career and provide guidance throughout. She has directed an international MD/PhD graduate program and is actively involved in PhD, MD, and physician-scientist training programs, Dr. Königshoff teaches seminars and small classrooms workgroups and serves as (co)-mentor on F31, F32, T32 training grant awards. Dr. Königshoff further regularly hosts undergraduate students. Her lab is composed of a multi-disciplinary group of people from different backgrounds and cultures with the guiding principle that diverse viewpoints and perspectives will lead to more creative and innovative, and thus better, science.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Conlon TM, John-Schuster G,, Heide D, Pfister D, Lehmann M, Hu Y, Ertüz Z, Lopez MA, Ansari M, Strunz M, Mayr C, Ciminieri C, Costa R, Kohlhepp MS, Eickelberg O, Schiller HB, Königshoff M, Heikenwalder M, Yildirim AÖ, et all. Inhibition of LTßR signalling activates WNT-induced regeneration in lung. Nature. 2020; Nov 4: PMID:33149305.
Hu Y, Ng-Blichfeldt JP, Ota C, Ciminieri C, Ren W, Hiemstra PS, Stolk J, Gosens R, Königshoff M. Wnt/ß-catenin signaling is critical for regenerative potential of distal lung epithelial progenitor cells in homeostasis and emphysema. Stem Cells. 2020; Nov;38(11): 1467-1478.
Lehmann M, Hu Q, Hu Y, Hafner K, Costa R, van den Berg A, Königshoff M. Chronic WNT/b-catenin signaling induces cellular senescence in lung epithelial cells. Cell Signal. 2020; Feb 25:109588: PMID:32109549.
Distler JHW, Györfi AH, Ramanujam M, Whitfield ML, Königshoff M, Lafyatis R. Shared and distinct mechanisms of fibrosis. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2019; Dec;15(12): 705-730.
Martin-Medina A, Lehmann M, Burgy O, Hermann S, Baarsma HA, Wagner DE, DeSantis MM, Ciolek F, Hofer TP, Frankenberger M, Aichler M, Lindner M, Gesierich W, Guenther A, Walch A, Coughlan C, Wolters P, Lee JS, Behr J, Königshoff M. Increased Extracellular Vesicles Mediate WNT-5A Signaling in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018; Dec 15;198(12): 1527-1538.
Alsafadi HN, Uhl FE, Pineda RH, Bailey KE, Rojas M, Wagner DE, Königshoff M. Applications and Approaches for 3D Precision-cut Lung Slices: Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2020; Jun;62(6): 681-691.
Lehmann M, Korfei M, Mutze K, Klee S, Skronska-Wasek W, Alsafadi HN, Ota C, Costa R, Schiller HB, Lindner M, Wagner DE, Günther A, Königshoff M. Senolytic drugs target alveolar epithelial cell function and attenuate experimental lung fibrosis ex vivo. Eur Respir J. 2017; Aug 3;50(2): 1602367.
Baarsma HA, Skronska-Wasek W, Mutze K, Ciolek F, Wagner DE, John-Schuster G, Heinzelmann K, Günther A, Bracke KR, Dagouassat M, Boczkowski J, Brusselle GG, Smits R, Eickelberg O, Yildirim AÖ, Königshoff M. Noncanonical WNT-5A signaling impairs endogenous lung repair in COPD. J Exp Med. 2017; Jan;214(1): 143-163.
Uhl FE, Vierkotten S, Wagner DE, Burgstaller G, Costa R, Koch I, Lindner M, Meiners S, Eickelberg O, Königshoff M. Preclinical validation and imaging of Wnt-induced repair in human 3D lung tissue cultures. Eur Respir J. 2015; Oct;46(4): 1150-66.
Baarsma HA, Königshoff M. 'WNT-er is coming': WNT signalling in chronic lung diseases. Thorax. 2017; Aug;72(8): 746-759.
Notable Achievements
Fellow of the ERS, 2019
ATS Fellow, 2018
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Award ERS, 2014
Excellent Women Academics (Robert-Bosch Foundation, 2012
ERC Starting Grant, 2011