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Rainer Schulz, M.D., FESC, FAHA, FISHR

Google Scholar - Prof. Dr. Rainer Schulz

ORCID - Connecting Research and Researchers


Prof. Dr. R. SchulzI had established and led an independent research group within the Department of Pathophysiology, University of Essen, Medical School, and since January 2011 I have been appointed as Chairman of Physiology at the Justus-Liebig University Giessen. I have achieved international recognition for my research on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) and protection from it. My research group uses a translational approach from subcellular particles towards large animal model to define new targets involved in IRI and investigate novel treatment strategies for protecting the heart. One focus of my research is the importance of mitochondrial derived reactive oxygen species for IRI and protection from it.



My research is internationally recognised as evidenced by numerous invitations to speak at international scientific meetings. I received the Young Investigator Award from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the Fraenkel and Franz-Groedel Award as well as the Basic Science Lecture Award of the German Cardiac Society. I served as Chairman of the Working Group on Cellular Biology of the Heart of the ESC and I am currently member of the European Council of the Society of Heart Research (ISHR). I have been appointed Fellow of the ESC and I have been invited to join the AHA and ISHR as fellow as well.
My research has advanced the field of IRI and protection from it by being the first to: (1) demonstrate an inotropic reserve in chronically ischemic myocardium, a phenomenon used now routinely in daily clinical practice for identification of chronically ischemic myocardium; (2) highlight the cross talk between protein kinases involved in cardioprotection, and (3) demonstrate the mitochondrial location of a highly expressed cellular protein (named connexin 43) being essential for cardioprotection. The latter is of utmost importance since a number of human diseases (including genetic variations) are associated with reduced connexin 43 expression.

Publications and Peer-review

Since 2001 I have published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and written 7 book chapters. My H-index is 79 (Google Scholar; 68 Scopus) with the total number of citations being 22000. I serve on the Editorial Board of several cardiovascular journals. Apart from regularly reviewing articles for them, I review grant proposals for the German Research Foundation, the British Heart Foundation, ANR and other funding organizations.


I have successfully collaborated with other research teams locally, nationally and internationally as indicated by numerous publications. 

Research Group and Funding

My institute has 13 research position and 15 technicians; my own research group currently comprises 6 postdoc positions and 5 technicians and a number of MD and PhD students. I received continuous grant support from the German Research Foundation as PI and Co-PI and from several pharmaceutical companies to study new compounds targeting IRI..

Knowledge Transfer/Exchange

Evidence for this includes: several research collaborations with Industry and other Academic Institutions, consultancies with industry, patient and public engagement in my clinical research and participating in International Working Groups for providing issuing Research Recommendations.



University Education

1987/1988 Research fellow in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Diego
1989-1992 Study of clinical medicine at the University of Essen M.D.


Positions and Honors (chronological order)

1996-2000 Assistant professor, Department of Pathophysiology, University of Essen
2001-2010 Tenured professor, Institute of Pathophysiology, University of Essen
Since 2011 Tenured professor, Director of the Institute of Physiology, University of Giessen


1994 Young Investigator Award of the European Society of Cardiology
1999 „Fraenkel-Preis“ of the German Cardiac Society
2002 „Franz-Groedel Forschungspreis“ of the German Cardiac Society
2009 Basic Science Lecture of the German Cardiac Society
2012 “Franz-Loogen Price”
2014 Honorary Members of the Hungarian Society for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher
2017 Dr. h.c. Semmelweis University Budapest


Editor and Editorial Boards

Associate Editor of Scientific Report
Editorial Board of Basic Research in Cardiology, British Journal of Pharmacology, Pharmacological Research and others



Member of the Board of the German Heart Foundation, Member of the ISHR European Section Council, German Representative of the COST16225 program


Current grant support

- 2019 German Research Foundation SFB1213-B05
- 2019 Faculty member of the Excellence Cluster CardioPulmonary System (ECCPS) Giessen
- 2018 Graduate School ERAGON funded by the von Behring-Röntgen-Stiftung
- 2018 Grant “Functional Expression of Connexin 43 in mitochondria” funded by the BR-Stiftung