Laboratory for antigen-specific disease targeting

Nicola Tomas

Mission Statement

“Understanding antibody-mediated kidney disease to pave the way for antigen-specific future treatments”

— Nicola M. Tomas, MD

Team Members

Clinician Scientist

Jana Abt, MD

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Technican

Silke Dehde

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Clinician Scientist

Marie Eggers, MD

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Clinician Scientist

Felicitas Hengel, MD

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Technican

Renke Lucas

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Clinician Scientist

Maya Machalitza, MD

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Post Doc

Ming Huang, PhD

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PhD student

Alessa Schaffrath

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Post Doc

Larissa Seifert, PhD

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Research

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Membranous nephropathy (MN) is an antibody-mediated autoimmune disease and the most common cause of a nephrotic syndrome in adults. The discoveries of phospholipase A2 receptor 1 (PLA2R1) and thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A (THSD7A) as autoantigens in patients with MN have revolutionized both the diagnosis and monitoring of affected patients and the pathophysiologic understanding of this disease. The group of Dr. Nicola M. Tomas was majorly involved in the identification of THSD7A as an antigen in patients with MN. The group now focuses on identification of the pathogenic signaling programs in MN and aims to develop novel, antigen-specific treatments.

Nicola M. Tomas, MD

III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) Martinistr. 52
20246 Hamburg, Germany

CV

Current position
since 2023 Managing attending, III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
since 2021

Attending Physician, III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

since 2019

Junior group leader of the Emmy Noether Research Group “Molecular Mechanisms of Membranous Nephropathy”

since 2016

Principal Investigator CRC 1192 Project B2

University training
2005 – 2011

Study of Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany (final exam: sehr gut)

Academic qualifications
2023 Habilitation
2013 – 2014

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Nice/Sophia Antipolis, France; Prof. Dr. Gérard Lambeau

2008 – 2011

M.D. thesis, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Oncology, University of Witten/Herdecke; docotral adviser: Prof. Dr. Dr. Kurt S. Zänker (summa cum laude)

Previous professional career

Clinical postgraduate education:

2020

Medical Specialist in Internal Medicine and Nephrology

2012 – 2021

Attending Physician, III. Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Prof. Dr. Tobias B. Huber

Scientific postgraduate education:

2015 – 2018

Clinician Scientist Program, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

2013 – 2015

Gerok Position at the Clinical Research Unit 228 (KFO 228) “Immunopathogenesis and Therapy of Glomerulonephritis”

Selected awards and honors
2023 Hans-U.-Zollinger Prize of the German Society of Nephrology
2017
Dr. Martini-Prize for the discovery that anti-THSD7A antibodies cause membranous nephropathy

Selected publications

1.
Seifert L, Riecken K, Zahner G, Hambach J, Hagenstein J, Dubberke G, Huber TB, Koch-Nolte F, Fehse B, Tomas NM.  Kidney Int. 2024 Apr;105(4):886-889. 
2.
Tomas NM, Schnarre A, Dehde S, Lucas R, Hermans-Borgmeyer I, Kretz O, Koellner SMS, Wiech T, Koch-Nolte F, Seifert L, Huber TB, Zahner G. Introduction of a novel chimeric active immunization mouse model of PLA2R1-associated membranous nephropathy. Kidney Int. 2023 Nov;104(5):916-928.
3.
Kylies D, Zimmermann M, Haas F, Schwerk M, Kuehl M, Brehler M, Czogalla J, Hernandez LC, Konczalla L, Okabayashi Y, Menzel J, Edenhofer I, Mezher S, Aypek H, Dumoulin B, Wu H, Hofmann S, Kretz O, Wanner N, Tomas NM, Krasemann S, Glatzel M, Kuppe C, Kramann R, Banjanin B, Schneider RK, Urbschat C, Arck P, Gagliani N, van Zandvoort M, Wiech T, Grahammer F, Sáez PJ, Wong MN, Bonn S, Huber TB, Puelles VG.  Nat Nanotechnol. 2023 Apr;18(4):336-342.
4.
Seifert L, Zahner G, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Hickstein N, Dehde S, Wulf S, Köllner SMS, Lucas R, Kylies D, Froembling S, Zielinski S, Kretz O, Borodovsky A, Biniaminov S, Wang Y, Cheng H, Koch-Nolte F, Zipfel PF, Hopfer H, Puelles VG, Panzer U, Huber TB, Wiech T, Tomas NM. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 28; 14(1):473.
5.
Tomas NM, Dehde S, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Huang M, Hermans-Borgmeyer I, Maybaum J, Lucas R, von der Heide JL, Kretz O, Köllner S, Seifert L, Huber TB, Zahner G.  Kidney Int. 2022 Sep 30:S0085-2538(22)00804-3. 
6.

The Most N-Terminal Region of THSD7A Is the Predominant Target for Autoimmunity in THSD7A-Associated Membranous Nephropathy.
Seifert L, Hoxha E, Eichhoff AM, Zahner G, Dehde S, Reinhard L, Koch-Nolte F, Stahl RAK, Tomas NM. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 May;29(5):1536-1548.

7.

A Heterologous Model of Thrombospondin Type 1 Domain-Containing 7A-Associated Membranous Nephropathy.
Tomas NM, Meyer-Schwesinger C, von Spiegel H, Kotb AM, Zahner G, Hoxha E, Helmchen U, Endlich N, Koch-Nolte F, Stahl RAK. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Nov;28(11):3262-3277.

8.

Autoantibodies against thrombospondin type 1 domain-containing 7A induce membranous nephropathy.
Tomas NM, Hoxha E, Reinicke AT, Fester L, Helmchen U, Gerth J, Bachmann F, Budde K, Koch-Nolte F, Zahner G, Rune G, Lambeau G, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Stahl RA. J Clin Invest. 2016 Jul 1;126(7):2519-32. doi: 10.1172/JCI85265. Epub 2016 May 23.PMID: 27214550 

9.

A Mechanism for Cancer-Associated Membranous Nephropathy.
Hoxha E, Wiech T, Stahl PR, Zahner G, Tomas NM, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Wenzel U, Janneck M, Steinmetz OM, Panzer U, Harendza S, Stahl RA. N Engl J Med. 2016 May 19;374(20):1995-6.

10.

Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A in idiopathic membranous nephropathy.
Tomas NM, Beck LH Jr, Meyer-Schwesinger C, Seitz-Polski B, Ma H, Zahner G, Dolla G, Hoxha E, Helmchen U, Dabert-Gay AS, Debayle D, Merchant M, Klein J, Salant DJ, Stahl RAK, Lambeau G. N Engl J Med. 2014 Dec 11;371(24):2277-2287.

Funding

Martinistraße 52
Campus Research N27
20246 Hamburg Germany
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University Medical Center Hamburg - Eppendorf