Prof. Dr. med. Lars Zender

Full Professor

Head of the Department of Internal Medicine VIII – Clinical Tumor Biology


Head of the Department of Physiology I

University Hospital Tübingen

Otfried-Müller-St. 14

D- 72076 Tübingen, Germany

Phone: +49-7071-29-84113

Fax: +49-7071-29-2095

Email: lars.zender[at]


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10 most relevant publications



The focus of his research is the liver. Professor Zender has decoded fundamental new mechanisms that enable liver function to be maintained or restored. Using oncogenetic screens, he also discovered new genes that inhibit liver tumours. He applied the methodology developed in this process to another, pathophysiological context, namely the regeneration of liver function after acute or chronic liver failure as the normal final alternative to liver transplantation. The gastroenterologist's second main area of research is the role of senescence (cell ageing) in the development of cancer. Professor Zender was able to demonstrate that the “activation” of senescence prevents the formation of tumours from premalignant liver cells and thus represents an important protective mechanism. His work in both fields has generated vital contributions to basic research and new possibilities for the development and improvement of treatment methods.

Born in 1975, Lars Zender began working at Hannover Medical School (MHH) while still a student, being involved in research projects on the regulation of cell death in the liver. After completing his doctorate, receiving his licence to practise medicine and working as an assistant physician at MHH, in 2004 he joined the research team at the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher as part of the DFG's Emmy Noether Programme. After returning to Germany in 2008, he continued his work as a leader of an Emmy Noether and a Helmholtz independent junior research group, turning down several invitations from institutions in Germany and abroad. In 2012 he accepted a post at the University Hospital Tübingen, where he now leads the section for translational gastrointestinal oncology. He has received several awards for his work, such as the respected German Cancer Award.


Research Interests

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Senescense survaillance
  • Functional target discovery
    (see also projects of the "Tübingen Center for Academic Drug Discovery& Developement" TUCAD²)


Joint Research Projects

2015 – 2018 

FOR2314 „Targeting therapeutic windows in essential cellular processes for tumor therapy”, DFG



2014 – 2019 

ERC Consolidator Grant “CholangioConcept - Functional in vivo analysis of cholangiocarcinoma development, progression and metastasis“



2014 – 2021 

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, DFG