September 16, 2005

Vanderbilt mourns loss of Kulessa

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Holger Kulessa, Ph.D.

Vanderbilt mourns loss of Kulessa

Holger Kulessa, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, died Aug. 31. He was 40.

Dr. Kulessa had been at Vanderbilt since 1996, first as a postdoctoral fellow and later as a research instructor in Cell Biology, prior to assuming his Gastroenterology post in 2002.

Throughout his career, his research focused on the role of Bmp signaling in gastrointestinal development and disease.

According to Richard Peek, M.D., Mina Cobb Wallace Associate Professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Dr. Kulessa will be remembered for the focus and intensity he brought to his work.

“Holger was a treasured member of our faculty whose work bridged gut development and inflammation, and he was notable for his dedication to his research program and the impeccable rigor with which he performed his studies. He will be deeply missed,” Peek said.

An author on numerous publications, Dr. Kulessa also had been honored with the EMBO Longterm Fellowship, the AGA Research Scholar Award and Vanderbilt's DDRC Young Investigator Award during his career.

Born in Mannheim, Germany, Dr. Kulessa received both his M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) degrees in Biology from Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.