Researcher of the Year 2016 - Hans-Peter Horny

Hans Peter HornyDr. Hans-Peter Horny was born in Göppingen, Baden-Württemberg (Germany) in 1951 and dedicated his research and career to the morphology and pathology of tissue mast cells in various pathologic conditions, and especially to the diagnosis and classification of mastocytosis. Trained by his famous teacher and world-leading pathologist Karl Lennert in Kiel (1978-1986), Horny soon became an experienced pathologist and he soon felt in love with mast cells and mastocytosis. In 1986 he moved to the University of Tübingen and was promoted to an Associate Professor of Pathology in 1996. In 2000, Horny was recruited as a C3 Professor to the Institute of Pathology of Lübeck (University of Schleswig Holstein). Between 2006 and 2011 he worked in Ansbach and established a local center for hematopathology. Since 2012, Professor Horny works as Professor of Pathology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany) and is head of a Reference Center for Hematopathology.

During his career, Hans-Peter Horny made several seminal observations and contributed essentially in the field of mastocytosis research. He was the first to perform a systematic and comprehensive histopathological analysis of various organs in patient with mastocytosis which served as a solid basis of the first classification of mastocytosis proposed by the Kiel group around Karl Lennert (Kiel Classification). This classification contained already all known entities, including mast cell leukemia and mast cell sarcoma; a first ´definitive´ case of a mast cell sarcoma was also published by Dr. Horny. Later, between 1985 and 2015, Hans-Peter Horny examined mast cells in mastocytossis systematically by using various immunohistochemical markers, such as KIT, tryptase, CD25, or CD30. Based on this work, major histopathological criteria could be established for all forms of systemic mastocytosis (SM) which served as a critical basis of the definition of SM and resulted in the formulation of major and minor SM criteria and to the development of the consensus classification of the disease. In 2000 these criteria and the classification were approved by the consensus group (Year 2000 Working Conference on Mastocytosis), and in 2001, the proposed criteria and the classification were adopted by the World Health Classification (WHO).

Professor Horny organized a series of meetings in Germany, including the Annual Meeting of the ECNM in Lübeck (2005), the Annual Meeting of the ECNM in Munich (2015), a series of histopathologic workshops on mastocytosis in Tübingen (1996-1999), Lübeck (2000-2005), and Munich, and a series of meetings on eosinophil neoplasms in Munich (2010-2014). Professor Horny is co-founder of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM) and serves as Deputy Coordinator of the ECNM since 2010. Horny established a Reference Center for Hematopathology and Diagnosis in the ECNM and runs this Center in Munich since 2012. Horny also established a Center of Excellence of the ECNM in Munich in 2012. Since 2013, Professor Horny is a member of the European Bone Marrow working group. Hans-Peter Horny participated in a long series of consensus meetings, including major working conferences on Mastocytosis in 2000, 2005, and 2010, a major consensus meeting on eosinophil neoplasms in 2011, and a major consensus meeting on basophil neoplasms in 2015. He was also invited several times be the WHO as an active faculty member and served as section chair for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms in the WHO in 2008.

Professor Horny published over 100 articles on mast cells and mastocytosis and lectured widely in Europe, the USA, and other countries worldwide. He is well-known as a world-leading communicator and legendary teacher in the field of hematopathology, and is admired by his many students in various countries. His continuous education of young scientists and interested colleagues and his pioneering research activities have been the ultimate basis for the successful implementation of hematopathology in the field of mastocytosis in daily practice and formed a critical basis for the preparation and conduct of observational and interventional clinical trials in patients with SM.  
 
In 2016, Hans-Peter Horny was nominated for the ECNM Medal and was elected as the Researcher of the Year (ROY) of the ECNM 2016. Horny received the ECNM Medal for his seminal contributions in the field of mastocytosis research in Verona in October 2016. He was specifically awarded for the establishment of histopathological and immunohistochemical parameters of mastocytosis and the definition of major and minor criteria of SM. Several related articles (Horny et al, Hum Pathol 1985;16:808-814; Horny et al, Am J Surg Pathol 1998;22:1132-1140; Horny et al, Pathobiology 2007;74:121-132) have been cited over 100 times until 2016 and are regarded standard literature.

 

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