Portfolio PD Dr. Alfons Renz
Curriculum vitae Alfons Renz
16.06.1949 Born in Schwäbisch Hall (Southern Germany).
1969-1975 Studies of biology in Tübingen (zoology/parasitology, plant physiology, hygiene, electronics).
1976 Thesis of diploma "Studies on the development of Litomosoides carinii (Nematoda, Filarioidea) in the tropical rat mite Ornithonyssus bacoti (Acari)" at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tübingen (Prof. Wenk).
1976-1979 Field studies on transmission dynamics of human onchocerciasis in Cameroon (WHO/OCP und TDR). Set-up of a field-station in North Cameroon (Medical Resreach Council, Dr. Anderson & Fuglsan, London).
1982, 1983 Consultant of the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP, WHO). Studies on the reinvasion of Simulium damnosum s.l. and vectorial capacity of members of the S. damnosum complex in Togo and Benin.
1984-1989 Coordinator of CEC-funded project on the epidemiology of human onchocerciasis in various bioclimatic zones of Cameroon (National Institut for Medical Research, London, Medical Research Station, Cameroon, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, Amsterdam) (co-funded by WHO/TDR und CEC).
1987-1989 Principal Investigator of WHO/TDR-funded project on the identification of Onchocerca-larvae in anthropophilic Simulium damnosum s.l. flies in Cameroon.
1987-1988 Field studies on ivermectin mass-treatments in the Vina valley in Cameroon. Responsible for entomological studies (funded by WHO/TDR). In collaboration with ORSTOM and the Ministry of Public Health in Yaoundé.
1990 Organization of the first meeting of CEC-funded filarial research groups in Tübingen.
1989-1992 Coordinator of CEC-funded study on animal filariae in North-Cameroon: Epidemiological and molecular biological investigations (National Institut for Medical Research, London, Institut de Recherches Zootechniques et Vétérinaires, Kamerun, Medical Research Station, Kamerun, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, Amsterdam).
1990-1992 Development of DNA-probes for the identification of Onchocerca-larvae in Simulium vector flies. Funded by DFG (Germany). (Lehrbereich Populationsgenetik, Tübingen).
1992-98 Coordinator of CEC-funded project: Can cattle protect from onchocerciasis ? – Reduction of Simulium vectorial capacity and cross-protective concomitant immunity by cross-transmission of animal filariae (Onchocerca ochengi). (Strathclyde University of Glasgow, Institut de Recherches Zootechniques et Veterinaires, Kamerun, Medical Research Station, Kamerun, Federal University of Technology in Yola, Nigeria).
1992-00 Co-investigator of WHO/TDR/OCP-funded research on Onchocerca ochengi in African cattle as a novel drug-screening model for the search of new macrofilaricidal drugs (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; IRAD Cameroon).
1996 Discovery of the macrofilaricidal activity of high doses of tetracycline in the bovine O. ochengi model.
Since 1996 Studies on Wolbachia endosysmbionts of filarial parasites: biology and potential targets for antifilarial chemotherapy (Cameroon, Tübingen and Hohenheim)
2002 Immunology and epizootiology of Dermatophilus congolensis in Cameroonian cattle (Prof. Pfister, Vet. Pararstol. München)
2002 Development of a stochastic mathematical model of human onchocerciasis, significance of human behaviour and vector host-choice (Drs. Little and Bazanes, Imp. Coll. London)
since 2000 Fundus Tübinger Wissenschaftsgeschichte, History of Natural Sciences at Tübingen
since 2002 Studies on the biology of Wolbachia endosymbionts in Onchocerca and Simulium hosts: electronmicroscopy and molecular biology (Prof. Mackenstedt, Dipl. Boil. S. Plappert, Y. Zimmermann, Hohenheim)
2008 Molecular approache to the population biology of Onchocerca ochengi in cattle (Prof. R. Post, British Mus. Nat. Hist., and LSHTM)
2008 Co-investigator: Studies on the secretom and preotom of filarial worms (Profs. E. Liebau, K. Luersen, N. Brattig. D. Achu-Kwi, D. Djonka, Univ. Münster, Hamburg, Ngaoundere, DFG)
2013 Co-ordinator: DFG-Project 2013-16: “Is eradication of human onchocerciasis possible? Entomological, biological and epidemiological studies on filarial parasites in North-Cameroon
2014 Member of the Ethiopian Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee
2015 Baden-Württenberg-Stipendium Plus project for training Cameroonian and German students
1979-1980 Scientific employee at the Institute of Biometrics, Tübingen (Prof. K. Dietz)
1981-1992 Scientific employee at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tübingen (Prof. P. Wenk)
1992-1999 Scientific employee at the Institute of Zoology, Hohenheim, Fachgebiet Parasitologie
1995-1996 Lecturer at the Univ. Hohenheim
since 1995 Lecturer at the University Tübingen (Fakultät f. Biologie): Parasitology, Vectorbiology & Control, Epidemiology
since 2000 Privatdozent, Institute of Zoology, Univ. Tübingen
since 1984 married, two children, born 1987 and 1991.
Membership of scientific associations:
Deutsche Parasitologische Gesellschaft
Deutsche Tropenmedizinische Gesellschaft
Dt. Ges. f. allgem. u. angew. Entomologie
Society for Vector Ecology
Gesellschaft für Naturkunde
Tüb. Mikrosk. Ges. (Acting President)
1991 Award of Tropical Medicine of the German Society of Tropical Medicine
More than 70 scientific publications on parasitological, entomological and epidemiological aspects of human and bovine onchocerciasis, several contributions to books, co-author of a textbook of parasitology, numerous short communications, articles on the history of natural sciences etc
Since 1976, he is conducting field studies on the epidemiology, transmission and control of onchocerciasis in Cameroon. Together with colleagues from Liverpool and Cameroon, he established the bovine Onchocera ochengi filarial model in Ngaoundere, North-Cameroon.
His main interest is the biology of Onchocerca parasites and their Simulium vector flies. Milestones of his research in Cameroon were the definitions of a tolerable level of onchocerciasis in 1977 (ATP 100 and ABR 1000), the design of mathematical models for onchocerciasis (1986), the development of the bovine chemotherapy model (1993), successful vaccination of cattle by a live heterologeous antigen (L3 of O. volvulus, 2001), and the discovery of the antifilarial activity of Doxycycline by killing endosymbiotic Wohlbachia-bacteria (1997).
Since 2008, his research focuses on excretory/secretory products of O. ochengi, their action in the cross-talk with the bovine host and the epidemiologicals aspects of onchocerciasis-erdication by ivermectin-masstreatment. He teaches parasitology, medical entomology and epidemiology at the Tübingen university.
In Cameron, he heads the Programme Onchocercoses Reserach Laboratory in Ngaoundéré, North-Cameroon (see: www.riverblindness.eu). Together with Dr. Albert Eisenbarth (UT), Prof. Achukwi and Dr. Kingsley Manchang (IRAD Cameroon), he set up an experimental herd of Gudali-Zebu cattle, naturally exposed to Onchocerca ochengi transmission on a paddock near the perennially flowing river Vina-duNord, where the Simulium damnosum s.l. vector flies breed perennialy. Acquistion of Onchocerca nodules and turn-over of microfilariae is followed-up in a longitudinal study since 2009. This is an unique possibility to study the biology of nodule-forming Onchocerca filarial parasites, which may life almost as long (6 to 10 years) as theirt cattle hosts (up to 20 years).