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Lukas Unger
Dr. Lukas Unger, PhD

Department of Surgery (Division of General Surgery)
Position: Doctor-in-training

ORCID: 0000-0002-8423-2268


Colorectal Neoplasms; Colorectal Surgery; Liver Transplantation

Research group(s)

Research interests

After finishing my PhD focussing on transplant immunology and metabolic changes in end-stage liver disease/portal hypertension, my interest has evolved into the field of cancer- and immunometabolism.

My current research focus aims to better understand metabolic rewiring in stem cells during cancer development and to investigate the impact of secreted oncometabolites on tumor-infiltrating immune cells.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

Basic research techniques/models:

  • Standard molecular biology techniques
  • CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing
  • Murine in vivo models
  • Intestinal organoids
  • Confocal microscopy

Clinical research:

  • Establishment, maintenance and analysis of large clinical prospective and retrospective databases
  • Establishment and maintenance of a colorectal cancer biobank


  • Impact of mesenteric lymph drainage in antigen presentation in Crohn’s disease (2020)
    Source of Funding: City of Vienna, inflammatory bowel disease
    Principal Investigator
  • The role of FAMIN in cancer development (2019)
    Source of Funding: FWF (Austrian Science Fund), Schroedinger Fellowship
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. Cader, M.Z. et al., 2020. FAMIN Is a Multifunctional Purine Enzyme Enabling the Purine Nucleotide Cycle. Cell, 180(2), pp.278–295.e23. Available at:
  2. Unger, L.W. et al., 2019. Mesenteric granulomas independently predict long‐term risk of surgical recurrence in Crohn’s disease. Colorectal Disease. Available at:
  3. Unger, L.W. et al., 2018. Effect of pathologist’s dedication on lymph node detection rate and postoperative survival in colorectal cancer. Colorectal Disease, 20(7), pp.O173–O180. Available at:
  4. Unger, L.W. et al., 2019. Guideline-conform statin use reduces overall mortality in patients with compensated liver disease. Scientific Reports, 9(1). Available at:
  5. Unger, L.W. et al., 2019. Hepatic Steatosis in Lean Patients: Risk Factors and Impact on Mortality. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 65(9), pp.2712–2718. Available at: