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Maximilian Konig, M.D.

Maximilian Ferdinand Konig, M.D.

Headshot of Maximilian Konig
  • Instructor of Medicine

Specializes in: Adults (18+ years)

Male

Languages: English, German

Expertise

Autoimmune Diseases, Auto-inflammatory Diseases, Rheumatology ...read more

Research Interests

rheumatic disease; autoimmunity; immuno-oncology; antigen-specific immunotherapy; chimeric T cells; rheumatoid arthritis; citrullination ...read more

Locations

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle
JHAAC 1B1
Baltimore, MD 21224 map

Background

Dr. Maximilian Konig is an Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany). He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine in the Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Konig concluded fellowship training in Clinical and Molecular Rheumatology as well as Advanced Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins. 

His clinical interests lie in assessing and treating patients with systemic autoimmune diseases, including myositis, scleroderma, lupus, vasculitis, and inflammatory arthritis.

...read more

Titles

  • Instructor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Education

Degrees

  • MD; Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin -Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin (2012)

Residencies

  • Medicine; Massachusetts General Hospital (2018)

Fellowships

  • Rheumatology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2021)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine) (2019)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

As a physician-scientist in the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics & Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Konig’s research focuses on developing novel chimeric T cell- and antibody-based strategies for the treatment of rheumatic diseases and cancer. A primary goal of his translational research program is the development of antigen-specific and personalized immunotherapies for various autoimmune rheumatic diseases, with the intent to achieve sustained disease remission and functional cure. 

Dr. Konig has a long-standing interest in mechanisms of disease initiation and propagation in autoimmune rheumatic and inflammatory disease. His postdoctoral research in the Division of Rheumatology elucidated how specific bacteria may cause loss of immunological tolerance and the development of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) in rheumatoid arthritis, a hallmark of this autoimmune disease. His work identified Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as a pathogen that induces hypercitrullination and the release of citrullinated autoantigens from neutrophils during periodontal infection. These mechanistic findings may explain the clinical association of rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease and prove critical to research efforts to prevent the development of rheumatoid arthritis in high-risk individuals with evidence of preclinical autoimmunity.

Lab

Lab Website: Konig Lab

Technology Expertise Keywords

antigen-specific immunotherapy; T cell engineering; chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy; bispecific antibodies; protein citrullination

Clinical Trial Keywords

alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists; doxazosin; prazosin; COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation

Clinical Trials

Dr. Konig is engaged in research studies and clinical trials to investigate whether alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists (e.g., doxazosin, prazosin) can prevent mortality in COVID-19 by disrupting the catecholamine-cytokine feed-forward loop that has been shown to drive dysregulated immune responses in animal models.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Paul S, Pearlman AH, Douglass J, Mog BJ, Hsiue EH, Hwang MS, DiNapoli SR, Konig MF, Brown PA, Wright KM, Sur S, Gabelli SB, Li Y, Ghiaur G, Pardoll DM, Papadopoulos N, Bettegowda C, Kinzler KW, Zhou S, Vogelstein B. TCR β chain-directed bispecific antibodies for the treatment of T cell cancers. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Mar 10;13(584):eabd3595. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abd3595. Epub 2021 Mar 1. PMID: 33649188

Hsiue EH, Wright KM, Douglass J, Hwang MS, Mog BJ, Pearlman AH, Paul S, DiNapoli SR, Konig MF, Wang Q, Schaefer A, Miller MS, Skora AD, Azurmendi PA, Murphy MB, Liu Q, Watson E, Li Y, Pardoll DM, Bettegowda C, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Gabelli SB, Zhou S. Targeting a neoantigen derived from a common TP53 mutation. Science. 2021 Mar 5;371(6533):eabc8697. doi: 10.1126/science.abc8697. Epub 2021 Mar 1. PMID: 33649166; PMCID: PMC8208645

Giles JT, Reinholdt J, Andrade F, Konig MF. Associations of Antibodies Targeting Periodontal Pathogens With Subclinical Coronary, Carotid, and Peripheral Arterial Atherosclerosis in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021 Apr;73(4):568-575. doi: 10.1002/art.41572. Epub 2021 Mar 3. PMID: 33205531; PMCID: PMC8005413

Konig MF, Powell M, Staedtke V, Bai RY, Thomas DL, Fischer N, Huq S, Khalafallah AM, Koenecke A, Xiong R, Mensh B, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Vogelstein JT, Athey S, Zhou S, Bettegowda C. Preventing cytokine storm syndrome in COVID-19 using α-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists. J Clin Invest. 2020 Jul 1;130(7):3345-3347. doi: 10.1172/JCI139642. PMID: 32352407; PMCID: PMC7324164

Konig MF, Abusleme L, Reinholdt J, Palmer RJ, Teles RP, Sampson K, Rosen A, Nigrovic PA, Sokolove J, Giles JT, Moutsopoulos NM, Andrade F. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans-induced hypercitrullination links periodontal infection to autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Dec 14;8(369):369ra176. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaj1921. PMID: 27974664; PMCID: PMC5384717

Contact for Research Inquiries

Email me

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Jerome L. Greene Foundation Scholar Award, Jerome L. Greene Foundation, 2021
  • Jerome L. Greene Foundation Discovery Award, Jerome L. Greene Foundation, 2021
  • Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation Myositis Discovery Fund, Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, 2021
  • Outstanding Research Award, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2017
  • Albert L. Lehninger Young Investigator Award, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2016
  • Stabler Foundation Discovery Award, Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, 2015
  • Scholar, German National Academic Foundation, German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), 2005
  • Biomedical MD Research Fellow, Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, 2009

Memberships

  • American College of Rheumatology
  • American College of Physicians

Professional Activities

  • Member, Committee on Research, American College of Rheumatology
  • Member, Clinical and Scientific Committee, COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

  • Linking rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease: Researchers find common bacterium. Johns Hopkins HUB. (December 16, 2016)
  • How a Periodontal Infection Might Trigger RA. WebMD Health News. (December 29, 2016)
  • How RA Begins: A Detective Story. LEAP Magazine (Winter 2017)
  • Researchers Urge Clinical Trial of Blood Pressure Drug to Prevent Lethal Complication of Covid-19. Johns Hopkins News. (May 19, 2020)
  • Preventing ‘Cytokine Storm’ May Ease Severe COVID-19 Symptoms. Howard Hughes Medical Institute News. (May 20, 2020)
  • Researchers at Johns Hopkins are racing to understand the connection between SARS-CoV-2 and a deadly immune system malfunction called a cytokine storm. Johns Hopkins HUB. (June 29, 2020)
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