№ 066/2014 from Feb 27, 2014
The Charité Foundation was able to win the 2013 Nobel laureate in medicine, Prof. Dr. Thomas Südhof, as a Visiting Fellow for the Berlin Institute of Health. Südhof, currently a professor of cellular physiology at Stanford University in California is the first scientist to join the team in Berlin with the support of the Private Excellence Initiative of Johanna Quandt, which is managed by the Charité Foundation. In November 2012 the entrepreneur Johanna Quandt had already indicated her willingness to support the scientific work of the Berlin Institute of Health with up to 40 million euros over ten years.
It is expected that Thomas Südhof will take up his scientific work as a Visiting Fellow in Berlin in the fall of 2014. Along with Prof. Dr. Christian Rosenmund, a professor at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Scientific Coordinator of the Neurocure Cluster of Excellence, Südhof will build up a group including several researchers who will focus on the issue of how neurons in the brain communicate with each other and how this communication is disrupted in disease. The Neurocure Cluster of Excellence, which is operated jointly by Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, is funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments. Südhof is the first Fellow to join the Berlin Institute of Health, an institution established in November 2012 to consolidate and advance scientific cooperation between Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the areas of basic research and clinical research. “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues here in Berlin. First-class scientific conditions were put in place through the Berliner Institute of Health and the Private Excellence Initiative of Johanna Quandt,” said Professor Südhof.
“We are very pleased that we were able to convince Professor Südhof that there are excellent opportunities and possibilities for medical research here in Berlin,” says Professor E. Jürgen Zöllner, chair of the Charité Foundation. Professor Rietschel, CEO of the Berlin Institute of Health, adds, “I hope that Professor Südhof’s work will be an important stimulus for research. I expect that it will lead to increased scientific exchange between Stanford, Charité, and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and that researchers at all stages in their career – from the top senior investigators to young researchers just getting started – will benefit from these synergies.”
At the end of January, Professor Südhof held a lecture at Freie Universität Berlin that dealt with the communication of nerve cells in the brain. The presentation was organized by Freie Universität Berlin, Stanford University in Berlin, and the Will Foundation for Stanford University in Berlin in cooperation with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Berlin Institute of Health, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology.
Südhof, who was born in 1955 in Göttingen, studied medicine at the University of Göttingen and earned a doctorate there in 1982. As a postdoctoral researcher he went to the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, where he taught and conducted research for many years. In 2008 he was appointed a professor at Stanford University in California.