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Veterinarian at Freie Universität Berlin Is New President of Robert Koch Institute

Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler Succeeds Prof. Dr. Reinhard Burger as President

№ 049/2015 from Feb 26, 2015

The founding director, and up to now the managing director, of the Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics at Freie Universität and a professor at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, was presented as the new president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). He will take over leadership of the RKI on March 1, 2015. The current president, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Burger, is retiring. Professor Wieler will continue to be closely associated with Freie Universität Berlin through joint research projects.

Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler earned his doctorate at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Since 1998 he has been a professor at Freie Universität's Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics, where he is currently the managing director of the institute.

Wieler's research activities at the universities in Munich, Ulm, and Gießen, as well as research he did in the United States and the U.K., have focused on the mechanisms of transmission of infectious agents and their disease-causing factors. Using genome analysis, Wieler tracks the history of infectious agents and the relationship between them, making it possible to immediately trace the outbreaks and curb them faster. One of his main areas of research is infections caused by multi-drug-resistant bacteria, which is one of the greatest challenges of infectious medicine.

Since 2007 Wieler has been the coordinator of the FBI Zoo (Food-Borne Zoonotic Infections of Humans) network, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research. He is the spokesperson for the International Research Training Group, Functional Molecular Infection Epidemiology, which was established jointly with the University of Hyderabad (India) and is funded by the DFG. He has been a member of Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, since 2010.