Prof. Christopher Baum
Chair of the BIH Board of Directors and Chief Translational Research Officer of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Professor Christopher Baum was born in 1962 in Marburg. He studied philosophy for two semesters in Mainz, and medicine in Essen, Freiburg and Hamburg. He obtained his doctorate in 1991, and qualified as a professor in the field of molecular medicine in 1999 at the University of Hamburg. In 2000, he joined the Hannover Medical School (MHH) as a professor for stem cell biology, and was also an associate professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the United States from 2002. In Hanover, he led the Institute of Experimental Hematology from 2006 and served as both the Ombudsperson for Good Scientific Practice and the Dean of Research. He was elected President of the MHH in 2013. At the beginning of 2019, Baum moved to the University of Lübeck as its first full-time Vice President for Medicine and a member of the Board of Directors of UKSH – Germany’s second largest university hospital after Charité. In October 2020, Christopher Baum became Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), and since the integration of BIH into Charité, he has been Chair of the BIH Board of Directors and Chief Translational Research Officer of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Scientifically, Christopher Baum was involved in gene therapy at an early stage. He developed gene vectors for introducing genes into blood stem cells and uncovered the basics of so-called insertion mutagenesis in gene therapy, which can lead to blood cancer in patients treated with gene therapy. Based on this, he developed test procedures with which this dangerous side effect can be excluded before the genetically modified blood stem cells are transferred. In science management, he shaped national and international networks for translational research in stem cell and gene therapy. In Hannover, he introduced the Voluntary Scientific Year as a new form of voluntary social year, the PhD program "Regenerative Sciences" of the Cluster of Excellence REBIRTH (From regenerative biology to reconstructive therapy), the Clinician-Scientist program "Young Academy of the MHH" and the continuing education program "TRAIN Academy" for translational sciences. He was responsible for the overall coordination of the MHH's excellence concepts. At the University of Lübeck, a center of artificial intelligence, and at the UKSH, he devoted himself primarily to the linking of informatics and medicine, the cooperation of the locations in Lübeck and Kiel, and the expansion of interprofessional teaching. He also introduced a medical informatics doctoral program with dual supervision on the part of informatics and medicine.
Baum has received numerous awards for his scientific work, including the Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Luise & Horst Köhler Prize for Research on Rare Diseases. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Medical Faculty Association (MFT), where he chairs the Science Working Group. Christopher Baum is involved as an inventor on patents on viral gene transfer vectors and on determining toxic side effects of gene transfer, as well as in the commercialization of an anti-infective agent.