Press Release: Top New York-based researcher relocates to Berlin
Böttinger joins Berlin Institute of Health / Wanka: “Proof that Germany is an attractive research location”
German medical professor Erwin Böttinger is moving back from New York to Berlin to become the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). He will assume the position on 1 November, 2015, taking over from Ernst Theodor Rietschel. Upon taking office at Berlin Institute of Health, Böttinger will also be appointed professor of personalized medicine at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. In 2004, Böttinger took up a position at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, where he has been Director of the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine since 2007. In 1987, after completing his medical studies at Friedrich-Alexander Universität in ErIangen-Nuremberg, Böttinger moved to the U.S., where he conducted research at several institutions including Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. From 2000 to 2004 he was Director of the Biotechnology Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The main focus of kidney specialist Böttinger’s research is the field of personalized medicine. This involves using approaches from genomics and bioinformatics to identify molecular disease mechanisms, with the aim of improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment. “I find the return of such a successful international researcher as Erwin Böttinger particularly exciting, as it is proof that Germany is a highly attractive research location for top scientists around the world,” says German Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka. “With his expertise in the field of personalized medicine, which is set to play such a big role in the future, Professor Böttinger can give a much-needed boost to health research and place Berlin Institute of Health in an excellent position on both a national and international level. ” The city of Berlin also gains a valuable asset in Böttinger. “With the arrival of Erwin Böttinger, we have succeeded in bringing an internationally outstanding figure to Berlin,” enthuses Sandra Scheeres, Berlin’s senator for science and Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board at Charité. “Professor Böttinger will help advance the institute and, with it, biomedical research in Berlin in general. This can only serve to further strengthen Berlin’s leading position in health research.” “Heading BIH – the state of Berlin’s new public corporation and non-university research institute – is a unique challenge that I accept with great enthusiasm, as many excellent scientists are currently working at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin,” says Böttinger. “In addition, both institutions have access to state-of-the-art technological resources for innovative biomedical research. These resources need to be pooled as best as possible and used for translational research into medical applications that will ultimately benefit patients. This is how we will succeed in overcoming the huge challenges of the future in prevention, diagnosis and therapy. As the founding chairman, Ernst Rietschel has already performed important preparatory work in this field.” As full-time Chairman of the Board of Directors at BIH, Böttinger assumes responsibility for the board’s activities and will take charge of strategic and scientific planning and monitor their success, together with his counterparts at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the dean of Charité, and a full-time administrative board member. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is appointed by the BIH’s Supervisory Board. As of 2015, BIH receives 90 percent of its funding from the Federal Government and ten percent from the state of Berlin. This sum amounts to €44 million for the 2015 financial year and is expected to increase to an annual sum of €75.5 million by 2018. In addition, a private initiative set up by the recently deceased founder of Charité foundation, Johanna Quandt, has donated a total of €40 million for the years up to 2022 in order to fund the institute’s development.