Detlev Ganten


Prof. Detlev Ganten was born in Lüneburg (Germany) in 1941 and studied medicine at the Universities of Würzburg, Montpellier and Tübingen. He worked as an intern in surgery at Mamounia Hospital in Marrakesh (Morocco). After receiving his MD from the University of Tübingen, he spent several years as a research scientist at the Clinical Research Institute in Montreal, and earned his Ph.D. at McGill University.In 1975, Ganten was appointed Professor at the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Heidelberg.

In 1991, he moved to Berlin, where he became the Founding Director and President of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and director of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Free University of Berlin. He held these roles until 2004, when he took over as Chief Executive Officer at the “Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin”, the joint medical faculty of the Free University and Humboldt University of Berlin.

In 2009, he founded the World Health Summit (WHS – on the occasion of the 300-year anniversary of the Charité. At this annual event, about 2,000 leaders from academia, politics, civil society, and the private sector work together under the patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the French Republic and the President of the European Commission to find solutions for the challenges posed by global health. The World Health Summit’s academic think tank is provided by the “M8 Alliance”, a unique collaborative network made up of leading international medical universities, research institutions and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) for Health.Since 2005, Professor Ganten has been the Chairman of the Board of the Charité Foundation, and in 2009 he was elected Chairman of the Joint Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology.

He has previously held positions as President of the German Society for Naturalists and Physicians (1996-1998), President of the Helmholtz-Association of National Research Centres (HGF) (1997-2001) and was a member of the German National Ethics Council (2002-2007). He is currently a member of the Academy of the Sciences Heidelberg, Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademie Umiejetnosci), Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and Academia Europea. Professor Ganten is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Molecular Medicine.As a research scientist in the field of hypertension, Professor Ganten elucidated fundamental mechanisms of the pathophysiology and molecular biology of high blood pressure. His areas of research include the hormonal regulation of blood pressure, especially the renin-angiotensin system, and the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases. He has a special interest in developing the concept of evolutionary medicine.Throughout his career, he has received many awards, including the Chavez Award of the International Society of Hypertension (1981), the Sechenev Medaille of the Medical Academy Moscow (1981), the Science Award of the Deutsche Liga zur Bekämpfung des hohen Blutdruckes (1981), the Heilmeyer Medaille from the Gesellschaft für Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der Inneren Medizin (1990), the Max Planck Research Award (1990), the Okamoto-Award (Japan,1990), the CIBA-Award of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research from the American Heart Association (1992) and a Dr. honoris Causa from the Universities of Iasi, (Rumania) and Maastricht (Holland). Detlev Ganten has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of Germany (2000), and is a member of the French Légion d’Honneur (2003).