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Members of the interdisciplinary DFG Commission for Pandemic Research

Prof. Dr. Frank Allgöwer, Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Frank Allgöwer heads the Institute for Systems Theory and Automatic Control at the University of Stuttgart and conducts research on methods for the analysis, modelling and control of non-linear systems, on networks of systems and on optimisation and data-based control. In current publications, he deals with predicting the spread of the current pandemic and measures to control it based on a predictive model-based control procedure.

Prof. Dr. Marcus Altfeld, Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Marcus Altfeld heads the Department of Virus Immunology at the Heinrich Pette Institute in Hamburg, and the Institute for Immunology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. His research focuses on immune responses against human pathogenic viruses (especially HIV, HCV, influenza). Among other things, his work aims to develop innovative vaccination strategies and immunotherapeutic interventions.

Prof. Dr. Christian Apfelbacher, Magdeburg

Prof. Dr. Christian Apfelbacher is Director of the Institute of Social Medicine and Health Systems Research at the Medical Faculty of Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. His research focuses on the (care) epidemiology of chronic disease, healthcare and quality of life, health literacy and evidence synthesis. He is an executive board member of the German Society for Social Medicine and Prevention (DGSMP) and a member of the coordination and steering group of the COVID-19 Public Health Research Network.

Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt, Bamberg

Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt is Director of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) and holds the Chair of Longitudinal Educational Research at the University of Bamberg. She is project leader of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), which provides longitudinal data on educational processes in Germany. She conducts research on the basics of scientific and application-oriented issues in the areas of skills acquisition, especially text comprehension metacognition, as well as diagnostics.

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch, Erfurt

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch is an expert in health communication and health behaviour at the University of Erfurt. Her research focuses particularly on health decisions in connection with infectious diseases. Cornelia Betsch is currently leading a study on knowledge, risk perception, protective behaviour and trust during the current COVID-19 outbreak (COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring – COSMO) together with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA).

Dr. Carsten Butsch, Cologne

Assistant professor Dr. Carsten Butsch conducts research at the Institute of Geography at the University of Cologne into urban health in the global south and into the handling of risks and migration processes. His academic work has included subjects such as access to health services, crisis prevention in megacities and new approaches to health reporting. He is the spokesperson for the German Geographical Society working groups “Medical Geography and Geographic Health Research” and “South Asia”.

Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten, Berlin

Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten is Director of the Institute of Virology at Charité Berlin and an expert in the field of pathogenic viruses with epidemic potential. He was previously involved in the identification of the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV1) in 2003 and his research focuses on the epidemiology and ecology of coronaviruses. In 2020, the Stifterverband and the DFG awarded him the “Special Prize for Outstanding Communication of Science in the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

Prof. Dr. Eva Grill, Munich

Prof. Dr. Eva Grill is Professor of Epidemiology at the Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry, and Epidemiology at LMU Munich. Her research focuses on ageing, participation and patient-reported outcomes. She is a member of the COVID-19 Public Health Research Network and President of the German Society for Epidemiology (DGEpi).

Prof. Dr. Susanne Herold, Gießen

Prof. Dr. Susanne Herold is Professor of Infectious Diseases of the Lung at Justus Liebig University in Gießen and Head of Department of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University Hospital in Gießen. Her research interests include antiviral defence mechanisms in connection with influenza and coronavirus infections and the respiratory pathologies associated with these. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Robert Koch Institute.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig, DIW Berlin

Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig is Director of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin, and Professor of Sociology at the FU Berlin. He conducts research into the perception and evaluation of social inequalities and problems of survey methodology. In a joint project with the University of Bielefeld, he is leading the study “Socio-economic factors and consequences of the spread of the coronavirus in Germany” (SOEP-CoV) at the DIW and, together with the RKI, the nationwide antibody study “Living in Germany – Corona Monitoring” (RKI-SOEP). These two studies are looking into the acute, medium and long-term socio-economic factors and consequences of the spread of the coronavirus in Germany.

Prof. Dr. Stephan Ludwig, Münster

Prof. Dr. Stephan Ludwig is Director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Münster. He conducts research into influenza viruses and their infection mechanisms and is a site manager involved in coordinating the National Research Platform for Zoonoses. In addition to his molecular cell biology research, he studies approaches to antiviral therapy.

Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann heads the Department of Systems Immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI). He is also a professor at TU Braunschweig and a member of the board of directors of the Braunschweig Integrated Centre of Systems Biology (BRICS), an institution administrated jointly by the HZI and TU Braunschweig. In his interdisciplinary research, he works on establishing mathematical methods in biology and immunology with the aim of understanding disease and improving therapy.

Prof. Dr. Jörn Müller-Quade, Karlsruhe

Prof. Dr. Jörn Müller-Quade heads the “Cryptography and Security” research group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and is director of the Computer Science Research Centre there. He is a computer scientist and an expert in computer algebra. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, his scientific interest lies in the information security of contact tracing apps.

Prof. Dr. Carla Nau, Lübeck

Prof. Dr. Carla Nau is Director of the Department of Anesthesiology and Surgical Intensive Care at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck Campus. She is mainly involved in pain research, in particular postoperative pain treatment. She is also an expert in the intensive care and emergency outpatient technologies needed to treat and understand COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.

Prof. Dr. Karen Nolte, Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Karen Nolte holds the Chair of History and Ethics of Medicine and is director of the institute with the same name at the University of Heidelberg. She is concerned with the history of medicine and nursing, the history of patients, gender and the body, the history of psychiatry as well as and the history of medical ethics from the 18th to the 20th century. Her research work has focused on such areas as hospital and clinic historiography as well as that of medical care.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Schlüter, Hamburg

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Schlüter heads the Institute of Multiphase Flows at the Technical University of Hamburg. His research focuses on fluid particles in flows of biological and chemical processes. He is particularly interested in transport processes, ranging from microscopic to large-scale. He is an appointed member of the ProcessNet Subject Division on Multiphase Flows and Chair of the EFCE Division on Multiphase Fluid Flow.

Prof. Dr. Jonas Schreyögg, Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Jonas Schreyögg heads the Hamburg Center for Health Economics at the University of Hamburg. His research currently focuses on the efficiency and quality of hospitals; as a health economist, he is also interested in general developments in the healthcare system. Jonas Schreyögg is a member of the Advisory Council on the Assessment of Developments in the Healthcare Sector. He is a co-director of the European COvid Survey (ECOS) on people’s behavioural response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

Prof. Dr. Britta Siegmund, Berlin

Prof. Dr. Britta Siegmund is Director of the Medical Clinic for Gastroenterology, Infectiology and Rheumatology at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Her research focus is chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. Since 2019, she has been Vice-President of the DFG and Chair of the DFG Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research (SGKF).

Prof. Dr. Simone Sommer, Ulm

Prof. Dr. Simone Sommer is Director of the Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics at the University of Ulm. She looks into the effects of anthropogenic environmental disturbances on the ecology, immunogenetics and health status of wild animals and the emergence and increase of zoonotic infections. Her research includes the interaction of coronavirus infections with the microbiome in bats.

Prof. Dr. Uwe Volkmann, Frankfurt

Prof. Dr. Uwe Volkmann is Professor of Public Law and Philosophy of Law at the University of Frankfurt. His research focuses on constitutional theory, democratic theory and fundamental rights. In the context of the coronavirus crisis, his scientific interest is primarily focused on the questions of the proportionality of the infringements of liberty in connection with the fight against the pandemic, the constitutional containment of powers under infection control law and the safeguarding of parliamentary participation opportunities in crisis situations.