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Epidemiologist Till Bärnighausen accepts Humboldt Professorship

Till Bärnighausen

Photo: Heidelberg University Hospital

Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen

Internationally renowned epidemiologist Prof. Dr Dr Till Bärnighausen, formerly of Harvard University, has joined Heidelberg University as a Humboldt Professor. Endowed with 5 million euros, the Humboldt Professorship is awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The professorship recognises worldwide leading scientists and scholars of all disciplines working abroad, giving them the chance to conduct long-term pioneering research at German universities. Under the direction of Prof. Bärnighausen, the Institute of Public Health at the Medical Faculty Heidelberg and Heidelberg University Hospital will be extended over the next five years into an Institute of Global Health – the first of its kind in Germany.

Scientists at the Institute of Public Health – which was founded over 50 years ago – try to find new ways of improving the health of the world’s poorest and those most affected by disease, for instance in South Africa, Burkina Faso and Bangladesh. Their focus is on investigating the effects of mass treatments – such as in HIV therapy or the fight against malaria – and on researching healthcare systems in Africa and Asia. Prof. Dr Rainer Sauerborn, who became head of the institute in 1997, has now turned over the reins to his successor Till Bärnighausen. Prof. Sauerborn recommended Bärnighausen for the Humboldt Professorship and will continue to follow the institute’s development with his research group ‘Climate Change and Health’.

Till Bärnighausen (born 1969) earned his doctorate at Heidelberg University. He trained as a general practitioner at Heidelberg University Hospital and completed his education at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of London and the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2004 he became Associate Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where he has been working for the Africa Centre for Population Health ever since. In 2009 he returned to Harvard University as a teacher and researcher at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With Till Bärnighausen, Heidelberg University has been able to win a scientist who enjoys an excellent reputation in his chosen field. The epidemiologist, whose interdisciplinary works also include the fields of medicine, economics, statistics and demography, specialises in the evaluation of health intervention and therapeutic programmes.

Designed to bring international top scientists to German universities, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most highly endowed research award in Germany. In addition to the outstanding academic qualification of the candidates, it is the concepts of the universities, their ability to offer a long-term perspective in Germany to the researchers and their teams, that play a decisive role in the awarding of a Humboldt Professorship.

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Latest Revision: 2017-03-01
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