Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research mourns Scientific Director
Professor Jürgen Wehland dies unexpectedly
Braunschweig, August 18, 2010 – The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, Germany is mourning the loss of its Scientific Director, Professor Jürgen Wehland, PhD. On August 16, 2010, Jürgen Wehland died unexpectedly during a vacation in Sweden. “We express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” says Ulf Richter, Administrative Director of the HZI. “His death is a great loss for every employee at the Helmholtz Centre and in the Helmholtz Association. We have lost an outstanding scientist and for many of us a longtime friend.”
„Professor Wehland was a highly respected scientist and a universally appreciated colleague,” says Professor Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres in Berlin. “In our thoughts we are with all the people that were close to Jürgen Wehland, both personally and professionally.”
Professor Wehland studied biology at the Göttingen University and took his Diploma and PhD thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. After his doctorate in cell biology at the Bonn University, he went to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USA for postdoctoral studies. In 1989 he came as junior scientist to the Society for Biotechnological Research (GBF, now the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research) in Braunschweig to work in the Division of Microbiology. From 1994 to 1997 he was Head of the Division of Cell Biology. In 1997 Jürgen Wehland was appointed University Professor in Cell Biology and Immunology at the Technical University Braunschweig and Head of the Department of Cell and Immune Biology at the GBF. After an interim period starting in September 2009, Jürgen Wehland was appointed Scientific Head of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in January of this year.
Jürgen Wehland was Vice President of the German Society for Cell Biology and obtained the Descartes Prize for his research on Listeria bacteria as pathogens in 2007. His more than 160 publications on processes of the cell skeleton and on Listeria were published in a number of high-ranking scientific journals. Jürgen Wehland takes a lot of credit that today’s HZI is a modern and high-performance centre for infection research.
Furthermore, Jürgen Wehland was member in several executive boards and committees such as the German Special Research Field of the German Research Society, member of the Expert Advisory Committee of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and Chairman of the Senate Panel “Evaluation” of the Leibniz Association.
Professor Dr. Jürgen Wehland died at the age of 58. He is survived by his wife and his two grown-up daughters.