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A changing of the guard in the MDC’s Administrative Directorate

2018-10-01 / Professor Heike Graßmann took over as Administrative Director of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) on October 1, 2018. She succeeds Dr. Heike Wolke, who is going into retirement after five years at the MDC and 25 years with the Helmholtz Association.

“In Heike Graßmann the MDC is once again gaining an outstanding scientific manager,” says Professor Martin Lohse, Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director of the MDC. “As the long-time Administrative Director of the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research and as Administrative Vice-President of the Helmholtz Association, she brings a wealth of experience and excellent contacts within Germany’s research system to her new post. We are very much looking forward to working with her on shaping the future of the MDC.”

“It is my aim ‒ working together with my team and with all departments – to provide the best possible support to scientific research so that it can be pursued in an unbureaucratic and flexible way,” says Heike Graßmann. “I make it a point to talk with everyone, because I’m interested in what the different concerns are and how we can do things even better. Here it’s important not to let employee satisfaction fall by the wayside. The MDC should be an attractive employer ‒ it all goes hand in hand.” 

From Leipzig to Berlin
A native of the state of Thuringia, Heike Graßmann studied business administration at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, where she also worked as a research assistant and earned her doctorate in organization and human resources management. She began her tenure with the Helmholtz Association at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, where she served as a personal assistant to executive management and then to the Chancellor of Leipzig University before becoming head of the UFZ’s Financial Department in 2006. As the Administrative Director of the UFZ from 2012 to September 2018, Heike Graßmann was responsible for the areas of finance, human resources, legal issues, and infrastructure. She has now moved to the MDC to become its Administrative Director. 

Since 2015 Heike Graßmann has served as Deputy Chairwoman of the University Council of Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK Leipzig). She also holds an honorary professorship at the Leipzig University of Cooperative Education, and has been Administrative Vice-President of the Helmholtz Association since 2017. 

A farewell after 25 years at Helmholtz
Prof. Graßmann is succeeding Heike Wolke, who – during her 25 years with the Helmholtz Association – oversaw the administration of the UFZ in Leipzig, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremen, and from March 2014 the MDC. In Berlin Heike Wolke also served simultaneously as Administrative Vice-President of the Helmholtz Association and as Administrative Director of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). 

“We extend our warmest thanks to Heike Wolke. She has left a lasting mark on the MDC through her work and has put the Center on a good path. The excellent results of this year’s evaluations are a testament to this,” says Martin Lohse. “It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with her in moving the MDC forward!”

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