Professor Walter Rosenthal Assumes Presidency of Jena University – Professor Thomas Sommer Becomes Interim Director of the MDC
2014-10-16 / On October 16, 2014, Professor Walter Rosenthal, former Chair of the Board of Directors and Scientific Director of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch since 2009, assumed his new position as President of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. He was elected on May 23, 2014 as successor of Professor Klaus Dicke by the University Council in consultation with the Senate of the University. On October 15, 2014, Professor Thomas Sommer became Interim Chair of the MDC Board of Directors until the appointment of a successor. From 2004 to the present, Sommer held the position of Deputy Scientific Director of the MDC.
Professor Walter Rosenthal, former Chair of the MDC Board of Directors and Scientific Director. (Photo: Steffen Weigelt/ Copyright: MDC) and Professor Thomas Sommer, Interim Chair of the MDC Board of Directors. (Photo: David Ausserhofer/ Copyright: MDC)
Following Professor Rosenthal’s departure, Professor Sommer also assumed the vacant positions of member of the Board of Directors of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), which was founded in 2013 by the MDC and the Charité, and member of the Board of Directors of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).
Thomas Sommer studied biology at Freie Universität Berlin. In 1988 he received his doctorate from the same university with a dissertation at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics in Berlin-Dahlem in the department of Professor Thomas A. Trautner. He then began working on the mechanisms of protein quality control as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Stefan Jentsch at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society in Tübingen.
In 1993 Sommer became a junior research group leader at the MDC. Since 1999 he has been a senior research group leader at the MDC, and since 2009 he has concurrently been Professor of Cellular Biochemistry at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Sommer collaborates closely with scientists in Israel, among them Professor Michael Glickman and Nobel laureate Professor Aaron Ciechanover from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
In 2003 Sommer was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO); in 2006 he received an honorary professorship at the Charité. In 2012, together with Professor Glickman, he received the Science Prize of the German Technion Society (Hannover).
In recent years Sommer has also become engaged in issues of the self-administration of research. Since 2014 he has been a member of the scientific advisory board of the Center for Biotechnology of the University of Duisburg-Essen. From 2006 to 2008 he was a member in the Senate Committee for Graduate Programs of the German Research Foundation (DFG), and from 2008 to 2014 he was a member in the Senate Committee for Collaborative Research Centres of the DFG.
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
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