Stefan H. E. Kaufmann

Stefan H. E. Kaufmann

Stefan H. E. Kaufmann studied biology at the University of Mainz, received his doctorate there in 1977 and habilitated at the Free University of Berlin four years later. He then carried out research at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg from 1982-1987 and became Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ulm in 1987. There, he held the chair of Immunology as full professor until 1998. In 1993, he returned to the Max Planck Society with the task of establishing the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. At that institute, he headed the Department of Immunology until his retirement in 2019 and continues to be scientifically active as Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institutes for Infection Biology and for Multidisciplinary Sciences. Since 1998, he has been honorary professor at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. He is also a visiting professor at Tongji University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, China (since 2011), honorary professor at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru (since 2012), and visiting professor at Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China (since 2014).

Prizes and awards

Kaufmann has received numerous awards for his research, including the Smith Kline Beecham Science Prize, the Merckle Research Prize, and the Gardner Middlebrook Prize.


Stefan Kaufmann has more than 900 publications with more than 70,000 citations (Google Scholar). Highly Cited Researcher (category Immunology), Thomson Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) 2001; h-index (according to J.E. Hirsch) Google Scholar: 138; Thomson/ISI: 108; amongst the 0.01 % most cited scientists of ca. 7 million scientists of 22 major scientific fields globally (PLoS Biol 17: e3000384, 2019).

As early as 2008, he warned of a pandemic in his book The New Plagues (Wächst die Seuchengefahr?), and already at that time suggested solutions for early surveillance and rapid containment of outbreaks of emerging pathogens.

Memberships and presidentships

  • Past President and Honorary Member of the German Society for Immunology (DGfI).
  • Past President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS).
  • Past President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).
  • Member of Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities  (BBAW)
  • Member of German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (Leopoldina)
  • Member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • Member of American Academy of Microbiology (ASM Academy)
  • Board member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) (2010 to 2013). Member of the Scientific Board of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) (2009 to 2014).
  • Member of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) (2014 to 2018).
  • Member of the Executive Committee of Robert Koch Foundation (2003 to 2019)
  • Chair of the Board of Schering Foundation
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board and member of the Board of Trustees of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
  • Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee of World Health Summit
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