Virchow Foundation

for Global Health


The establishment of the Virchow Prize for Global Health and the Virchow Foundation for Global Health was achieved through civil society commitment. The five founders represent various sectors and disciplines.


“When we established the Virchow Foundation for Global Health on October 13, 2021, the 200th birthday of Rudolf Virchow, it was with a clear and hopeful mission: to broaden public awareness on the importance of global health and to convene stronger partnerships towards mobilising the attainment of the United Nations 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in respect to “health and well-being for all”.

A key pillar of this mission is upheld through the awarding of the Virchow Prize for Global Health, which elevates those exceptional individuals who have dedicated their lives to improve global health.

Laureates of the Virchow Prize for Global Health serve as leading examples and inspiration on how outstanding contributions, strong commitment and ground-breaking innovation can drive this transformation.

As we look to what we have achieved as a global community since the UN SDGs were unanimously adopted by Member States in 2015, it is clear that major challenges remain ahead of us. Only together can we reach health equity as a prerequisite to protect our planet earth.

We hope you share our renewed ambition to improving health a truly universal human right.”

Dr. h.c. mult. Friede Springer


Chair | Axel Springer Stiftung
Founder | Friede Springer Stiftung

Friede Springer

Dr h.c. Friede Springer is the Vice Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE and holds the chairmanship of her two foundations:

The Friede Springer Foundation promotes scientific, medical, artistic and cultural projects.

The Axel Springer Foundation supports exclusively and directly scientific, non-profit and charitable purposes. The focus is on German-Jewish historical research and on German-Israeli relations.

Friede Springer has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE since 1985 and its Vice Chairwoman since 1999.

In 1996, Friede Springer was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Prof. Dr. Detlev Ganten


Founding President & Chair of the Board of Trustees
World Health Summit

Detlev Ganten

Academic and Professional Career

  • since 2021: Chairman of the Board of Trustees, World Health Summit
  • 2010: Guest Professorship, Collège de France, Paris, France
  • since 2009: Founding President World Health Summit and Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany
  • since 2005: Honorary Chairman of the Board, Charité Foundation, Germany
  • 2004‐2008: Chief Executive Officer, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • 2002-2007: National Ethics Council
  • 1997-2001: President, Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers
  • 1997-1998: President, Deutsche Gesellschaft der Naturforscher und Ärzte (GDNÄ)
  • 1992-2008: Professor for Clinical Pharmacology, Free University of Berlin
  • 1991‐2004: Founding Director, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany
  • 1975-1991: Professor for Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1973: Ph.D., McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • 1969‐1973: Research Fellow, Clinical Research Institute, Université de Montreal, Canada
  • 1968: M.D. degree, University of Tübingen, Germany

Project coordination, Membership in collaborative research projects (Selection)

  • since 2011: Board of Trustees, University Paris Sciences Lettres PSL
  • since 2011: Scientific Advisory Board, University Sorbonne Paris Cité
  • 2009-2021: President of the World Health Summit
  • since 2009: Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam, Germany
  • since 2009: Scientific Advisory Board, Agence Nationale der Recherche (ANR), Paris, France
  • since 2005: Chairman of the Board, Charité Foundation, Germany
  • 1962‐1968: Medical Studies at the Universities of Würzburg, Montpellier, Tübingen, Germany

Functions in Scientific Societies and Committees (Selection) 

  • since 2013: Co‐Chair, Interacademy Medical Panel (IAMP)
  • 2002‐2007: German National Ethics Council
  • 1997‐2001: President of the Helmholtz‐Association of National Research Centres
  • 1996‐1998: President of the Society of German Scientists and Medicines (GDNÄ)
  • 1993‐1998: Science Council, German Federal Government
  • 1992‐1997: Health Research Council, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • 1990‐1995: President of the World Hypertension League

Honours and Awarded Memberships (Selection)

  • 2017: Honorary doctorate, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • 2016: Honorary doctorate, Charité, Berlin
  • 2003: Légion d’honneur, France
  • 2002: Honorary Professorship, Wuhan University, China
  • 2000: Federal Cross of Merit, Germany
  • 1995: Honorary doctorate, University Iasi, Rumania
  • since 1993: Member, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 1992: CIBA Award of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, American Heart Association
  • 1990: Max Planck Research Award; Okamoto Award, Japan
  • 1981: Science Award of the German League for Combating High Blood Pressure; Sechenev Medal of the Medical Academy
  • Moscow; Chavez Award of the International Society of Hypertension

Roland Göhde


Co-Founder  | Göhde Foundation
Chair of the Board | GHA – German Health Alliance

Roland Göhde

Activities & Positions

  • Since 2023: Member of the High-Level Council | Global Surgery Foundation
  • Since 2023: Deputy Chairman | German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein)
  • Since 2022: Member of the Steering Committee & Coordination Committee | One Europe for Global Health
  • Since 2022: Member of the Board of Trustees | World Health Summit
  • Since 2022: Member of the Advisory Board | Institute for Research in International Assistance (IRIA), Akkon University of Applied Sciences for Human Sciences
  • 2021-2022: EU Climate Pact Ambassador
  • Since 2020: Member of the Board of Trustees | Neurological Rehabilitation Centre NRZ Godeshöhe Bonn
  • Since 2019: Founding Member of the Advisory Group | Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx), established by UNAIDS
  • Since 2019: Member of the Board | BDI Committee for Industrial Health Economy
  • Since 2019: Member of the Strategic Board | BDI Initiative Digital Health
  • 2019-2022: Member of the Steering Committee | Global Health Hub Germany
  • 2018-2023: Chair | Private Sector Advisory Board of GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
  • Since 2017: Permanent Guest of the BDI Presidential Board
  • 2017-2023: Member | World Health Summit Council
  • 2016: Initiator of the German Global Health Award, granted for the first time in 2017
  • Since 2014: Chairman of the Board | GHA – German Health Alliance, with its pillar in health system strengthening established jointly by the German government through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI)
  • Since 2014: Member of the Board | German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein)
  • Since 2014: Senior Managing Director | Sysmex Partec GmbH
  • 2014: Main initiator of the “German-African Healthcare Forum” and of the multisectoral “Action Group on Ebola”
  • 2012-2016: Founding Member | Saxon Future Commission for Biotechnology & Life Sciences
  • 2012-2014: Founding Member | Advisory Board of the Coordinating Agency for the Free State of Saxony Healthcare Sector
  • 2009-2016: Founding Chairman of the Board | biosaxony – Free State of Saxony Biotechnology & Life Sciences Association
  • 2000-2014: Managing Partner | Partec, Görlitz
  • 2006-2014: Director Essential Healthcare | Partec, Münster
  • 2000-2006: HIV/AIDS Project Coordinator | Partec, Münster

Further Activities
In 2012, Roland Göhde co-founded the non-profit Göhde Foundation with a specific focus in Africa on essential healthcare, water supply, education and electricity supply, since 2017 with a second area of activities in classical music, especially in the context of supporting children as well as top young talents.

Besides other awards, Roland Göhde received the Innovation Award of the Free State of Saxony in 2003 and the IQ Innovation Award of Central Germany in 2007. At the “1st German Congress of World Market Leaders” in 2011, he was honored with the Young Entrepreneurs Award, granted for the first time by Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG. For his commitment and merits for the biotechnology sector in the Free State of Saxony, Göhde received the “Biosaxony Award” in 2019.

Prof. Dr. Gerald H. Haug


German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Gerald Haug

Gerald Haug is a paleoclimatologist, marine geologist and paleoceanographer. He studies the development of the Earth climate over thousands to millions of years. He analyses sediment cores from the sea floor and lakes, amongst several other climate archives. The chemical composition of the different sediment layers provides clues to the prevailing climatic conditions at the time of deposition. This allows quantitative reconstructions of past climate conditions and the underlying processes in the ocean, atmosphere and climate system.

Academic and Professional Career

  • since 2015 Ordinary Professor for Climate Geochemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland
  • since 2015 Director, Dept. Climate Geochemistry, Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2007-2015 Ordinary Professor for Climate Geology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2003-2007 Professor (C4), University of Potsdam and Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ), Germany
  • 2002 Habilitation in Geosciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2000-2002 Oberassistent, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1998-1999 Research Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 1997-1998 Postdoctoral Guest Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, USA
  • 1996-1997 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada
  • 1995-1996 Postdoctoral Research Associate, GEOMAR, Centre for Marine Geosciences, Kiel, Germany
  • 1995 Ph.D. at the Geological Institute, University of Kiel, Germany
  • 1992 Diploma in Geology, University of Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 1987-1992 Diploma student in Geology at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany


Current Functions in Scientific Committees

  • Chair of the Science Advisory Board of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and member of the Governance Board
  • Chair of the Science Advisory Board of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK) Member of the Governance Board of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Member of the Science Commission of Lower Saxony
  • Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Swiss Polar Institute
  • Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Netherland Earth System Science Centre (NESSC)
  • Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Werner Siemens Foundation

Honours and Awarded Memberships

  • since 2018 Member of the Mainz Academy of Science and Literature
  • since 2012 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2010 Rössler-Prize, ETH Zurich
  • since 2008 Member of the Academia Europaea
  • 2007 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2001 Albert Maucher Prize, German Research Foundation (DFG)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Christoph Markschies


Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Christoph Markschies

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Christoph Markschies studied Protestant theology, classical philology and philosophy in Marburg, Jerusalem, Munich and Tübingen. In 1991, he received his doctorate and habilitated in 1994 in Tübingen. He held professorships in Jena and Heidelberg and followed a call to the Humboldt University Berlin in 2004, serving as president two years later until 2010. Professor Markschies was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, Jerusalem and Princeton and a Visiting Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He is Professor of Ancient Christianity at the Humboldt University in Berlin and holds various honorary doctorates. Christoph Markschies received numerous prizes and honours, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize, the Federal Cross of Merit (1st class) from German Federal President, Frank Walter Steinmeier, is a member of several distinguished academies in Germany and abroad and serves on various advisory boards of scientific institutions. Professor Markschies has published extensively. He contributes to scientific and public discussions as a columnist. Since 2019, he serves as President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


Academic and Professional Career

  • Since 2020 President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
  • 2012-2018 Vice-President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
  • 2003-2015 Secretary of the Class of Humanities of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (former Prussian Academy of Sciences)
  • 2013 Senior Fellow Martin Buber Society Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • 2010 Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton
  • 2009/2010 Stewart Visiting Research Scholar in the Humanities Council, Programm of Jewish Studies, University of Princeton
  • 2008/2009, 2013 and 2019 Visiting Fellow, Trinity College, Oxford
  • since 2004 Chair of Church History (Ancient Christianity) at the Humboldt University of Berlin
  • 2000-2004 Chair of Church History at the Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg
  • 1999/2000, 2005/2006 and 2016/2017 Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • 1998/1999 Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Institute for Advanced Study
  • 1994-2000 Chair of Church History at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

(Corresponding/Foreign) Member of the:

  • European Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Academia Europea
  • Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • German Archeological Institute
  • Academia Ambrosiana Milan
  • Heidelberger Academy of Science
  • Mainzer Academy of Science and Literature

Previous functions in scientific committees

  • 2017 Federal Cross of Merit (1st Class)
  • 2016 Director of Chronoi – Einstein Research Enter Chronoi (on Time and Awareness of Time in Ancient Societies), Berlin
  • 2014 Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation

Honours and Awarded Memberships

  • 2017 doctor honoris causa of the Pontifical Lateran University – Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum
  • 2011 doctor honoris causa of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo
  • 2010 Salzburg University Prize
  • 2007 doctor honoris causa of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of Lucian- Blaga-University Sibiu/Hermannstadt
  • 2001 Leibniz-Award of the German National Research Council
  • 1995 Hanns-Lilje-Award of the Goettingen Academy of Sciences
  • 1980 State’s President’s Price for Young Historians