Targeting chronic inflammation: Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz starts at Charité and German Rheumatism Research Centre

New Professor of Experimental Rheumatology and Scientific Director of the DRFZ
The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin appointed Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz as Professor of Experimental Rheumatology on 1 May. He simultaneously became the new Scientific Director of the German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin (DRFZ), a Leibniz Institute. At the interface of both institutes, Prof. Latz will research chronic inflammatory and rheumatic diseases. Through new insights into molecular inflammatory mechanisms, he aims to develop innovative approaches for therapies and preventative medicine.


Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz’s research has focused for many years on how the innate immune system maintains health and under what circumstances it can promote disease. In particular, he investigates the molecular mechanisms that lead to activation or inhibition of the immune system and how these influence the inflammatory reactions in various diseases, such as rheumatic diseases, arteriosclerosis or Alzheimer's disease. "For me, however, it is not just about gaining knowledge, but also about being able to successfully translate this into new treatment methods and derive measures for prevention of disease," explains Prof. Latz. His translational perspective was sharpened by more than a decade of academic research in Boston, a centre of the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Since his return to Germany, the immunologist has already founded several biotech companies that successfully translate his research findings into new therapeutic and preventive approaches for various inflammatory diseases. Before moving to the Charité, he worked at the Institute for Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn, which he founded in 2010.

At the Charité and the DRFZ, Prof. Latz would like to use existing synergies to further decipher the molecular basis of chronic inflammatory and rheumatic diseases as well as investigating the influence of environmental factors and lifestyle on such diseases. This research should both contribute to a better understanding of chronic inflammatory diseases and provide a basis for preventive approaches. Prof. Latz is planning on setting up a platform for precision immunodiagnostics, with the aim of such procedures to precisely characterise the immunological processes in large groups of patients. Patient-oriented research is also intended to expand knowledge about the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory diseases. The goal: to be able to derive more specific therapies for patients.

"The close interlinking of the research groups at the Charité and DRFZ and especially the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology opens up many opportunities for promising collaboration in both basic research and clinical-translational research. I am looking forward to these synergies and the new tasks," says Prof. Latz.


Short biography Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz
Eicke Latz was born in Wiesbaden in 1970. He studied medicine at the Georg-August University in Göttingen and the Freien Universität Berlin, following which, he worked as an intensive care physician at the Charité. In 2000, he moved to the USA, working as a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University, then at UMass Chan Medical School, where he held his first professorship in Innate Immunity. In 2010, he returned to Germany and founded the Institute for Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn. Prof. Latz is co-spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence "ImmunoSensation²" and spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre "Metaflammation and Cellular Programming" (SFB 1454). He is also the founder of four biotech companies. Prof. Latz has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopol