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Dr Peter Gruss

Member, BMS IAC (2004-)
President, Max Planck Society, Germany (2002-)
Honorary Professor, University of Göttingen, Germany (1990-)





Dr. Peter Gruss is president of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. The independent, non-profit research organization was founded in 1948 and operates 80 institutes in Germany and around Europe, with a staff of nearly 13,000 and an additional 12,000 researchers and visiting scientists pioneering scientific research in areas ranging from astronomy to the humanities. Dr. Gruss assumed the office of president in 2002, and was recently reelected to a second six-year term through 2014. As the highest-ranking representative of the Max Planck Society, he is responsible for setting guidelines for research policy and presiding over the organization’s governing boards, which include the Senate, Executive Committee and the General Meeting.

Peter Gruss was born in 1949 in Alsfeld in Germany. In 1968, he began his studies in biology at the Technical University in Darmstadt. After graduating, he went to the Institute for Virus Research at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg where he wrote his doctoral thesis. In 1977, he earned his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Heidelberg. The following year he joined the Laboratory of Molecular Virology of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland (USA). In 1982, he was appointed Professor in the Institute for Microbiology at the University of Heidelberg. One year later, he was designated to the Board of Directors of the Center for Molecular Biology in Heidelberg. In 1986, he was appointed Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society. Since 1990, Peter Gruss has held the status of honorary professor at the University of Göttingen.

Throughout his career Dr. Gruss received a numerous scientific awards and honors, among them the Feldberg Prize, which is given to one German scientist and one British scientist each year by the Feldberg Foundation; the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize - the highest honor awarded in German research; the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine; the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the German prize for Technology and Innovation or „Innovation Oscar“ awarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany; the Lower Saxony State Prize; and the National Award for International Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China.

Dr. Gruss has served on numerous committees as well as national and international boards. Among others, he is a presently a member of the senate of acatech, the Council for Technical Sciences of the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities; the senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG); the senate of the Leibniz Association, the senate of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Since 2002 he is Chairman of the Trustee Committee of the Körber European Science Award and a member of the Trustee Committee of the German Future Prize. Furthermore he is member of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG; of the Supervisory Board of the Munich Re Group.

Dr. Gruss is also member the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Munich, the German Academy of National Scientists Leopoldina, the Academia Europaea, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences as well as foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warshaw.

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Last Updated On 13 October 2009

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