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Hermann Bujard

Hermann Bujard, former EMBO Director, died on 31 July 2020 at the age of 86.

We are very sad about the death of Hermann Bujard (1934-2020). Hermann was an active and highly eminent scientist, with many achievements in scientific discovery and method development, as well as in the pharmaceutical world and science administration. He was a Professor at the University of Heidelberg and one of the founders of the ZMBH (Center for Molecular Biology of the University of Heidelberg) where he established a department-like structure to replace the hierarchical structure typical of German university institutes at the time. I have known him throughout my own scientific career, from student days on, as an outspoken and fearless man of the highest integrity: he had no hesitation in spelling out uncomfortable truths, and he took an active part in university and general politics.

He continued to make important scientific contributions over decades, starting with his work on gene regulation and bacterial genetics. Together with Manfred Gossen, he developed the Tet-Off system for the precise experimental control of gene expression in mammalian cells. He dedicated the last phase of his research, until very recently, to finding an effective vaccine to combat malaria.

Hermann became an EMBO Member in 1976 and was intensely engaged with the organization from early on. He played an important role in defining Heidelberg as the site to house EMBL, and therefore EMBO. Hermann Bujard served as the Director of EMBO from 2007 to 2009 and continued to be available for advice whenever needed. We will miss him.

Maria Leptin, EMBO Director and Edith Heard, EMBL Director General.

A virtual book of condolence has been established by ZMBH and EMBO.