Charité Dean Axel Pries to be new president of World Health Summit from 2021 on
Founder Detlev Ganten relinquishes office after 12 years
Prof. Dr. Axel R. Pries, dean and member of the board of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, will be the new president of the World Health Summit, one of the world’s most important forums on global health, from January 1, 2021 on.
The physician and physiologist succeeds Prof. Dr. Detlev Ganten, who founded the World Health Summit as former CEO of Charité in 2009 on the occasion of Charité’s 300th anniversary.
„The World Health Summit is one of the most successful initiatives to come out of Charité. The World Health Summit is an excellent program in terms of content with significant charisma for the University Medicine Berlin, but also with high significance for global health, for which Germany is assuming an increasing share of responsibility. We look with pride at what has become one of the largest health conferences in the world.“, says Axel Pries. The World Health Summit strengthens the international visibility of Charité with its long and outstanding research tradition in global health, the Charité dean continues: „Therefore, I am very much looking forward to my task as president of this internationally outstanding strategic forum for global health. Detlev Ganten will continue to serve the World Health Summit in an advisory capacity. On behalf of Charité, I would like to express my sincere thanks for his visionary commitment.“
„I am glad that Axel Pries, as an internationally renowned scientist in the field of cardiovascular research and dean of Charité, has agreed to take on the additional task as president of the World Health Summit. This is a good prerequisite for the further development of the high reputation of the World Health Summit as a forum for global health,“ emphasizes Detlev Ganten, who will remain associated with the World Health Summit as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the WHS Foundation GmbH.
Dr. Jörg Heldmann, Managing Director of the WHS Foundation GmbH and thus of the World Health Summit: „In many respects, the World Health Summit has done pioneering work in developing the topic of global health in Germany. However, the great trust of our partners is always due to the authenticity of Charité and the M8 Alliance: This is where patient care, science and teaching come together for the benefit of health. The transition of the presidency to our dean Axel Pries will reinforce this and synergistically connect the numerous global health relevant activities.“
The WHS Foundation GmbH stands behind the World Health Summit and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Charité; the shareholder’s representative is Charité’s CEO, Prof. Dr. Heyo Kroemer.
Since its founding in 2009, the World Health Summit has become one of the world’s most important strategic forums for global health.
Under the traditional patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), it brings together leading international representatives from science, politics, industry and civil society. Each year, approximately 300 speakers and 2,500 participants from around 100 nations come to Berlin for the World Health Summit. The topics of the approximately 50 sessions include strategies for improving global health care and prevention, digitization, climate change and health, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Because of COVID-19, the World Health Summit 2020 was a digital-only conference with about 6,000 participants joining live online. The central topic was the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the opening speakers was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The 13th World Health Summit will take place in Berlin from October 24-26, 2021.
Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries is a medical doctor and professor of physiology. Before his appointment as dean of Charité in 2015, he was head of the Institute of Physiology at Charité. Previously, he was a professor of physiology at Freie Universität Berlin, and until 1998, the Cologne native worked as a senior physician for anesthesiology at the Heart Center Berlin. As dean of Charité, he is significantly involved in the reform of teaching, including the implementation of the model course of study in medicine and the establishment of new courses of study such as public health.
Prof. Dr. Detlev Ganten is one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of cardiovascular diseases. Until 2020, he was president of the World Health Summit. Previous positions include founding director of the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular (MDC) Berlin Buch, chairman of the board of Charité, president of the Helmholtz Association and member of the National Ethics Council.
The academic network of the World Health Summit is the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies, a growing alliance of currently 30 academic institutions from 20 countries. The M8 Alliance was founded in 2009 under the leadership of Charité on the occasion of the first World Health Summit and provides the international annual president of the World Health Summit on a rotating basis. In addition to the conference in Berlin, there are annual Regional Meetings in the member countries of the M8 Alliance. At the end of June 2021, this meeting is planned to take place in Uganda’s capital Kampala.
Charité Global Health was founded in 2018 as a central point of contact for all of Charité’s Global Health projects. The focus is also on collaboration with national and international partners from science, politics and business. Directors of the interdisciplinary center are virologist Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten and World Health Summit Managing Director Dr. Jörg Heldmann.