Director em., Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Germany

Hans Lehrach obtained his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in 1974. Next he moved on to Harvard University, Boston (1974-1978) for a postdoc and then became group leader at EMBL, Heidelberg (1978-1987). He then moved to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (1987-1994) to become head of the Genome Analysis Department. In 1994 he returned to Germany to become Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (since 1994, em. 2014).


His expertise lies in genetics, genomics, systems biology and personalized medicine. Highlights include his key involvement in several large-scale genome sequencing projects, such as the human, rat, and Schizosaccharomyces. His group was part of the team which identified the Huntington’s disease gene. Dr. Lehrach also performed key work on technologies such as protein microarrays, protein interactome analysis, yeast artificial chromosomes and RNAseq. He has been pioneer in the application of next generation sequencing techniques and systems medicine for the development of personalized therapies in cancer (Virtual Patient Model). He was partner in two German ICGC projects and partner in the European IHEC project BLUEPRINT, a steering committee member of the 1000 Genomes project, leader of the managing entity of the IMI OncoTrack project and co-ordinated the FET Flagship pilot initiative IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM, www.itfom.eu), a finalist of the FET Flagship Call, which has established a strong technological roadmap and network of partners from 33 countries. In this current initiative, Hans Lehrach represents a growing network of research institutions, industry representatives, scientists and patient groups that share a long-term vision for sustainable health care (www.heathcarecompactforeurope.eu).


Dr. Lehrach has founded several biotechnology companies such as Sequana Therapeutics, GPC Biotech, Scienion, Prot@gen, PSF Biotech, Atlas Biolabs. Dr. Lehrach is founder of the Berlin-based company Alacris Theranostics GmbH, specialising in the development of new approaches for personalised medicine for cancer patient diagnosis, treatment and drug stratification. He is chairman of the Supervisory Board and scientific advisor of the company since 2008. In 2010 he founded the non-for-profit research institute The Dahlem Centre for Genome Research and Medical Systems Biology (DCGMS).