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Hector Fellow Doris Wedlich Passes Away

  • 09.30.2020 | Top-News

    With regret, we have to announce that Doris Wedlich, founding member of the Hector Fellow Academy and long-time professor of zoology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), passed away on September 20, 2020.

    As head of Division I at the KIT, she had a lasting influence on the development of the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, and process engineering at KIT from 2009 until her retirement in February 2020.

    After her studies and doctorate at the University of Münster, Doris Wedlich's scientific career started as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen. This was followed by positions as research group leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of the Free University of Berlin and a professorship at the University of Ulm before she joined the KIT.

    Starting from a fascination with molecular biology, Doris Wedlich's research was mainly devoted to the molecular understanding of cell migration with a special focus on the interplay of Wnt-Signaling and cell adhesion. Her team made important contributions to the elucidation of the mode of action of the canonical Wnt-Signaling pathway, whose activation by gene mutation is now considered a reliable indicator of colorectal cancer.

    At the same time, Doris Wedlich was involved in science management, especially in research data management. She was a member of the Council of the Research Data Alliance, a globally active organization for the protection and free use of scientific data, and from 2012 to 2018 a member of the German Science Council, where she was particularly active in the Council for Information Infrastructures (RFII). Her commitment has contributed to the establishment of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI).

    For her research, Doris Wedlich was awarded, among others, the Merckle Research Prize in 1994 and the Research Prize of the State of Baden-Württemberg in 2002. In 2008, she was among the first recipients of the Hector Science Prize, and from 2013 to 2015 she was the first President of the Hector Fellow Academy. With her, HFA loses a valuable member who played a major role in the establishment and success of the Academy. Her always-balanced critical advice was much appreciated and will be missed.