Marburg, Hesse, Germany
University of Marburg
New York, New York City, United States
German Cancer Research Center
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
(Towards the end of the 20th century, biology seems to hav...)
Towards the end of the 20th century, biology seems to have replaced physics as the leading scientific discipline. At the beginning 21st century, the potential impact of biology on the fate of mankind has placed this discipline in the limelight of public interest as well. It is therefore important that biologists leave the ivory tower of their laboratories and explain to the public what they do, how they do it, and what they want to achieve. In the first part of this volume six leading biologists present their views on the principles nature uses to generate complex organisms such as man, and on strategies such complex organisms use to protect their integrity in a hostile environment. The scientific process is revealed as an intellectual endeavor aimed at goals that enrich our culture rather than threaten it.
(Georges Köhler was one of the most prominent German scien...)
Georges Köhler was one of the most prominent German scientists of recent history. In 1984, at an age of 38, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with N.K. Jerne and C. Milstein, for inventing the technique for generating monoclonal antibodies. This method and its subsequent applications had an enormous impact on basic research, medicine and the biotech industry. In the same year, Köhler became one of the directors of the Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg; his unfortunate premature death in 1995 set an end to his extraordinary career. Prof. Klaus Eichmann, who had invited Köhler to become his codirector, is one of the people who were closest to him. This scientific biography commemorates the 10th anniversary of Köhler's untimely death. Köhler's scientific achievements are explained in a way to make them understandable for the general public and discussed in the historical context of immunological research.
(The network paradigm dominated immunological research fro...)
The network paradigm dominated immunological research from the early 1970s to the late 1980s. The originator, Niels Jerne, hypothesized that the vast diversity of antibodies in each individual forms a network of mutual "idiotypic" recognition, thus regulating the immune system. In context of emerging concepts of systems biology such as cybernetics and autopoesis, the "Eigenbehavior" of the immune system fascinated an entire generation of young immunologists. But fascination led to experimental errors and overinterpretation, eventually magnifying the immune system from a mere infection-fighting device to a substrate of personality and individuality. As a result, what initially appeared as an exciting new perspective of the immune system is now viewed as a scientific vagary, and is largely abandoned. The author, himself a participant in the network vagary, begins with a description of the leading theoretical concepts on fact finding in science. This is followed by a historical account of the rise and fall of the network paradigm, complemented by personal interviews with some of the prominent protagonists. By comparing the network paradigm to other, more lasting concepts in life science, the author develops a general perspective on how solid knowledge is derived from error-prone scientific methodology, namely by exposure of scientific notions to the scrutiny of reality.
Eichmann received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Marburg in 1965. He was given an honorary doctorate from the University of Medicine Iasi in 2000.
Eichmann began his career as an assistant professor at Rockefeller University in 1968. Three years later he took the same position at the Institute of Genetics of the University of Cologne. Then in 1975, Klaus became an associate professor at German Cancer Research Center. Also he served as a director at Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology (nowadays Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics) from 1981 to until his retirement in 2004 as a director emeritus.
(Towards the end of the 20th century, biology seems to hav...)2003
(The network paradigm dominated immunological research fro...)2008
(Georges Köhler was one of the most prominent German scien...)2005
Eichmann was an arbitration deputy at Max Planck Society from 2008 to 2010. He is a foreign member of the Polish Academy of Learning in Krakow. Also Klaus is an honorary member of Slovakian Society of Immunology, Romanian Society of Immunology, German Society of Immunology and a member of European Molecular Biology Organization.
Klaus Eichmann is married and has three children.