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Prof. Dr.

Horst-Werner Korf

Year of election: 2003
Section: Anatomy and Anthropology
City: Frankfurt (M.)
Country: Germany
CV Horst-Werner Korf - Deutsch (pdf)
CV Horst-Werner Korf - English (pdf)


Main areas of research: Neurobiology of circadian systems, non-visual photoreception, role of peptidergic and lipidergic, impact of the circadian system on pathophysiological processes and disease, neurodegeneration and -regeneration

Horst-Werner Korf investigates neuroendocrine and neuronal circuits of the circadian system that generates an endogenous rhythm, entrains this rhythm to the photoperiod (length of day and night), and transmits it to the body periphery.

He has obtained widely recognized results on the innervation and cell biology of the pineal organ that rhythmically synthesizes the neurohormone melatonin, an important hand of the biological clock. Together with his coworkers he has made important contributions to the analysis of molecular mechanisms that control the biosynthesis of melatonin, convey the melatonin signal to endocrine cells and entrain the endogenous rhythm to the ambient photoperiod. His current research is focussed on lipid (endocannabinoid) signaling in neuroendocrine circuits and the circadian system.


  • since 2010 Director, Dr. Senckenbergisches Chronomedizinisches Institut (SCI), Faculty of  Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  • since 2006 Member of the Administration of the Dr. Senckenbergische Stiftung, Frankfurt/Main
  • since 1995 Chairman, Dr. Senckenbergische Anatomie, Faculty of Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main
  • since 1990 Full Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Director of the Institute of Anatomy II, Dr. Senckenbergische Anatomie, Faculty of Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main
  • 1987-1991 Visiting  Fellow and Visiting Scientist, Section Neuroendocrionology (Dr. D.C. Klein), NIH, Bethesda, USA
  • 1986 Habilitation for Anatomy with Prof.  A. Oksche, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Germany
  • 1979-1990 Research assistant and lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Cytobiology (Prof. A. Oksche), Justus-Liebig-University Gießen
  • 1976-1979 Intern and Resident in diverse hospitals
  • 1976 Promotion Dr. med. (Prof. A. Oksche), Justus-Liebig-University Gießen
  • 1970-1976 Study of Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen


  • 2014-2018 President, European Society for Comparative Endocrinology
  • since 2010 Vice President of the European Society for Comparative Endocrinology (Secretary Treasurer 2004-2010)
  • since 2009 Secretary/Treasurer of the International Federation of Comparative  Endocrinological Societies
  • 2006-2007 Acting President of the Anatomische Gesellschaft (Society of Anatomy, President 2006-2010)
  • 2005-2009 President of the European Biological Rhythms Society
  • 2002-2005 President of the European Pineal and Biological Rhythms Society
  • 1997-1999 Dean of Student´s Affairs, Faculty of Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  • since 1995 Member of the Council of the Faculty of Medicine, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main


  • 2008-2011 Mitglied des LOEWE Forschungsschwerpunktes „Lipid Signaling Forschungszentrums Frankfurt (LiFF)
  • 1997-2003 Vorstandsmitglied des Graduiertenkollegs „Neuronale Plastizität“ der DFG
  • 1996-2004 Vorstandsmitglied des DFG-Schwerpunktprogramms „Funktionelle und adaptive Mechanismen circadianer Systeme“
  • 1993-2005 stellv. Sprecher und Sprecher des Sonderforschungsbereichs 269 „Molekulare und zellulläre Grundlagen neuronaler Organisationsprozesse“, Frankfurt am Main

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2017 Johannes Ariens Kappers-Medaille der European Biological Rhythms Society
  • seit 2003 Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina




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