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Individualised Medicine

The working group Individualised Medicine - formerly entitled Personalised Medicine - has examined this new field from a comprehensive perspective. Based on the results of a status workshop held in November 2011, it has prepared a statement that outlines various aspects of the field including the technological foundations, the applicability of personalisation strategies in clinical practice, the structural preconditions, the likely impact on compensation systems, as well as the many ethical, legal, and economic issues involved.

Even though more and more people today are aging in good health, current demographic developments are inevitably also leading to a rise in age-related (multiple) diseases. However, while rapid advances made in medicine and technology in recent years, primarily in sequencing the human genome, have yielded many new, increasingly complex and more effective methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating disease, these are frequently also more expensive. And for all the progress that has been made, many diagnostic and therapeutic methods still have considerable unwanted or even harmful effects. This leads to heavy burdens on the health care systems in Germany and worldwide.

One strategy for future health care currently being discussed all over the world is individualised (or “tailored”) medicine. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures and therapies specifically tailored to individual patients it aims to provide more effective treatments and either reduce unwanted side effects or eliminate them altogether – which will ultimately also result in lower costs. Individualised medicine promises to open up many exciting new possibilities – but it is also a subject of great controversy.


  • National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Union of German Academies of Sciences
  • German Academy of Science and Engineering acatech

Spokespersons of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Bärbel Friedrich ML (Vice President of the Leopoldina)
    Professor of Microbiology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer
    Pharmakologisches Institut, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
  • Prof. Dr. Phillip U. Heitz ML
    Departement Pathologie, Universität Zürich

Members of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Bieber ML
    Universitätsklinikum Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Dietel ML
    Institut für Pathologie, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Georg Ertl ML
    Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Universitätsklinik Würzburg
  • Prof. Dr. Carl Friedrich Gethmann ML
    Institut für Philosophie, Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hallek ML
    Klinik I für Innere Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Köln
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Hecker ML
    Institut für Mikrobiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Höfler ML
    Institut für Allgemeine Pathologie und pathologische Anatomie, Technische Universität München
  • Prof. Dr. Jan C. Joerden
    Lehrstuhl für Strafrecht, insbesondere Internationales Strafrecht und Strafrechtsvergleichung, Rechtsphilosophie, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Koller
    Fachbereich Biowissenschaften, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Lengauer ML
    Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik Saarbrücken
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Löffler
    Institut für Medizinische Informatik, Statistik und Epidemiologie, Universität Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Martin J. Lohse ML (Vizepräsident der Leopoldina)
    Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität Würzburg,
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Oberender
    Rechts- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Lehrstuhl für Mikroökonomie, Universität Bayreuth
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Propping ML †, Institut für Humangenetik, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Alfred Pühler ML
    Center for Biotechnology, Universität Bielefeld
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitz-Rohde
    Institut für biomedizinische Technologien, RWTH Aachen
  • Prof. Dr. Georg Stingl ML
    Universitätsklinik für Dermatologie, Medizinische Universität Wien, Mitglied des Präsidiums der Leopoldina
  • Prof. Dr. Jochen Taupitz ML
    Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre, Universität Mannheim
  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Wagner ML
    Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Immunologie und Hygiene, Technische Universität München
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Zenner ML (Secretary of Class III and member of the Leopoldina Presidium)
    Universitäts-Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Klinik, Tübingen

ML = Member of the Leopoldina



Dr. Kathrin Happe

Scientific officer, Deputy Head of Department Science – Policy – Society

E-Mail politikberatung @leopoldina.org