The New President: Hans-Christian Pape

The Humboldt Foundation has a new President: in January, the neurophysiologist and brain researcher Hans-Christian Pape took over the helm of the Foundation from the chemist Helmut Schwarz, who has retired after two terms in office.

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Hans-Christian Pape, Professor für Neurophysiologie an der Universität Münster, ist seit Januar 2018 Präsident der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung.

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Hans-Christian Pape is a professor at the University of Münster and a leading expert in the neurophysiological foundations of emotional behaviour. He investigates anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, fear and fear memory as well as the processes regulating sleep and wakefulness. “I am looking forward to my new office and the challenges it’ll pose,” says Pape. “I’m particularly excited about what I hope will be the many meetings with Humboldtians from all over the world.” He is already well-acquainted with the Humboldt Network – so far, however, largely from the point of view of a Humboldtian. In recognition of his work, Pape has won many prestigious research awards such as the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize and has also been honoured by the Humboldt Foundation: in 2007, he received the Max Planck Research Award which is granted jointly by the Foundation and the Max Planck Society.

In addition to his research, Pape is active both nationally and internationally in advisory and consultative bodies. From 2011 to 2017, for example, he was a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities which advises Germany’s federal and state governments on developing the country’s universities, science and research. In this capacity, he most recently headed the Scientific Commission and was a periodic member of the Executive Committee.

Hans-Christian Pape was appointed by the then Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to a five-year term starting January 2018. His appointment was proposed by an international selection committee and unanimously approved by the Humboldt Foundation’s Board of Trustees.


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