Lothar Wieler: "This pandemic will not have been the last"
Photo: Jens Schicke / IMAGO
The previous head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, is switching to research on the digitization of the healthcare system.
As of April 1, Wieler will be spokesman for the new Digital Health Cluster of the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in Potsdam, as the institution announced on Tuesday.
The 61-year-old from Wieler announced his retirement three weeks ago after eight years at the head of the RKI.
The Hasso Plattner Institute recognized Wieler "as a globally recognized scientist in the fields of microbiology and infection medicine" and as an expert in public health.
As RKI President, he "consistently campaigned for data-based science and accelerated the digital transformation of the institute".
According to the Hasso Plattner Institute, it conducts digital research that "should improve the understanding of complex relationships in large amounts of data through modern computer science".
The Digital Health area has therefore existed since 2017. It is now to be expanded.
Wieler should "optimally supplement our existing know-how in the field of digital technologies with his scientific expertise and experience in the field of public health," explained HPI Managing Director Tobias Friedrich.
According to the information, Wieler stated that after his time at the RKI, he was looking forward to the opportunity to contribute his experience in the field of public health and pandemic control to one of the leading research institutes in the digital world.
"This pandemic will not have been the last, but we can prepare better for the next one," emphasized Wieler.
To do this, the right conclusions would have to be drawn and investments made in research.
Wieler began his scientific career as a specialist in animal diseases.
He has headed the RKI since 2015.
Especially with the corona pandemic, which also arrived in Germany almost three years ago, the expert, who was previously known in specialist circles, became one of the most important advisors to politicians on health issues in Germany.
At the same time, his press conferences have made him a key player in conveying information about the pandemic.