MDC Lab Coats


Background of the Department of Genetics, Nephrology, Hypertension, and Vascular Injury

Friedrich C. Luft is a clinician; historically, his Department of Internal-Medicine and Nephrology encompassed substantially more than the present domain. Other groups that used to be a a part of this department are now independent and are listed separately (ECRC groups of Maik Gollasch, Dominik Müller/Ralf Dechend, Ralph Kettritz, and the Clinical Research Unit of the ECRC, as well as Kai Schmidt-Ott, an Emmy Noether group at the MDC). The remaining core of the group has three main focal points.


Friedrich C. Luft (04.03.1942) grew up in the USA, graduated from Colorado College (1964 BS Zoology), from Thomas Jefferson University (1968 MD), and aside from 2-years in the US Army was at Indiana University, where he advanced to Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology (1982). Clinically, he was board certified (ABIM) in Internal Medicine, Nephrology, and Critical Care Medicine. His research interests focused primarily on hypertension and cardiovascular disease. He worked on rodent models, human physiological protocols, and human genetics in twin subjects. Luft was recruited to the University of Erlangen (1989), where he was Associate Chairman and set up laboratories addressing hypertension-related issues in animals and man. He was recruited to the MDC as senior group leader (1992) and as Chairman for Internal Medicine/Nephrology/Hypertension at the Franz-Volhard Clinic, Charité, Berlin-Buch (1992). His research group focused on genetics of hypertension and mechanisms of renal and cardiac target-organ damage in animal models and man.  He was retired from clinical duties in 2010, but was asked to continue as ECRC Director, a position he had assumed according to reviewers’ wishes in 2006. The ECRC is the interface for translational research between the MDC and the Charité.

External collaborations

Mary B. Goldring (Weill Cornell Medical College, U.S.A.) - Chondrogenesis

Sigmar Stricker (Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany) - Skeletogenesis

Stephen B. Harrap (University of Melbourne, Australia) - Baroreceptor genetics

Sigrid Tinschert (Technical University, Dresden, Germany) - Skeletal dysplasias, Cytogenetics

Thomas Liehr (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany) – Cytogenetics

Okan Toka (Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) – HTNB phenotyping

Hakan Toka (Brigham and Women's Hospital; Boston, U.S.A.) - HTNB

Awards and honors (Friedrich C. Luft since 2006)

2006. American Heart Association Excellence in Hypertension Research Award,

2006. Council for High Blood Pressure Research, previously the Novartis Award

2007. Robert-Tigerstedt Award, International Society of Hypertension

2008. Canadian Society of Hypertension Presidential Lecture Award

2008. Franz-Volhard Medal, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nephrologie

2008. Outstanding Teacher Award (Lehrbär) of the Charité (from the students)

2009. Ross-McIntyre Award and Lecture, University of Nebraska

2010. Robert-Tigerstedt Lecture, The Finnish Society of Hypertension.

2010. George-Pickering Lecture, The British Society of Hypertension.

2011. Feulgen Lecture, University of Gießen Medical Faculty.

2011. Senior Professor of the Charité

Committee, advisory boards, advisory groups

2009. UK Wellcome Trust

2010. Swiss research council

2011. Austrian research council