Fritz Freiherr von Weizsäcker was killed on November 19, 2019 while giving a lecture to patients at the Schlosspark Clinic in Berlin. With this tragedy, his family lost a loving father, brother and son, his patients a caring doctor and the scientific community an excellent, internationally renowned scientist.
Fritz studied medicine at the Universities of Bonn and Heidelberg. He completed his experimental doctoral thesis in Heidelberg and attended the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, and the Boston City Hospital and the Brigham and Women´s Hospital for undergraduate training. From 1983 until 1986 he participated in a PhD program at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. He started his medical training in 1987 at the University Hospital Freiburg that was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School until 1992. For his training in internal medicine, gastroenterology and hepatology he then joined his mentor Dr. H. E. Blum at the University Hospital Zurich until 1994 and subsequently at the University Hospital Freiburg as an attending and senior physician, respectively. In 2005 he was elected as Medical Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Schlosspark Clinic in Berlin.
Apart from his exceptional clinical engagement, Fritz was an enthusiastic scientist with a high international reputation in the field of molecular strategies against hepatitis B virus infection. Specifically, he was a pioneer in demonstrating antiviral effects of ribozymes, antisense oligonucleotides and dominant negative mutants.
We remember Fritz as an unforgettable human being, a caring physician, an enthusiastic lecturer, an inspiring scientist and a true friend.
Published online: November 22, 2020
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