Werner Risau †


Werner Risau studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Münster and Tübingen, before he went to the lab of Judah Folkman at the Children’s Hospital of the Harvard Medical School, Boston. There he got acquainted with the concept of angiogenesis, which he developed further in his seminal work, initially in Junior Group Leader positions at the Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen and at the Max -Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Dept. of Neurochemistry at Martinsried close to Munich. In 1993 he then was appointed to the position of a Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Physiological and Clinical Research in Bad Nauheim, which he held until his untimely death at the age of 44 in 1998.

His main scientific interest was centered on the properties of the endothelial cell, the cell type which is lining the inside wall of all blood vessel. Some of the research areas in which he was involved in include

The concept of Vasculogenesis vs Angiogenesis
The formation and maintenance of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and its modulation by growth factors and cytokines