Michael Meyer-Hermann

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Michael Meyer-Hermann
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Born1967 (age 55–56)

ParametersMichael Meyer-Hermann (* 1967 in Reinbek[1]) is a professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig and head of the department of Systems Immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research.


Meyer-Hermann studied Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy in Frankfurt and Paris. His diploma thesis titled "QCD-Summenregeln mit Massen" about Quantum chromodynamics was published in 1993.[2] In 1997, he finished his doctorate in Theoretical Particle Physics at the Goethe University Frankfurt.[3] He founded the research group "Theoretical Biophysics" at the Technical University Dresden in 1998 which he headed until 2003. He worked at the University of Oxford during 2004. From 2005 to 2010, he had the role of a Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS).[1][4] Since 2010, he is a professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig and head of the department of Systems Immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research.[5]

Computer model of the formation of mushroom shaped structures of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa[6] In his group, he develops methods for theoretical Cell biology for an improved understanding of functionality in the Adaptive immune system and the interplay between the Nervous system|nervous, Endocrine system and Immune system. This includes research about Tcells and B cells, Viral disease and Bacterial disease. Metabolic disorder, Diabetes, and Cancer. He employs mathematical methods for modeling medical and biological systems. The methods range from ordinary differential equation as well as partial differential equation and agent-based model to algorithms from adaptive control and artificial intelligence.[4][7]

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, a model based on an extended Compartmental models in epidemiolog.SEIR model was developed in his group [8][9] that received broad public attention. In the following weeks, regularly updated estimates of the reproductive number in the different German federal states were published.[10] In April 2020, Meyer-Hermann argued from an epidemioloigcal point of view against loosening of restrictions concerning social distancing, curfews and other measures in interviews and Anne Will (talk show) to keep the reproduction number substantially below 1 and contain the pandemic. [11][12][13] In an interdisciplinary study together with Clemens Fuest (ifo Institute for Economic Research) it was postulated that a reproduction number around 0.75 would be optimal from an economic point of view without compromising public health goals, stating that there was no conflict between economic and public health interests regarding substantial loosening of restrictions.[14][15][16]

Selected publications

  • Gabriel D. Victora, Tanja A. Schwickert, David R. Fooksman, Alice O. Kamphorst, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Michael L. Dustin, Michel C. Nussenzweig: Germinal center dynamics revealed by multiphoton microscopy with a photoactivatable fluorescent reporter. In: Cell (journal)|Cell 143(4), 2010, S. 592–605, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2010.10.032.
  • Gernot Schaller, Michael Meyer-Hermann: Multicellular tumor spheroid in an off-lattice Voronoi-Delaunay cell model. In: Physical Review E 71(5), 2005, 051910, doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.71.051910.
  • Jeroen M. J. Tas, Luka Mesin, Giulia Pasqual, Sasha Targ, Johanne T Jacobsen, Yasuko M Mano, Casie S Chen, Jean-Claude Weill, Claude-Agnès Reynaud, Edward P Browne, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Gabriel D Victora: Visualizing antibody affinity maturation in germinal centers. In: Science 351(6277), 2016, S. 1048–1054, doi:10.1126/science.aad3439.
  • Yang Zhang, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Laura A. George, Marc Thilo Figge, Mahmood Khan, Margaret Goodall, Stephen P. Young, Adam Reynolds, Francesco Falciani, Ari Waisman, Clare A. Notley, Michael R. Ehrenstein, Marie Kosco-Vilbois, Kai-Michael Toellner: Germinal center B cells govern their own fate via antibody feedback. In: Journal of Experimental Medicine 210(3), 2013, S. 457–464, doi:10.1084/jem.20120150.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Unsere Gäste, Webseite of Norddeutscher Rundfunk|NDR for the talk show Anne Will (talk show)|Anne Will on April 19th, 2020.
  2. Michael Meyer-Hermann: QCD-Summenregeln mit Massen, Diploma thesis, Goethe University Frankfurt, 1993.
  3. Michael Meyer-Hermann: Die innere Struktur des Nukleons: Vielteilchenkorrelatoren und Störungskorrekturen im Limes großer Nf. Dissertation, Goethe University Frankfurt, 1997.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, accessed August 31, 2020.
  5. Antrittsvorlesung von Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann, press release of the Technical University of Braunschweig, May 18, 2011.
  6. Azadeh Ghanbari, Jaber Dehghany, Timo Schwebs, Mathias Müsken, Susanne Häussler, Michael Meyer-Hermann: Inoculation density and nutrient level determine the formation of mushroom-shaped structures in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. In: Scientific Reports, Band 6, Artikelnummer 32097, 2016, doi:10.1038/srep32097.
  7. Michael Meyer-Hermann, Website of Frontiers Journal Series, accessed August 31, 2020.
  8. Arnab Bandyopadhyay et al.: Stellungnahme der Helmholtz-Initiative „Systemische Epidemiologische Analyse der COVID-19-Epidemie“, 13. April 2020.
  9. Sahamoddin Khailaie, Tanmay Mitra, Arnab Bandyopadhyay, Marta Schips, Pietro Mascheroni, Patrizio Vanella, Berit Lange, Sebastian Binder, Michael Meyer-Hermann: Estimate of the development of the epidemic reproduction number Rt from Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 case data and implications for political measures based on prognostics, 7. April 2020, doi:10.1101/2020.04.04.20053637.
  10. Report with updated numbers for the article by Khailaie et al.
  11. Florian Schumann: „Jetzt wäre jede Form von Lockerung gefährlich“. In: Zeit Online, April 15, 2020.
  12. Helmholtz-Forscher erklärt an einer Zahl, warum strenge Corona-Regeln bleiben müssen. In: Der Tagesspiegel, April 15, 2020.
  13. Cornelia Karin Hendrich: „Die Reproduktionszahl von 0,7 ist ein künstlicher Effekt“. In: Welt Online, accessed April 20, 2020.
  14. Florian Dorn, Sahamoddin Khailaie, Marc Stöckli, Sebastian Binder, Berit Lange, Andreas Peichl, Patrizio Vanella, Timo Wollmershäuser, Clemens Fuest, Michael Meyer-Hermann: Das gemeinsame Interesse von Gesundheit und Wirtschaft: Eine Szenarienrechnung zur Eindämmung der Corona-Pandemie. In: ifo Schnelldienst Digital. Nr. 6, 2020. ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung|ifo Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (Hrsg.), May 12, 2020.
  15. Schnelle Lockerungen bringen der Wirtschaft Verluste. In: Zeit Online, May 13, 2020.
  16. Wirtschafts- und Infektionsforscher: Vorsichtige Lockerung. In: Welt Online, May 13, 2020.

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