Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Stefan H. E. Kaufmann

Council Member

Scientific Chairperson Physiology or Medicine

Stefan H. E. Kaufmann is emeritus director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, and Professor of microbiology and immunology at the Charité, Berlin. He is also honorary professor at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru and visiting professor at Tongji University, Faculty of Medicine, Shanghai, China and at Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

He completed his studies in biology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 1977 with a doctorate (summa cum laude). From 1987 to 1991 Stefan H. E. Kaufmann taught as professor for medical microbiology and immunology and from 1991 to 1998 as full professor for immunology at the University of Ulm.

His scientific interests include: Immune response against bacterial pathogens with a focus on tuberculosis and the rational development of vaccines and biosignatures. Development of a tuberculosis vaccine currently being tested for protective efficacy in several phase III clinical trials. Professor Kaufmann is coordinator of numerous international and interdisciplinary research projects.


He is Doctor Honoris Causa of Aix-Marseille Université, past President and Honorary Member of the German Society of Immunology, past President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) and past President of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).

He published more than 900 publications, mostly in high-ranking journals with more than 90,000 citations according to Google Scholar, and is one of the world’s most cited scientists out of approximately 7 million scientists in 22 major fields (PLoS Biol 17(8): e3000384, 2019) and one of the most cited immunologists worldwide (Thomson/ISI) – h-index (according to J. E. Hirsch): Google Scholar 148. Kaufmann is a member of numerous societies and academies, including the American Academy of Microbiology, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, World Innovation Foundation and European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). Stefan Kaufmann has received numerous science awards.

Professor Kaufmann is Chair of the Board of the Ernst Schering Foundation. He was, for instance, Chair of the Scientific Board of the Memento Prize and Member of the Executive Committee of the Robert Koch Foundation. He was Alternate Board Member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), member of the Scientific Board of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) and member of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). Stefan H. E. Kaufmann initiated the global “Day of Immunology” to raise public awareness in immunology. He was scientific advisor on health issues for the G7 summit in Elmau in 2015 as well as for the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017.

Photo/Credit: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology