The Information-Colloquium on Rheumatism takes place in Berlin. This is the first time that Rheumatologists from all over Germany are invited to discuss how the topic ‘rheumatism’ can be best communicated in Germany.
The conference results in forming of a group which pens a memorandum about the situation of patients in Germany suffering from rheumatic diseases entitled “Zur Situtation der Patienten des rheumatischen Formenkreises in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,” which is published in 1978 by the Robert Koch Institute. The memorandum offers solutions in the field of patient care, teaching and research. It serves as groundwork for the discussion of the ‘problem rheumatism’ in Germany’s parliament, the German Bundestag.
Scientists and doctors in Berlin jointly establish an interdisciplinary research group in order to further investigate the topic of rheumatic diseases. Clinical partner of the group is Elimar Brandt, then Director of the Immanuel-Krankenhaus (Immanuel-Hospital).
In January, the society ‘Gesellschaft zur Erforschung rheumatischer Erkrankungen, Forschungszentrum Berlin e.V.’ is founded, a society created for the investigation of rheumatic diseases. The main aim of the group is the establishment of a German rheumatism research center in Berlin. Longtime members of the committee were Hans Kröger, Elimar Brandt, Raimund Frankl (†1991), Helmut Mischke and Horst Kottusch (†2007). Albrecht Hasinger (†1994), then Undersecretary of State for Health and Social Matters, becomes involved in the planning process.
In March, then Mayor of Berlin Eberhard Diepgen announces that the City of Berlin will establish the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum.
An international panel of experts surrounding Fritz Melchers, then Director of the Basel Institute for Immunology and Chairman of the group, presents the Senate of Berlin with a concept for the creation of the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum.
With the foundation of the DRFZ on December 13, 1988 the Land Berlin acknowledges the deficits in the field of rheumatology that were at the center of scientific and public discussion since the beginning of the 1970s. Albrecht Hasinger is appointed first President of the Board of Trustees.
The foundation appoints the internationally renowned biologist and immunologist Nicholas Avrion Mitchison from London as Scientific Director of the DRFZ. Two branches of main research are established: immunology of rheumatic diseases and epidemiology.
The first laboratories are installed at the Robert Koch Institute. The epidemiology unit and the library are given domicile at the Siemens-Villa on the premises of the Immanuel-Krankenhaus in Berlin Wannsee.
The DRFZ and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology decide on the joint construction of a shared building for both institutes.
Andreas Radbruch is appointed new Scientific Director at the DRFZ, successor to Avrion Mitchison.
The DRFZ and the Charité are closely linked by a cooperation agreement. Gerd-Rüdiger Burmester, Head of Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Medical Department, Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, is a strong promoter of the cooperation.
The Scientific Advisory Committee is installed at the DRFZ.
Angela Zink is awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her achievements in the field of care- related rheumatism research.
The DRFZ and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology move into the newly erected building located on the Campus Charité Mitte, on the premises of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Andreas Radbruch is awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his achievements on behalf of the DRFZ.
The DRFZ becomes a full member of the Leibniz Association.