Obituary Prof. Dr. med. Eckhart Buddecke


Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Matrixbiologie e.V. trauert um ihr Gründungsmitglied Prof. Dr. med. Eckhart Buddecke, der am 3. August 2016 in Münster verstorben ist.

Eckhart Buddecke war bis ins hohe Alter in der Matrix-Forschung aktiv und beschäftigte sich besonders mit Proteoglykanen und der Pathobiochemie des Blutgefäßsystems. Er wurde 93 Jahre alt.

Eckhart Buddecke studierte Medizin und Chemie an der Universität Göttingen und startete seine exzellente wissenschaftliche Karriere im Jahr 1953 am Max-Planck Institut für Medizinische Forschung in Göttingen und den Universitäten Gießen und Tübingen, bevor er als Post-Doc ans Karolinska-Institut nach Stockholm sowie an die Universität New York ging. 1966 kam er nach Deutschland zurück und leitete bis zu seiner Emeritierung im Jahr 1988 das Institut für Physiologische Chemie und Pathobiochemie an der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Von 1982-1990 war Eckhart Buddecke gleichzeitig Direktor des Leibniz-Instituts für Arteriosklerose-Forschung, dem er bis 2011 als Berater eng verbunden blieb.

Die von ihm gegründete Eckhart-Buddecke-Stiftung vergibt jährlich den PRO-SCIENTIA-Förderpreis für außergewöhnliche Beiträge auf dem Gebiet der medizinischen Grundlagenforschung. Unser Beileid gilt seiner Frau Prof. Annette Schmidt-Buddecke und seiner Familie. Wir verlieren einen herausragenden Matrix-Forscher und hochgeschätzten Menschen. Er wird uns ein großes Vorbild bleiben.

Für den Vorstand der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Matrixbiologie e.V.

Liliana Schaefer und Rita Dreier



Obituary Klaus Kuettner, PhD


Professor Klaus Kuettner, Chairman Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry, Rush Medical College, Chicago, died 24th May, 2016. Many younger European matrix biologists will not have known Klaus but, if your interests are in proteoglycans, cartilage biology, or osteoarthritis, his work in these areas will have contributed significantly to establishing your field as an important area for research. His  own laboratory produced significant results in these fields, published in over 150 papers, a number of review articles, and in several seminal books. But his influence also came from his extraordinary ability to interact with people and to promote the importance of these fields to the scientific establishment, especially in the USA. This was at a time when matrix biology was not regarded as “trendy”, exciting, or potentially important for advances in biomedical research, by funding bodies such as NIH and top universities.  Klaus worked to change this!

Klaus was born in 1933 in Bunzlau, Silesia, then in Germany, a town famous for its pottery and ceramic industry in which his family was prominent. The family, liberal and strongly opposed to the Third Reich, fled to Saxonia, Central Germany, during the war and later to Minden, West Germany, to escape the Soviets! Subsequently Klaus graduated from the school of pharmacy in Minden and then with a master’s in pharmaceutical science from Freiburg University. He received his PhD from the University of Berne in Switzerland in 1961 for studies on histamine release from mast cells and its interaction with polyanions. Proteoglycan biochemists will understand his next move – a post doc position at the Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, to study plutonium binding in cartilage with its rich matrix of polyanionic glycosaminoglycans!

Appointed, as a research associate in biochemistry at the University of Illinois in 1964, but with a lab in the Dept. of Orthopaedics, Rush Presbyterian St Luke’s Medical Centre (as it was then called), Klaus’s career path seems, with the benefit of hindsight, to have been clearly set! Rush Medical School was established in 1971 and Klaus rose through the academic ranks to become Professor in 1977 and subsequently Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry from 1980 to 2002. His early research focussed on the role of lysozyme in cartilage, then on the identification of anti-invasion factors which inhibit vascularization of cartilage. There followed pioneering studies on long term culture of differentiated chondrocytes  and their synthesis of proteoglycans, collagens, proteinases and their inhibitors. As time progressed he recruited a team of very talented cartilage experts and the research programme expanded. These included, for example, E. Thonar (cartilage catabolism biomarkers), M. Adydelotte (chondrocyte cell biology), J.Kimura (proteoglycan biochemistry), W & C. Knudson (hyaluronan and cartilage matrix homeostasis), T. Schmid (cartilage matrix protein degradation), T. Glant (proteoglycans and autoimmunity), and A.Cole (cartilage matrix turnover in different joints) – and others, equally meritorious but too numerous to list.

As mentioned above, Klaus Kuettner had a profound impact on the development of his fields of interest through his ability to influence major organisations responsible for the funding and dissemination of scientific research. These included the National Institutes of Health in the USA, the Orthopeadic Research Society, The Arthritis Research Foundation, and others. One approach to this was through his ability to organise outstanding specialist meetings at which leading researchers of the day presented their research. For example, in the 1980s’ he initiated (with V. Hascall) the biannual Gordon Research Conferences on Proteoglycans, still going in 2016.  Similarly he proposed the Ciba Foundation Symposium: “The Function of the Proteoglycans” held in London in 1986 and subsequently published as a book. Other landmark books are Articular Cartilage and Osteoarthritis (1992), a collection of papers from a conference he organised with the pharma company Hoeschst in Wiesbaden, Germany, and The Many Faces of Osteoarthritis (2002, co-edited with V C Hascall), from a Festschrift Conference held in California to mark Klaus’s retirement. All these books reported the cutting edge knowledge in the field at the time and were very widely read. For example the publisher’s web page for the 2002 book shows over 3000 downloads!

This brief account of Klaus Kuettner would be incomplete without paying tribute to his mentoring of colleagues, and for his support for those who he saw as less fortunate than himself. In the former category many junior and senior scientists benefited from his friendship, wise council and support. In the latter group, his close friends’ bear witness that he personally supported several people from disadvantaged backgrounds who he thought had talent to go to University and change their lives. His reward was their success. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.


Roger Mason
Chair BSMB 1992-1996

Emeritus Professor, Imperial College London



Obituary Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann


Our dear friend and colleague Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann passed away suddenly at her home in Pratteln, just outside Basel, on September 4, 2015. She was 60 years old. She is survived by her husband Matthias Chiquet, her children Daniel, Patrice and Fabian, and three grandchildren.

Ruth earned her Ph.D. from the ETH Zurich in 1981. In her dissertation, which was completed in the lab of David C. Turner, she was among the first to map out fibronectin’s cell interaction sites. After postdoctoral studies at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore she returned to Switzerland where, in 1985, she became a junior group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel. She remained at the FMI until her death. During her first decade at the FMI Ruth’s group produced what are now considered to be the seminal works on tenascins, a family of glycoproteins that she first characterized and named in 1986. Her research with tenascins expanded as new members of the gene family were discovered and emphasized the roles of tenascins in tumor progression. While looking for tenascin homologs in Drosophila her group also discovered a novel family of transmembrane proteins that she named teneurins. Work from her lab and others have since shown that teneurins are important for guiding normal synaptogenesis in a variety of animal models.

I (M.K.) got to know Ruth during my diploma thesis at the Biocenter in 1989 and I did some experiments in her lab. It was a great experience to work in her lab and I learned a lot about molecular biology. I was also very impressed how Ruth and Matthias managed to combine family and their scientific career so well. In recent years, I visited Ruth several times at the FMI and it was always a great pleasure to discuss science with her. We will always miss Ruth as a science collaborator and as a friend.


Manuel Koch and Richard Tucker






Obituary Dr. Jürgen Mollenhauer   2.1.1953 -17.2.2015


Dr. Jürgen Mollenhauer 2.1.1953 -17.2.2015 Nachruf Am 17.Februar ist unser langjähriges Mitglied Jürgen Mollenhauer viel zu früh einem schweren Leiden erlegen. Er war für lange Zeit Mitglied im Vorstand der Gesellschaft für Matrix Biologie, vormals Bindegewebsforschung, und ist uns sicher allen als stets präsenter, aufmerksamer Tagungsteilnehmer in Erinnerung, der mit seinem breiten, fundierten Wissen unsere wissenschaftlichen Sitzungen bereicherte.

Jürgen Mollenhauer wurde am 2. Januar 1953 in Konstanz geboren. Er studierte Biologie an der Universität Tübingen und promovierte bei Prof. Klaus Bayreuther an der Universität Stuttgart - Hohenheim über die Differenzierung von Fibroblasten.

In seinem ersten Post-doktorat in der Abteilung für Bindegewebsforschung unter der Leitung von Prof. Klaus Kühn am Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie in Martinsried von 1980 bis 1985 entdeckte er in meinem Labor das Anchorin CII, ein Kollagen-bindendes Protein auf der Oberfläche von Chondrocyten. Die Aufklärung der Funktion von Anchorin CII, heute als Annexin V weithin bekannt, in der Interaktion von Chondrocyten mit Kollagen II sollte eine schwierige Aufgabe bleiben, die ihn noch viele Jahre nicht losließ, auch in seiner Zeit in Chicago an der Rush-Presbyterian University in Chicago von 1992 bis 2004 bei Prof. Klaus Kuettner.

Seine wissenschaftliche Neugier und seine Forschungsinteressen waren jedoch unersättlich und breit gefächert, und so konnte er seine zellbiologischen Expertisen, seine profunden biochemischen und biophysikalischen Kenntnisse erfolgreich einsetzten, um ungelöste Fragen der Pathogenese von degenerativen Knorpelerkrankungen mit neuen Ansätzen zu bearbeiten.

Im Institut von Prof. Kay Brune in Erlangen beschrieb er 1988 zum ersten Mal spezifische Autoimmunreaktionen gegen ein 65 kDa Chondrocyten Membranprotein in der Arthritis. Von seinen vielfältigen Arbeiten über die Pathologie des arthrotischen Knorpels am Institut von Prof. Kuettner seien seine innovativen radiographischen Analysen der Knorpelstruktur durch Röntgendiffraktionsverstärkung erwähnt.

Nach seiner Rückkehr nach Deutschland im Jahre 2003 etablierte er an der Orthopädischen Klinik in Eisenach eine Forschungseinheit mit Gewebekulturlabor unter GMP Bedingungen zur Autologen Chondrocytentransplantation. Nach einigen Jahren in Eisenach setzte er seine über viele Jahre gewonnenen umfangreichen Kenntnisse über die Biologie der Chondrocyten und Pathologie des Knorpels zur Entwicklung neuer biotechnologischer Verfahren zur Knorpelregeneration ein. Die Entwicklung von BMP-7 beladenen Mikrosphären als Verpackungssystem von Humanchondrocyten in Kollagengelen an zwei Biotechnologischen Forschungsinstituten in Reutlingen, oder die Einbettung von Zwischenwirbelzellen in Hydrogele für die Regeneration von Zwischenwirbelgewebe waren erfolgreiche Ansätze von 2012. Ihnen hätten noch viele weitere Projekte folgen sollten, wäre es allein nach dem unermüdlichen Forscherdrang von Jürgen Mollenhauer gegangen.

Wir verlieren mit Jürgen Mollenhauer einen klugen Kopf und nachdenklichen, kritischen Wissenschaftler, für den, seit ich ihn kenne, Vertrauenswürdigkeit und Zuverlässigkeit oberste Leitlinien seiner Forschung waren. Er hinterlässt eine liebenswerte Frau und drei erwachsene Kinder, mit denen wir gemeinsam unser Andenken an Jürgen Mollenhauer bewahren wollen.

Februar 2015

Klaus von der Mark


Obituary Roswitha Nischt


Dear colleagues,

On January 4, 2015, Dr. rer. nat. Roswitha Nischt passed away after severe illness. We want to express our deepest condolences to her mother, her family and her friends.

Roswitha was one of my closest coworkers since 1989, first at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry and later in the Dept. of Dermatology in Munich, and since 1992 in Cologne. Her highly professional and sustained efforts greatly contributed to the structures that formed the basis for the success of our research laboratory, the first DFG research unit and the collaborative research centers that followed.

Roswitha was a highly motivated, ambitious and critical scientist for whom research always had the highest priority. Together with her research group and collaborators all around the world she developed novel concepts with great impact in the area of basement membrane structure and function and as late as in November resulted in a highly recognized publication. To the very end, Roswitha left a deep impression on all of us with her thrive to succeed and her will of life.

We will deeply miss Roswitha.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Krieg