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In memory of

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Kühn

*1.5.1927     † 7.4.2022


Klaus Kühn was a pioneer in collagen research with landmark discoveries in the collagen field, who shaped a sustainable extracellular matrix research in Germany and throughout the world. The passionate collagen scientist was fascinated by the collagen tripelhelix and was always a leading, highly motivating figure in the field who encouraged generations of young people to climb apparently unsurmountable summits.

Somehow, it happened that every chair in matrix biology research in Germany came from or went through Klaus Kühn‘s lab. The German Society for Matrix Biology and the worldwide matrix biology community is greatly saddened by the passing of Klaus Kühn.


Klaus Kühn had managed to establish an extremely successful international research center while maintaining a kind and collegial atmosphere within the department, welcoming students and scientists from all over the world. This was unique in the highly hierarchical academic structure in Germany at that time. Klaus Kühn was proud to be a typical chemist but he welcomed initiatives to approach connective tissue research from many different angles and he was always very interested in medical issues. He enjoyed scientific discussions as well as playing tennis with the members of his department. There is no doubt that he had a profound influence on our scientific, academic and personal life.

Monique Aumailley and Thomas Krieg

Er hinterlässt uns allen das Bild einer eindrücklichen, großzügigen, immer bescheidenen und liebenswürdigen Forscherpersönlichkeit. Sein Lebenswerk umfasst eine große Zahl von Wissenschaftlern, deren Entwicklung und Karriere er nachhaltig beeinflusst hat, eine zusätzliche Leistung, die alles andere als eine Selbstverständlichkeit ist. Wir alle sind ihm dafür zu Dank verpflichtet.

Peter Bruckner

Er war ein ausgezeichneter Lehrmeister, der wissenschaftliche Expertise mit einer fürsorglichen Menschlichkeit verband. Unvergesslich ist, wie er junge Wissenschaftler in die Wissenschaftsgemeinde der Extrazellulären Matrix integrierte. Der offene Wissenschaftsaustausch und die angenehme Umgebung auf Matrix-Tagungen ist auch sein Verdienst. Für sein prägendes Vorbild, Wissenschaft menschlich zu machen, bin ich ihm sehr dankbar. Ich bewahre ihn in Erinnerung.

Johannes Eble

Klaus Kühn was a pioneer, a titan of collagen research, and an excellent teacher and mentor. His scientific heritage and mentorship left lasting marks on connective tissue research, both in- and outside Germany. Even after his retirement, Klaus Kühn often visited his beloved Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and always stopped by in my department to talk about the latest breakthroughs in matrix and adhesion research. His visits, discussions, support and advice will always remain in my memory.

Reinhard Fässler

Nicht nur die Wissenschaft, sondern auch viele muntere und warmherzige Treffen hat mich mit Klaus Kühn verbunden. Es sind nicht zuletzt diese Runden in anspruchsvoller Konversation und freundschaftlich, verbindlicher Atmosphäre, die uns in Erinnerung bleiben und die uns deutlich machen, welch menschlicher Verlust der fast gemeinsame Tod von Barbara und Klaus für uns bedeutet.

Verena Gauss-Müller & Peter Müller

I first got to know Klaus Kühn in 1983 when I joined Rupert Timpl´s group in the Kühn department in Martinsried. Later there were many more meetings, in particular at the famous retreats at Schloss Ringberg. Klaus was an outstanding scientist, but also a very kind and supportive mentor. I much appreciated the generosity with which he led his department. He gave us great freedom and a main priority was always the development of his younger coworkers. For this reason many of us stayed as long as ever possible. He became my role model with regard to scientific leadership. I feel deep sorrow.

Mats Paulsson

Klaus Kühn war für uns immer ein Fixpunkt als brillanter, stimulierender und immer neugieriger Wissenschaftler. Es war ein Erlebnis in seiner Abteilung, auch wenn er es einem nicht immer ganz leicht machte. Ein besonderer Mensch der Güte und Menschlichkeit ausstrahlte und dabei versuchte, die nächste Generation zu fordern und das Beste in ihnen zu fördern. In diesem Sinne erfüllt uns der Verlust mit Trauer aber auch menschlicher Dankbarkeit.

Ernst Pöschl & Ulrike Mayer

Ich werde Klaus Kühn als Freund, verständnisvollen Doktorvater, effizienten Institutsleiter und großen Wissenschaftler in Erinnerung behalten, der nicht nur die Wissenschaftsszene in Deutschland entscheidend geprägt hat, sondern auch den nachfolgenden Generationen die Erkenntnis mitgegeben hat, zu welcher Tiefe, Freude und Erfolg koordinierte Forschung im Team führen kann.

Klaus von der Mark

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