Obituary: Konrad Müller

EMBL alumnus Konrad Müller worked at EMBL for two decades. PHOTO: EMBL/Marietta Schupp

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EMBL alumnus Konrad Müller has sadly passed away

It is with great sadness that we share the news that EMBL alumnus Konrad Müller passed away on 28 March. Konrad, who is a former head of personnel and administration, worked at EMBL for two decades between 1975–95. Konrad’s contributions have helped to shape EMBL as we know it today. Under his leadership at EMBL he drove key projects including the establishment of EMBL’s Kinderhaus, the INTERMEDEX health insurance system for EMBL employees, the creation of the EMBL Staff Association and furthered relations with Germany, the host country of EMBL Heidelberg and Hamburg.

After leaving EMBL, Konrad went on to head up the European Life Science Organisation before taking on a role as Chairman of the board of trustees of the Klaus Tschira Foundation. Konrad always maintained close connections with EMBL in many forms – as a member of the Alumni Association board (2003-8), driving philanthropic partnerships and many other activities supporting EMBL and the international life science community. He was a prime mover behind the John Kendrew Award. This prize is given to EMBL alumni for their accomplishments in research and other fields of activity, in their first few years after leaving EMBL.

EMBL became part of Konrad and he in turn became an unforgettable part of EMBL

Matthias Hentze, EMBL Director said: “Konrad is a remarkable architect of EMBL as we know it. Without him, EMBL would not have the same ‘touch and feel’ that it has today, even though he left EMBL more than 20 years ago. Konrad never truly left EMBL, because he cared for it with passion. Without him, there would be no EMBL Advanced Training Centre. But perhaps most importantly, Konrad cared for the people who worked and work at EMBL, irrespective of status and pay grade. He was always willing to help, creatively, unburocratically, with his heart. I will remember him as one of the true forces behind EMBL, and as a wonderful Mensch.”

Iain Mattaj, EMBL Director-General, said: “Konrad joined EMBL very early after its founding and – particularly in EMBL Heidelberg where he was based – he knew everyone by name. He was tremendously social, talking and laughing with everyone he met. If you had a problem, Konrad was always there to listen and usually to find a solution quickly and without fuss. EMBL became part of him and he in turn became an unforgettable part of EMBL.”