The University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation has awarded Christian Drosten, Gerd Sutter and Lothar Wieler honorary doctorates. It recognizes them for their commitment to the COVID-19 pandemic. The response on social media was divided.
The University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo) has awarded three virologists honorary doctorates for services in researching the coronavirus and the public communication of their findings: Christian Drosten, Gerd Sutter and Lothar Wieler have “in their previous work and especially during the Corona- Pandemic deserved the holistic scientific consideration of the health of humans and animals “, said the President of the TiHo Gerhard Greif on the occasion of the honors decided by the Senate.
The TiHo represents the scientific idea of the one health topic, to research health in the interactions between humans, animals and the environment. Two of her focal points are infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. The coronavirus is being researched intensively at the TiHo.
Drosten received an honorary doctorate from the TiHo for his outstanding research in the field of RNA and coronaviruses, his great contribution to the One Health topic and for his educational work during the pandemic. Griffin emphasized:
“The direct communication of the current facts and their classification was and is a great help for many people during the pandemic, which conveys security despite all adversities.”
Sutter is honored for his outstanding research in the field of emerging zoonotic pathogens and infectious diseases as well as for his commitment to the one-health concept. Sutter is a veterinarian and is particularly dedicated to applied infection research. He is looking for novel viral vaccines and has already developed several vaccine candidates to the point that they have been approved for clinical trials. He uses the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), a smallpox virus that has been used for vaccination purposes for decades and can be equipped as a vector with the information of various pathogens. In doing so, he developed a vaccine against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which is transmitted by camels, and a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, which is currently in clinical trials.
Wieler receives an honorary doctorate for his outstanding contribution to zoonoses research and for the One Health topic, as well as for his role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Wieler is a specialist veterinarian for microbiology and President of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. In this role, he advises the federal government and provides regular information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Greif underlines Wieler’s achievements:
“Professor Wieler informs the public about the coronavirus calmly, confidently, scientifically and based on facts. He clarifies, warns and classifies. He is one of the pillars in fighting pandemics in Germany.”
Drosten, Sutter and Wieler’s award received mixed feedback on social media. There was approval, but also malice and ridicule:
While many people have lost their livelihoods, the gentlemen get an honorary doctorate. The world is so incredibly fair.
– Critical thoughts from Berlin (@AusGedanken) July 26, 2021
more on the subject – BioNTech founders receive the Federal Cross of Merit for their “untiring commitment”