New Managing Director for HITS

25. January 2016
Dr. Gesa Schönberger (Photo: HITS)
Dr. Gesa Schönberger (Photo: HITS)

On 1 January 2016, Dr. Gesa Schönberger was appointed the new managing director of the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. She succeeds Prof. Andreas Reuter, who will remain as managing director of the private, non-profit research institute until the end of March.

On 1 January 2016 Dr. Gesa Schönberger was appointed the new managing director of the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). Gesa Schönberger has a doctorate in nutritional sciences and prior to her new post was for many years managing director and scientific director of the Dr. Rainer Wild Foundation, Heidelberg. In an interim phase she will take joint charge of the research institute with the present managing director Prof. Andreas Reuter and in close consultation with scientific director Prof. Rebecca Wade. On 1 April Andreas Reuter will quit his post as HITS managing director and focus on the managerial and directorial functions he performs in other institutions founded by Klaus Tschira.

Gesa Schönberger (b. 1968) studied nutritional sciences and home economics (ecotrophology) at the University of Giessen. In 1997, after completing her studies, she joined the staff of the Rainer Wild Foundation, Heidelberg (a foundation promoting healthy nutrition), first as a grant recipient and member of the scientific team, later (1999) as scientific director. At the same time she worked on a dissertation on the connections between nutrition and the amount of toxic substances in the blood, receiving her doctorate at the University of Giessen in 2003. In 2005 she took over as managing director of the Rainer Wild Foundation, retaining her post as scientific director and heading a team of nine foundation executives. In this dual capacity she initiated and masterminded various book and media projects, took on an adjunct professorship and informed the public about healthy nutrition in various talks, panel discussions and columns. She was also active in a number of professional bodies, for example as executive director of the International Workgroup for Cultural Research on Eating and member of the advisory board of the German Professional Association of Nutritional Science and Home Eco-nomics (VDOE). In the future Gesa Schönberger will be focusing on her work as managing director of HITS and head of HITS administration, while retaining her membership of the managing board of the Federal Association of German Foundations.

From 2010 onwards, managing director Prof. Andreas Reuter joined forces with founder Klaus Tschira to establish HITS and turn it into a thriving research institute. When Tschira died in March 2015, Andreas Reuter remained as sole managing director. In April 2016 he will relinquish this position, while continuing to perform managerial functions in other institutions founded by Klaus Tschira. These include membership of the managing board of the HITS Foundation, HITS’ main shareholder, and the scientific and managing directorship of EML European Media Laboratory GmbH. He is also a member of the managing board of the Heidelberg Laurate Forum Foundation, which organizes the annual “Heidelberg Laureate Forum”, and senior professor of the University of Heidelberg.

As of January 2015, HITS is headed jointly by one or more managing directors and a scientific director appointed for two years. At present the scientific director is Prof. Rebecca Wade, her deputy is Prof. Michael Strube.

Press contact
Dr. Peter Saueressig
Head of Communications
HITS Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies
phone: +49 6221 533245
fax: +49 6221 533298
peter.saueressig@h-its.org
@HITStudies

About HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.

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