A memory of Angelika Bierhaus and Her Biography

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Collaborators of Angelika Bierhaus,

Prof. Dr. Angelika Bierhaus passed away on April 15, 2012, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Angelika had a great love of life, she was generous, kind and warm hearted. She was always full of plans for future scientific endeavours, even when her disease began to take its toll. She remained steadfast that she would not be defeated, but despite recently celebrating her 50th birthday, she was aware that her remaining time was short. She dedicated herself to research, but despite her incredible strength, she was not able overcome the disease which tragically took her life.
Angelika will always remain in our memories as an extremely engaged scientist full of passion for her profession. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of chronic diseases was her entire life, working on projects as diverse as diabetes, thrombosis, atherosclerosis and pain. Her insights into the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) and the transcription factor NFkB will remain forever as a memorial to her life. Even in the last weeks, she succeeded in accomplishing new insights in diabetic neuropathy, which is testament to her dedication to the very end.
Angelika’s passion for her work was clear for anyone who was lucky enough to see her present. Not only at international but also at national meetings and congresses she was able to fascinate and entrall scientists and physicians a like. In teaching lectures, given at the University of Heidelberg, she would frequently have students coming to her afterwards, wanting to discuss and, more often than not, asking whether she would be willing to be their supervisor during their studies. She would be more than happy accept, feeling that the education of new scientists was of a fundamental importance. She was a mentor to a great number of students and was a strong supporter of a large number of national and international scientists. She will always be a great source of inspiration for future generations of scientists.
She not only achieved worldwide acknowledgment but also a great many friends. Beside the International Maillard Reaction Society, she was engaged in numerous scientific societies such as the European Association for the Studies of Diabetes, the German Diabetes Society, the Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Angelika also worked on the editorial boards of a number of internationally recognized journals, including Diabetologia and ECED. In 2011, she achieved the ultimate validation for her dedication to diabetes research by being awarded the Camillo-Golgi prize from the EASD. The joy of this honour, as well as the applause which followed her lecture that day is visible for anyone to see.

We will always keep Angelika in our memories, as a strong and loving personality, who dedicated herself to her research and fostered the career of many young scientists. Despite, her life being tragically cut short, she was able to achieve some major scientific accomplishments that have helped to reveal the underlying secrets of diabetes and its associated complications.

Peter Nawroth

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter P. Nawroth
Chair
Department Medicine I and Clinical Chemistry
Im Neuenheimer Feld 410

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