In memoriam Andreas Heitger, 8 November 1959 – 5 May 2014 03.06.2014

It is with great sadness that we, the members of the Children's Cancer Research Institute and the St. Anna Children's Hospital, inform you that our colleague and dear friend Ass. Prof. Dr. Andreas Heitger passed away.

For more than 13 years Andreas was the head of CCRI's “Transplantation Immunology Group”. His long-standing fascination with the function and regulation of the immune system provided a rich source for his scientific interest and research. Based on his view and interpretation of the immune system's structure and behavior as a complex system, his primary aim was to modify and modulate specific elements and mechanisms in ways that would help to alleviate and control unwanted treatment sequelae, especially the transplantation-associated graft-versus-host disease. Many high-ranking publications as well as prestigious awards underline his enthusiastic participation in the scientific discourse in general and his substantial contributions to his specific research field in particular.

Andreas was not only an excellent physician and researcher, but also a very charming and affectionate person. His sound philosophical background and consequential curiosity strongly influenced his scientific visions and research topics, in which he often pursued unusual and pioneering routes. Andreas' profound humanity was always paired with humor, a combination that made him a mesmerizing leader and model guide for his students as well as a trustworthy companion for all other team members and colleagues.

We always will remember Andreas as an exceptional and wonderful colleague, a great pediatrician and immunologist as well as a superb teacher whose mentorship inspired his students and all others who worked with him.
He will be sadly missed by all of us, not only by those in our Research Institute and Hospital but also by those around the globe who were fortunate enough to meet, know and work with him.