Klaus Lieb of the Mainz University Medical Center is Germany's "Professor of the Year"

Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is awarded the prize of the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers worth EUR 10,000

17.12.2012

Professor Dr. Klaus Lieb, Director of the Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Mainz University Medical Center since 2007, has been awarded the "Professor of the Year" prize worth EUR 10,000 by the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV) for his exemplary dedication to academic integrity.

What characterizes a good university professor? As far as the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers is concerned, the relevant factors include more than just the ability to give interesting lectures, provide dedicated supervision of students, or conduct excellent research. The DHV considers the commitment outside the professor's own subject to be crucial. Only those who make exceptional contributions in this regard and have thus raised the profile of the lecturer profession in the eyes of the public are worthy of being designated "Professor of the Year" by the DHV.

"Klaus Lieb is a leading advocate of academic integrity. His aim is to ensure the autonomy of research by providing for maximum transparency and imposing rules for dealing with conflicts of interest. As a member of the Drug Commission of the German Medical Association and founding member of the medical network 'MEZIS – Mein Essen zahl' ich selbst', the German branch of the international "no free lunch" organizations, it is his objective to make sure that those in the medical profession are not inappropriately influenced by the pharmaceutical industry," said the President of the DHV, Professor Dr. Bernhard Kempen. Professor Dr. Klaus Lieb has thus considerably contributed towards enhancing the prestige of the academic and teaching professions in the general public.

The MEZIS network is committed to evidence-based, rational medicine. Its aspiration is to counteract the influence that the pharmaceutical industry can have on physicians and their prescription policy. In addition, he is also working towards ensuring that academics can work freely and independently and draws attention to conflicts of interest. "I stopped taking any personal gifts from the pharmaceutical industry in 2007. In our clinic's study center, however, we do not only undertake our own clinical trials but also trials in cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry if genuine progress can be expected for patients as a result. We are thus trying to ensure that independence in writing prescriptions and forming opinions remains in line with medical progress," Lieb explained.

"By awarding this prize, the professional body representing university professors and young researchers is honoring a committed academic who stands up for his convictions and has a high profile also beyond his own specialist field. We congratulate Professor Dr. Klaus Lieb and hope that the students of today and the professors of tomorrow take his example as a role model," said Professor Dr. Dr. Reinhard Urban, Chief Scientific Officer of the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Professor Dr. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, sees the "Professor of the Year" award as very significant also for other reasons: "This award shows how important core values, such as integrity and freedom, are to the academic community. Universities not only need clever heads but ones that can think critically as well."

With the sponsorship of the publisher of the DIE ZEIT newspaper, Gerd Bucerius GmbH & Co. KG, the award "Professor of the Year" has been given annually by the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers since 2006. The DHV is the national professional association of academics in Germany and has more than 27,000 members. Professors who promote the public reputation of the academic and teaching community are eligible for the award.