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Charité – Berlin University of Medicine
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Logo Charite.svg
Forschen, Lehren, Heilen, Helfen
Motto in English
Researching, teaching, healing, helping
Established1710; 313 years ago (1710)
Academic affiliation
German Universities Excellence Initiative
Budget€2.3 billion[1]
ChairmanHeyo K. Kroemer[2]
Academic staff
4,988 (301 professors)[1]
Administrative staff
AffiliationsFree University of Berlin,
Humboldt University of Berlin

The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Charité – Berlin University of Medicine) is one of Europe's largest university hospitals, affiliated with Humboldt University and Free University Berlin.[3] With numerous Collaborative Research Centres of the German Research Foundation it is one of Germany's most research-intensive medical institutions. From 2012 to 2022, it was ranked by Focus as the best of over 1000 hospitals in Germany.[4][5] In 2019 to 2022 Newsweek ranked the Charité as the 5th best hospital in the world, and the best in Europe.[6] More than half of all German Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, including Emil von Behring, Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich, have worked at the Charité.[7] Several politicians and diplomats have been treated at the Charité, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who underwent meniscus treatment at the Orthopaedic Department, Yulia Tymoshenko from Ukraine, and more recently Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who received treatment at the hospital due to his poisoning in August 2020.[8][9][10]

In 2010–11 the medical schools of Humboldt University and Freie Universität Berlin were united under the roof of the Charité. The admission rate of the reorganized medical school was 3.9% for the 2019–2020 academic year.[11] QS World University Rankings 2019 ranked the Charité Medical School as number one for medicine in Germany and ninth best in Europe.[12] It was also considered the best medical school in Germany by Times Higher Education 2021, being the eighth in Europe.[13]


Historic and modern buildings at Campus Charité Mitte (CCM)
Locations of the four campuses of Charité in Berlin

Complying with an order of King Frederick I of Prussia from 14 November 1709, the hospital was established north of the Berlin city walls in 1710 in anticipation of an outbreak of the bubonic plague that had already depopulated East Prussia. After the plague spared the city, it came to be used as a charity hospital for the poor. On 9 January 1727, King Frederick William I of Prussia gave it the name "Charité", French for "charity".[14]

The construction of an anatomical theatre in 1713 marks the beginning of the medical school, then supervised by the collegium medico-chirurgicum of the Prussian Academy of Sciences.[15]

In the 19th century, after the University of Berlin (today Humboldt University) was founded in 1810, the dean of the medical college Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland integrated the Charité as a teaching hospital in 1828. During this time it became home to such notable medical pioneers as Rudolf Virchow, known as "the father of modern pathology"[16] and whose name is given to the eponymous "Virchow's Method" of autopsy;[17] the Swiss psychiatrist and neurologist Otto Binswanger, whose work in vascular dementia led to the discovery of Binswanger's Disease—so coined by his colleague Alois Alzheimer;[18] Robert Koch, who identified the specific causative agents of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax; and Emil von Behring, widely known as a "saviour of children"[19] for his 1894 discovery of a diphtheria antitoxin at a time when diphtheria was a major cause of child death (among many others).

In the 20th century, at the end of the Second World War, the Charité had endured the Battle of Berlin, with Berlin having been taken by the Red Army on 2 May 1945. Though the majority of its original and pre-War structure was damaged or destroyed during the War, it nevertheless was used as a Red Army hospital. Subsequent to Victory in Europe, in the period of denazification and the Nuremberg trials, the Charité remained in the Soviet Sector of Berlin until the formation of the German Democratic Republic, the GDR—(German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR)—in 1949, more commonly called East Germany. Under the Communists, standards were largely maintained, and it became a showpiece for East Bloc propaganda during the Cold War. Corpses of Berlin Wall victims were taken here for autopsies.

In 1990, with the reunification of Germany, and in the years following, Charité once again became one of the world's leading research and teaching hospitals.


Campus Charité Mitte (CCM) main building
Campus Virchow Klinikum (CVK), German Heart Center Berlin (Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin)
Campus Benjamin Franklin (CBF)

The Charité has four different campuses across the city of Berlin with a total of 3,001 beds:[20][1]

In 2001, the Helios Clinics Group acquired the hospitals in Buch with their 1,200 beds.[21] Still, the Charité continues to use the campus for teaching and research and has more than 300 staff members located there. The Charité encompasses more than 100 clinics and scientific institutes, organized in 17 different departments, referred to as Charité Centers (CC):

  • CC 1: Health and Human Sciences
  • CC 2: Basic Sciences (First Year)
  • CC 3: Dental, Oral and Maxillary Medicine
  • CC 4: Charité-BIH Center for Therapy Research
  • CC 5: Diagnostic Laboratory and Preventative Medicine
  • CC 6: Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
  • CC 7: Anesthesiology, Operating-Room Management and Intensive Care Medicine
  • CC 8: Surgery
  • CC 9: Traumatology and Reconstructive Medicine
  • CC 10: Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • CC 11: Cardiovascular Diseases
  • CC 12: Internal Medicine and Dermatology
  • CC 13: Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Nephrology
  • CC 14: Tumor Medicine
  • CC 15: Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry
  • CC 16: Audiology/Phoniatrics, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
  • CC 17: Gynecology, Perinatal, Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine with Perinatal Center & Human Genetics

Overall, 13 of those centers focus on patient care, while the rest focuses on research and teaching. The Medical History Museum Berlin has a history dating back to 1899. The museum in its current form opened in 1998 and is famous for its pathological and anatomical collection.[22]

Notable people[edit]

Rudolf Virchow, by Hugo Vogel
Robert Koch and the beginnings of microbiology
Paul Ehrlich and the introduction of antimicrobial chemotherapy at Charité
Emil von Behring
Theodor Billroth operating

Many famous physicians and scientists worked or studied at the Charité. Indeed, more than half of the German Nobel Prize winners in medicine and physiology come from the Charité.[23] Fifty seven Nobel laureates are affiliated with Humboldt University of Berlin and five with Freie Universität Berlin.

Nobel laureates[edit]

  • Emil Adolf von Behring – physiologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1901)
  • Ernst Boris Chain – biochemist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945)
  • Paul Ehrlich – immunologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1908)
  • Hermann Emil Fischer – chemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1902)
  • Werner Forssmann – physician (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1956)
  • Robert Koch – physician (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1905)
  • Albrecht Kossel (1853-1927) – physician (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1910)
  • Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (1900-1981) – physician and biochemist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953)
  • Fritz Albert Lipmann (1899-1986) – biochemist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953)
  • Hans Spemann (1869-1941) – embryologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1935)
  • Otto Heinrich Warburg (1883-1970) – physiologist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931)

Medical school[edit]

University rankings
Global – Overall
THE World[24]73 (2023)
Global – Life sciences and medicine
THE Clinical and Health[24]26 (2023)

In 2003 the Berlin city and state House of Representatives passed an interim law unifying the medical faculties of both Humboldt University and Freie Universität Berlin under the roof of the Charité.[25] Since 2010–11 all new medical students have been enrolled on the New Revised Medical Curriculum Programme with a length of 6 years.[26] Referred to the points needed in the German Abitur to get directly accepted, the Charité is together with Heidelberg University Medical School Germany's most competitive medical school (2020).[27] 3,17% of all Charité Medical School students are supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the highest percentage of all public German universities. The Erasmus Exchange Programme offered to Charité Medical School students includes 72 universities and is the largest in Europe.[28] Charité students can spend up to a year at a foreign medical school with exchange partners such as the Karolinska Institute, University of Copenhagen, Sorbonne University, Jagiellonian University, Università di Roma La Sapienza, University of Amsterdam, and the University of Zürich. Students are also encouraged to participate in research projects, complete a dissertation, or join Charité affiliated social projects.

In 2021, the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) became the translational research unit of Charité, marking a change in the German university system by making the Charité the first university clinic which receive direct and annual financial support by the federal state of Germany.[29] Together with private charity donors like the Johanna Quandt's private excellence initiative or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as financing by the State of Berlin, the new direct federal investments will become the third financial fundament for research at the Charité.[30] In addition, it is part of the Berlin University Alliance, receiving funding from the German Universities Excellence Initiative in 2019.

International partner universities[edit]

Einstein Foundation[edit]

The Charité is one of the main partners of the Einstein Foundation, which was established by the city and state of Berlin in 2009. It is a "foundation that aims to promote science and research of top international caliber in Berlin and to establish the city as a centre of scientific excellence".[31] Research fellows include:

  • Thomas Südhof – biochemist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2013)
  • Brian Kobilka – chemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012)
  • Edvard Moser – neuroscientist (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Facts & Figures". Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Heyo Kroemer tritt Amt als neuer Charité-Chef an". Der Tagesspiegel Online (in German). 3 September 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Geschichte". Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  4. ^ "Pressemitteilung". Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
  5. ^ Mayer, Kurt-Martin (21 September 2014). "Die FOCUS-Klinikliste: Die Charité ist Deutschlands bestes Krankenhaus – Gesundheits-News – FOCUS Online – Nachrichten". Focus (in German). Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  6. ^ "The Best Hospitals in the World". Newsweek. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  7. ^ Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (2011). "Home". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Bundeskanzlerin: Merkel musste sich am Meniskus operieren lassen". Spiegel Online. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Charité-Ärzte behandeln Julia Timoschenko" (Press release) (in German). Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  10. ^ Roth, Andrew (24 August 2020). "Tests indicate Alexei Navalny was poisoned, says German clinic". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Daten der bundesweit zulassungsbeschränkten Studiengänge an Hochschulen" (PDF).
  12. ^ "Medicine". Top Universities. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  13. ^ "World University Rankings 2022 by subject: Clinical and health". Times Higher Education. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  14. ^ "History". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  15. ^ Einhäupl, Karl Max; Ganten, Detlev; Hein, Jakob (2010). "2 Krankenpflege". 300 Jahre Charité – im Spiegel ihrer Institute (in German). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9783110202564. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Virchow". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
  17. ^ "What is the best autopsy method of Dissection and why? The goal of the question is to gain a better understanding of the logic for methods used". ResearchGate.
  18. ^ Schorer, C. E. (1992). "Alzheimer and Kraepelin describe Binswanger's Disease". The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 4 (1): 55–58. doi:10.1176/jnp.4.1.55. PMID 1627963.
  19. ^ "The Immune System: In Defence of our Lives". Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. (Retrieved by "The Internet Archive")
  20. ^ Coordinates from Google Maps
  21. ^ "Praes Helios Health" (PDF). Helios-Health. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  22. ^ "History of the Museum". Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  23. ^ Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (2011). "Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin: Charité". Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  24. ^ a b "World University Rankings". THE Education Ltd. 26 October 2022.
  25. ^ "School of Medicine: Charité". 3 October 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  26. ^ "New Revised Medical Curriculum". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 2011. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  27. ^ Arnold, Dietmar. "hochschulstart Wintersemester 2017/18 – zentrales Verfahren". (in German). Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  28. ^ Heller, Birgit. "Länder und Universitäten". Erasmus (in German). Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  29. ^ "We belong together!". Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  30. ^ Warnecke, Tilmann (5 April 2019). "Das BIG wird in die Charité integriert". Der Tagesspiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Einstein Foundation Berlin – Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin". Retrieved 28 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°31′36″N 13°22′47″E / 52.52667°N 13.37972°E / 52.52667; 13.37972