Werner Hacke

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Werner Hacke
OccupationProfessor at the University of Heidelberg
ChildrenDr. Nicola Hacke
Stefanie Hacke

Professor Werner Hacke, born 1948 in Duisburg, Germany, was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, from 1987 to 2014 and holds now a Senior Professorship of Neurology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.


He graduated from the Klinikum Aachen Medical School [1] and holds also a Master's degree in Psychology.

He is a board certified neurologist, psychiatrist, and neurocritical care specialist. He received his neurology training at the Universities of Aachen, Germany, and Berne, Switzerland.[2] He also holds a Master's degree in Psychology. After spending almost one year of research at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, California, he was elected to the chairposition of Neurology at the University of Heidelberg, at that time being the youngest chairman of Neurology ever elected in Germany. In 2014, after 27 years as chair and head of the department he stepped down from his clinical duties and is now the first Senior Professor of Medicine at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Overview (degrees, profession)[edit]

  • M.D. Ph.D. Dr. h.c. FESO
  • Senior Professor of Neurology
  • Department of Neurology
  • University of Heidelberg
  • Germany


The Department of Neurology at Heidelberg University is one of the largest European neurology departments both by number of in- and out-patients and resources. Dr. Hacke's main clinical and research activities are in the field of cerebrovascular disorders and critical care neurology. The department runs a 20-bed stroke unit and a 12-bed neurocritical care ward.

The stroke center in Heidelberg is a high volume, hyperacute service. Many treatment- and diagnosis related innovations have been developed there. Prof. Hacke was actively involved in the development of both interventional intra-arterial and intravenous thrombolytic therapy, has pioneered hypothermia and decompressive surgery in malignant MCA-infarction and was instrumental for building the German Stroke Unit Network.


Prof Hacke is involved with many clinical studies, both industry-supported and investigator driven. Recently he led studies including ECASS I-IV AbESTT I and II, DIAS I and II, CHARISMA, DESTINY, DESTINY II and SPACE, only to name a few, as chair or co-chair of the steering committee.

Awards and honors[edit]

Prof Hacke was the recipient of the Yamanouchi Europe research award, the first non-US recipient of the Feinberg Award for excellence in stroke research, given by the American Stroke Association (1998), and the first recipient of the Karolinska Stroke Award, Stockholm, Sweden in 2004, Recipient of the Mihara Award 2009 (Tokyo, Japan) and the Max Jarecki Award (New York, USA) in 2009.

  • He is honorary member of the Austrian and the Hungarian Stroke Society, the French Neurological Society, Pan-Russian Neurological Association, the American Neurological Association (ANA) and is an honorary president of the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS).

Dr Hacke has been named honorary member of the German Neurologigal Society, the German Society of Neuroradiology and will receive the honorary membership by the German Society of Neurosurgery in 2016, being the first Neurologist to receive this honour for more than 100 years.

  • Prof Hacke holds an honorary doctor degree given by the State University of Georgia, Tbilisi
  • Prof Hacke holds honorary professorships by the University of Tiblisi, Georgia and the Universidad de los Andes, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Roles, positions and memberships[edit]

  • 2000-2002: President of the German Neurological Society
  • 2002-2004: President of the German Interdisciplinary Intensive Care Society
  • 2006-2008: President of the German Stroke Society
  • Since 2005: Member of the Heidelberg Academy of Science
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the World Federation of Neurology (2006 onward) and was first Vice President of the WFN 2009- 2013.
  • Member at large of the World Stroke Federation
  • Prof Hacke was the Founding President of the European Stroke Organisation (ESO).
  • He was co-chair of the 2006 World Stroke Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Chair of the scientific Committee of the World Stroke Conference in Vienna, 2008, and has organized several large Neurology conferences including the World Stroke Conferences in Seoul (Korea), Brasilia (Brasil) and Istanbul (Turkey)
  • He is now the President elect of the World Stroke Organization (WSO).


He was on the editorial board of many international journals, European editor of "Stroke" and author of more than 400 peer reviewed papers in high impact journals. He is co-author of the leading German language textbook of neurology (Neurologie), together with his teacher Prof Klaus Poeck, and several other books on stroke, intensive care and general neurology. In 2015 he edited the 14th edition of the leading German Neurology Textbook. Hacke has published more than 400 articles listed in pubmed. His h-index is 93 (ISI web of science) and 106 ( Google scholar). He is the number 1 ranked author worldwide for publications in stroke and stroke therapy both by number and by citations in the last decade.[citation needed]