Jubilee Lecture

Günter Valet

Founding member of the DGfZ

30 Years DGfZ:

A personal view

Chair and Introduction: 
Andreas Radbruch

Rudolf Virchow’s (1821-1902) introduction of cellular pathology, Torbjörn Caspersson’s (1910-1997) quantitative cell DNA and protein measurements and Wallace Coulter’s (1913-1998) electrical cell counting and sizing instrument have stimulated the development of the cell sorter (Fulwyler 1965) and of the first flow cytometer in a modern sense (Kamentsky 1965).

The construction of flow cytometers in European scientific institutions resulted in the first commercial fluorescence flow cytometer ICP-11 (W.Göhde 1969, PHYWE), the hydrodynamic focusing cell volume MPV-1 analyzer (R.Thom 1982, AEG-Telefunken), the MPV-Compact flow cytometer (H.Steen 1982, Leitz), the FLUVO-Metricell (V.Kachel 1983, HEKA-Elektronik) and the Kratel cytometer (W.Eisert, W.Beisker, 1984, Kratel Instruments).


October 1, 2020

09:05 – 10:00

Günter Valet, Hanna Kahle

The Society for Analytical Cytology (SAC, later ISAC) as scientific background for the new discipline was founded at the 1978 Schloss Elmau conference (K.Goerttler) but developed during the early phase into a scientific marketing organization for US cytometers.

European identity in this environment was maintained by the foundation of the European Society for Analytical Cellular Pathology (ESACP, 1986), the journal Analytical Cellular Pathology (ACP, today Cellular Oncology, IF 4.191 in 2019) and amongst others the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zytometrie (DGfZ, 1989). In addition, the first scientific society servers (ESACP, DGfZ 1994) were set up on the Internet and practical cytometry knowledge was communicated during the first European flow cytometry courses at the Max-Planck-Institut in Martinsried to more than 200 scientists (1985-93), using initially only European instrumentation.

Cytometry, in contrast to genomics or proteomics analysis is not affected by mixed cell populations during sample preparation, constituting an important advantage for clinical use. Therapy is presently conceived for patient cohorts. The establishment of individualized predictions for therapy dependent disease progression or outcome is highly desirable and constitutes an important scientific challenge for clinicians and clinical cytometrists. Data pattern analysis for individual patients seems promising for clinical research projects at the European level (https://www.classimed.de/classif1.html).


Günter Valet, Founding member of the DGfZ


1961-62: studies of theoretical physics, Technical University, Munich

1962-67: studies of medicine, universities of Munich, Freiburg & Montpellier

1965-67: doctoral thesis, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie (MPIB), Munich, Dep.Exp.Medicine (Profs.G.Ruhenstroth-Bauer/A.Butenandt)

1968: M.D. University Munich

1968-69: scientific assistant in surgery, gynecology and internal medicine at university hospitals, Munich

1970-71: scientific assistant at MPIB, Munich, Dep.Exp.Medicine

1972-73: research fellow Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California, Biochemistry of the Human Complement System (Prof.H.J.Müller-Eberhard)

1973-81: scientific assistant MPIB, Martinsried, Dep.Exp.Medicine

1974: habilitation for Experimental Medicine, University Munich

1981: appointment as Professor of Experimental Medicine, University Munich

1981-1989: head of the independent Mildred-Scheel-Laboratory for Cancer Cell Research of the Dr.Mildred Scheel Foundation for Cancer Research/ Deutsche Krebshilfe at MPIB, Martinsried

1989-2006: head of Cell Biochemistry Group at MPIB, Martinsried

2006 Mai, retirement from MPIB, Martinsried and Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, Munich (see: Concepts & History of Flow Cytometry at Martinsried & Cytometry Part A 71A:639-642(2007))


About Günter Valet


…a lot of