In memoriam of Prof. Dr. Wolfram Sterry

On September 20, 2020, one of the true giants of Dermatology and a founding father of the EDF, Prof. Dr. Wolfram Sterry has passed away. The whole EDF Board is filled with sadness about this great loss for Dermatology.

W. Sterry was born on March 5, 1949 in Marbach, Germany. After a brief interplay in Anglistic, he started to study medicine at the Univ. of Cologne from 1972-1978. It was also in Cologne that he met his first teacher in Dermatology, Prof. K. Steigleder with whom he started his residency in Dermatology from 1978-1982. In 1984 he moved to the Univ. of Kiel to become vice chairman at the Dept. of Dermatol. with Prof. Dr. E. Christophers. At the age of 42 he became Chairman of the Dept. of Dermatol. in Ulm. In 1994 he was appointed Chairman of the Dept. of Dermatol. at the Charite in Berlin. He served as dean for many years in Ulm as well as in Berlin.

Besides his work as a well-respected clinician, Prof. Sterry also held numerous high-ranking positions in world-wide Dermatology. He was President of the German Dermatol. Society, President of the ESDR, and President of the ILDS. The positions alone that Prof. Sterry held do not do justice to the many groundbreaking developments he pushed forward. He moved the office of the German Society to Berlin and professionalized the office. He was instrumental in modernizing the ESDR, and he also was a leading figure in setting up the guidelines work at the EDF. Maybe most importantly, he developed the “Grand Challenges in Global Skin Health” at ILDS and put Dermatology into the spotlight of the WHO.

Besides being a visionary in Dermatology, Prof. Sterry was also a gifted musician. He was an expert in playing the piano and many of us have fun memories with him entertaining his guests with great performances. More than that, Prof. Sterry was a great role model as a human being. He impressed all of us with the vigor and discipline and smarts that he fought the vicious disease with that he finally succumbed to. He will be dearly missed!

Alexander Enk
for the EDF Board of Directors