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The Centre Virchow-Villermé for Public Health Paris-Berlin

The Centre Virchow-Villermé for Public Health Paris-Berlin (CVV) promotes joint German-French research and teaching activities in the fields of Global and Public Health.

The Centre is located in Berlin at the Institute of Public Health at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and in Paris at the Université de Paris. It is headed in Berlin by Prof. Dr. Elke Schäffner and Prof. Dr. Dr. Tobias Kurth and by Dr. Anneliese Depoux and Dr. Raphael Porcher in Paris.

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Goals of the Centre Virchow-Villermé

The Centre Virchow-Villermé for Public Health Paris-Berlin (CVV) was named after the physicians Rudolf Virchow and Louis-René Villermé, scientists who in the nineteenth century already understood the significance of public health for society as a whole. It is in this tradition that CVV is now tackling the challenges posed by current and future global and public health issues.

The objectives of the Centre are :

  • To foster the mobility of faculty and students between France and Germany
  • To encourage and organize the French-German dialogue on Public and Global Health
  • To contribute to research activities in different areas in Global and Public Health
  • To contribute to innovative education in Public and Global Health



Prof. Mueller-Nordhorn, Charité and Jean-François Girard, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité sign the charter in 2013

CVV was established on April 15th, 2013, at the initiative of the 14th French German Council of Ministers with a view to promoting advances in the public health sector by bundling together all the required competences. Several years of close cooperation between the Faculty of Medicine of Université Paris Descartes and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin are the basis for this joint undertaking.

CVV’s founding was first announced to the public at a joint colloquium of the French Academy of Science and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, which was held in the context of ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty in January 2013.


Unterzeichnung der Vereinbarung zwischen Sanofi, Charité und Université Paris Descartes während des WHS 2013

The basic funding of the Centre Virchow-Villermé is provided by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Université de Paris / Université Paris Descartes.
Sanofi has donated two professorships (one in Paris, one in Berlin) for a period of five years. On the French side, it was possible to raise third-party funds from the excellence initiative "Investissements d'avenir".

About the namesakes

Rudolf Virchow
Louis-René Villermé

Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) was a German physician and ‘father’ of modern pathology.

He made significant contributions to research; his achievements include important theories on cellular pathology, discoveries in the field of leukemia and scientific research exploring mechanisms related to embolism and thrombosis. As a practical hygienist he described the factors contributing to the emergence of epidemics and he strongly encouraged the building of sewers and centralized potable water supplies in the city of Berlin. As a socially-responsible politician, Virchow fought for the introduction of basic medical care for everyone. He was responsible for the establishment of communal hospitals in Berlin.


Louis-René Villermé (1782-1863) was a French military surgeon, official epidemiologist and scientist. He was considered a trailblazer of modern occupational and public hygiene.

On the basis of statistical-based, medical-demographic studies he demonstrated the relationship between body mass on the one hand and biological and socio-economic factors on the other. The introduction of a child labor law – the first of its kind anywhere – can be traced to a report he sent to the City of Lyon in 1831. His most important publications include a “Dictionary of the Medical Sciences” and an “Essay on Partial Amputations”.

The focus areas of CVV and the team