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History of the Institute

On September 1st 1973, Prof. Friedrich Wingert took up his employment as the director of the newly founded Institute of Medical Informatics and Biomathematics in Münster. Initially, the institute was located in the upper rooms of the former hotel Schnellmann under the address Hüfferstraße 75 close by the university hospital’s campus. In 1986, after the construction of a new central building of the university hospital, the institute moved into the facilities above the medical library onto the campus (former Domagkstraße 9, now Albert-Schweizer-Campus 1, A11) where it can be still found today.

At the same time as his medical training, Friedrich Wingert studied mathematics and obtained his diploma in 1970. Already in 1969 Friedrich Wingert gained his doctoral degree in medicine and from that time on worked at the German data processing center. After transferring to the Department of Medical Informatics and Biometrics at the Medical School of Hannover, Friedrich Wingert habilitated in 1971, resulting in the offering of a chair at the University of Münster in 1973. With this step he became the youngest professor in medicine at that time.

The academic work of Friedrich Wingert is diverse and of wide scope. Groundbreaking and still having influence on to the present day were his work regarding the systematized nomenclature of medicine (SNOMED), the international classification of diseases (ICD) as well as the development of a cancer registry in Germany. Furthermore, he wrote the first German textbook about medical informatics and contributed substantially to the establishment of teaching in his field of work.

In 1975 Helmut Göttsche from the data processing center in Darmstadt accepted the chair as professor of programming and operating systems in medicine at the institute in Münster.

After the early death of Prof. Wingert in the year of 1988, Prof. Wolfgang Köpcke became director of the institute in 1991. Before that, Wolfgang Köpcke studied mathematics and obtained his doctoral degree at the faculty of economics at the University of Münster. In 1982 Mr. Köpcke habilitated at the Institute of Medical Information Processing, Statistics and Biomathematics in Munich. From 2002 until he has been an emeritus professor since 2010, Prof. Köpcke was chairman of the coordination center of clinical studies. For the teaching in biometrics the “Münsteraner Jumbo”, one of the first teaching and learning systems, was developed by him

In 1995 Hans-Ulrich Prokosch from Gießen became professor for medical informatics at the institute. He founded an executive department for medical information processing, which introduced – as one of the very first in Germany – an electronic hospital information system at the University Hospital Münster. Under his leadership for the first time internet-based information systems were established at the institutes and clinics of the faculty of medicine (Team MedWeb). In the year 2003 Prof. Prokosch accepted a chair at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Martin Dugas became professor for medical informatics in Münster in 2005. After his studies in medicine and informatics (obtaining his medical degree in 1994 at the University of Munich and his diploma in informatics in 1996) he habilitated at the Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometrics and Epidemiology (IBE) at the University of Munich. After a research stay in Philadelphia (USA) he accepted the chair in Münster. From 2005 to 2010 Prof. Dugas led the Department of Clinical Information Systems of the IT-center of the university hospital. In 2009, he was assigned managing director of the Institute of Medical Informatics and Biomathematics. In 2021 he accepted a call to the University of Heidelberg.

In 2005, Frank Ückert received a junior professorship for medical informatics and led the working groups for internet technology in medical research and teaching. When he left in 2011, the working groups were integrated into the Institute for Medical Informatics.

Within the funding programm "Medical Informatics" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the IMI establishes a Medical Data Integration Center (MeDIC) in order to develop nationwide information infrastructures of research and patient care. New medical informatics professorships were set up to strengthen the subject of Medical Informatics.
For the location Münster was appointed in 2021 Prof. Dr. Julian Varghese, also a physician and computer scientist. He took over as Acting Director of the institute as of May 1st 2021.