A breath of fresh air for the traditional Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry
Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin E. Keck is the new director of the clinic
The clinic of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry has a new director: In the summer, Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin E. Keck returned from the Clienia Private Clinic Schlössli in Switzerland, where he had been the medical director and head physician of the private wards, back to his Munich roots. By the 1990s, Prof. Keck, who is now 47 years old, had already been working there for ten years as a physician and a scientist successfully laying the foundations for his career. “The clinic of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry is one of the world’s leading institutions,” Keck explains, “Internationally, this is a unique opportunity to combine patient care and research at the highest level,” - an aspect that particularly attracts Keck, who graduated in human medicine and neuropharmacology and is board certified in three medical specialties.
Translating knowledge of basic science into effective treatments for seriously ill patients, e.g., those suffering from depression, burnout, anxiety disorders or psychoses, is one of the primary objectives of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. “Personalized medicine” is the way forward; where a patient’s genetic variants and biomarkers will be taken into account in the design of an individually tailored treatment plan. Currently, “only 10 percent of the patients suffering from depression are adequately treated, i.e., in a scientifically substantiated manner – a situation that would be inconceivable and unacceptable in any other disease,” explains Keck, who faces a challenge.
In addition, he really appreciates the institute being a charitable and non-profit-making organization. “We don’t have to put shareholders’ interests first or contribute to the fatal economization in medicine – we have the opportunity to exclusively focus on the well-being of our patients, who come to us from all over the world. Today, this cannot be taken for granted; it is almost a privilege.”