Jacobs honors the late Wolfgang Klunker, former Chairman of the Stiftung Bremer Rhododendron-Park

Jacobs University has honored the late Wolfgang Klunker, former Chairman of the Stiftung Bremer Rhododendron-Park. In a small ceremony on campus a commemorative plaque was unveiled together with a large wall panel detailing the phylogeny of Rhododendron. March 12, 2015
 With the posthumous honor, Jacobs University acknowledges Mr. Wolfgang Klunker’s dedication and support in establishing the current scientific cooperation between the Rhododendron-Park Bremen and Jacobs University. The collaboration is now manifested in an ongoing research project investigating bioactive substances and potentially antibiotic properties of Rhododendron. It has been running since 2012 as a joint research cooperation between Jacobs University, the Bremer Rhododendron-Park, and the University of Oldenburg. At the unveiling, Prof. Dr-Ing. Katja Windt, President of Jacobs University, said: “We were very sad to hear of Mr. Klunkers passing at the end of last year. Mr. Klunker was instrumental in setting up the cooperation between the Rhododendron-Park Bremen and Jacobs University and we’d like to honor his commitment and memory with this plaque. The scientific project studying bioactive substances of Rhododendron is a successful example how different institutions in Bremen and the Northwestern region can work together for the greater good.” Dr. Hartwig Schepker, Scientific Director of the Rhododendron-Park Bremen, said: “There are more than 1,000 species of Rhododendrons in the world. Extracts from the plants’ leafs and roots have been used in traditional medicine in India, Turkey and Indonesia to treat infections and fever, or to relieve discomfort. It is fantastic to see that the humble plant, which is a staple of many gardens in Germany, is now in the focus of scientific investigation with regards to its antibacterial properties.” Dr. Schepker and Prof. Dr. Windt were joined at the ceremony by Prof. Dr. Andree Kirchner, Vice-President of the German Rhododendron Society, Michael Werbeck, Chairman of the Stiftung Bremer Rhododendron-Park, Marina Rücker, partner of the late Mr Klunker as well as Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Spethmann and Marina Schmitt, both authors of the wall panel on the phylogeny of Rhododendron. Jacobs researchers involved in the Rhododendron project include Matthias Ullrich, Professor of Microbiology, Klaudia Brix, Professor of Cell Biology, and Nikolai Kuhnert, Professor of Chemistry.