Constantin E. Orfanos

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Constantin E. Orfanos (2014)

Constantin Emmanuel Orfanos (born June 28, 1936 in Neapolis , Crete ) is a German dermatologist of Greek descent.


Constantin E. Orfanos studied medicine in Austria and Germany and completed the state examination and doctorate at the Medical Faculty of the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf .

With Günter Stüttgen he worked in 1962 when a smallpox outbreak occurred in Lammersdorf . Both were later colleagues at the FU Berlin and they were close friends.

After two years of research in biophysics and electron microscopy with Helmut Ruska (Düsseldorf), he was trained as a specialist in dermatology at the University of Cologne with Gerd Klaus Steigleder . In 1969 he completed his habilitation at the University of Cologne and then continued his education in the USA with Walter F. Lever ( Boston ) and Elson B. Helwig ( Armed Forces Institute of Pathology - AFIP, Washington, DC ). After his return, he received an extraordinary professorship in Cologne in 1973 and in 1978 was appointed full professor for dermatology and venereology at the Free University of Berlin (FU). Orfanos headed the Dermatology Clinic at the Benjamin Franklin University Hospital (UKBF) at the Free University of Berlin and retired in 2004 after 26 years of academic and research work. As an emeritus he taught regularly in Egypt and gave lectures in the United Arab Emirates , Greece, Jordan , Iran , Saudi Arabia and Palestine . Orfanos still takes a stand on current issues today. For many years he worked to improve dermatological care in developing countries, especially in Africa . There he held lectures, led young doctors and sometimes worked as a volunteer doctor in a Christian mission hospital in Tanzania .

Orfanos served as dean of the Medical Faculty II of the Free University of Berlin, as president and head of several scientific meetings, symposia and congresses worldwide and organized the 17th World Congress for Dermatology in 1987 and the 38th Congress of the German Dermatological Society in Berlin in 1995. He was an important initiator and founding member of the following organizations:

  • Working Group Dermatological Research (ADF), 1973
  • European Society of Cutaneous Ultrastructure Research (SCUR), 1979
  • Dermatological Oncology Working Group (ADO), 1990
  • Berlin Foundation for Dermatology (BSD), 1999

He still leads the latter as managing director. From 1982 to 1997 he was a member of the International Committee of Dermatology (ICD) and from 1992 to 1997 Treasurer of the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS).

Orfanos is married, lives in Berlin and has two daughters.


As a professor, Orfanos has 56 employees doing doctorates and 14 habilitation. Together with his staff, he promoted the scientific connection of modern dermatology, promoted interdisciplinary cooperation and maintained and consolidated the international network of German dermatology. The immediate goals of his research activities were psoriasis , hair or hair diseases, skin tumors , black skin cancer and skin therapy, especially in the systemic way. The clinical development and introduction of synthetic oral retinoids for the treatment of acne , psoriasis, cornification disorders, etc. can be traced back to a large extent to his or his Berlin group. He also recognized the potential of the first synthesized cytokine , the recombinant interferon, at an early stage and used it therapeutically for skin tumors ( melanoma , Kaposi's sarcoma ), vasculitis (M. Behcet) and other dermatoses. Orfanos initiated and led the Malignant Melanoma Commission (MM) of the German Dermatological Society (DDG) from 1981 and in 1983 founded the Malignant Melanoma Central Register based in the FU's Berlin Dermatology Clinic. For the first time in Germany, the increasing incidence of this tumor was recorded more precisely via the data collection of the central register and the connection with increased sun exposure was analyzed. His student Claus Garbe continued the MM central register with now over 100,000 registered melanoma patients at the University of Tübingen.

Awards and honors

Orfanos is an honorary or corresponding member of over 30 national and international specialist societies and has received numerous honors, including:

Orfanos is honorary professor at Peking Union Medical College (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences) in Beijing , honorary doctorate at the Medical and Pharmaceutical University Carol Davila in Bucharest and at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens .


The scientific literature of Orfanos includes numerous original works; A total of 807 publications are recorded in the ResearchGate Network. There are also the following monographs and volumes:

  • Fine structural morphology and histopathology of the cornifying epidermis. Thieme, Stuttgart 1972.
  • with Rudolf Schuppli: Oral Retinoids in Dermatology. Workshop held at the XVth International Congress of Dermatology, Mexico City October 1977 (= Dermatologica. Vol. 157, Suppl. 1). Karger, Basel 1978.
  • Hair and hair diseases. Fischer, Stuttgart / New York 1979.
  • with Otto Braun-Falco , Eugene M. Farber, Charles Grupper, Machiel K. Polano, Rudolf Schuppli: Retinoids. Advances in Basic Research and Therapy. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1981.
  • with William Montagna, Günter Stüttgen : Hair Research. Status and Future Aspects. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1981.
  • Recent Developments in Clinical Research (= Current Problems in Dermatology. Vol. 13). Karger, Basel 1985.
  • with Darrel S. Wilkinson, José M. Mascaró: Clinical Dermatology. The CMD Case Collection. Schattauer, Stuttgart / New York 1987.
  • with Ellen Sundhaußen, Günter Waldemar Korting: Moulagen - Moulages. Diesbach, Berlin 1987.
  • with Rudolf Stadler, Harald Gollnick: Dermatology in Five Continents. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1988.
  • with Claus Garbe: The malignant melanoma of the skin. Zuckschwerdt, Munich / Bern / Vienna / San Francisco 1990.
  • with Rudolf Happle : Hair and Hair Diseases. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1990.
  • with Claus Garbe and S. Schmitz: Skin Cancer: Basic Science, Clinical Research and Treatment (= Recent Results in Cancer Research. Vol. 139). Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1995.
  • with Beate Tebbe, Sergej Goerdt: Dermatology. Current status. Results and reports of the 38th meeting of the German Dermatological Society in Berlin from April 29 to May 3, 1995. Thieme, Stuttgart / New York 1995.
  • with Claus Garbe: Therapy of skin diseases. Springer, Berlin 1995; 2nd edition 2002.
  • with Maria Sternemann, Thomas Wiegel, Christoph C. Geilen, Wolfgang Hinkelbein: Controversies in the Treatment of Skin Neoplasias (= Frontiers of Radiation of Therapy and Oncology. Vol. 39). Karger, Basel 2006
  • The horns of the bull. Life story and chronicle of a Greek migrant. Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag GmbH, 2016, ISBN 978-3-8305-3644-4
  • with Christos Zouboulis, Chalid Assaf: Pigmented Ethnic Skin and Imported Dermatoses, A Text-Atlas. Springer, 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-69421-4 , ISBN 978-3-319-69422-1 (eBook)
  • Doctor on Kilimanjaro. On the way in the former German East Africa. RGFischer Verlag, Frankfurt a. M., 2019, ISBN 978-3-8301-9667-9


  • Harald Gollnick, Christoph C. Geilen, Christos C. Zouboulis: Festschrift on the Occasion of the 65th Birthday of Professor Constantin E. Orfanos, Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Vol..14, No.5, 247-344, 2001
  • Christos Zouboulis: The medical profession is not a business. Prof. Dr. med. Dr. H. c. Christos C. Zouboulis in conversation with Prof. Dr. med. Dr. H. c. mult. CE Orfanos. In: Current Dermatology. Vol. 40 (2014), H. 7, pp. 307 f, DOI: 10.1055 / s-0034-1367576 .
  • Rudolf Stadler: On the 80th birthday of Constantin E. Orfanos. In: Journal of the German Dermatological Society . Vol. 14, H. 6, June 2016, pp. 645-649, DOI: 10.1111 / ddg.13052 .
  • Christiane Bayerl: The horns of the bull. Life story and chronicle of a Greek migrant. In: Current Dermatology. Vol. 43 (2017), H. 1/2, S. 16, DOI: 10.1055 / s-0042-119128 .
  • Historical Perspectives. Pioneers in Dermatology and Venereology: An Interview with Prof. Constantin Orfanos. JEADV 2019, Vol.33: 1202-1204. DOI: 10.1111 / jdv.15711

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Günter Stüttgen: For the 60th birthday of CE Orfanos. In: H + G. Journal for Skin Diseases. Vol. 71 (1996), H. 6, p. 408 f.
  2. a b c Harald Gollnick: Prof. Dr. Constantin E. Orfanos on his 65th birthday. In: The dermatologist. Vol. 52, H. 8, August 2001, pp. 757-759, doi: 10.1007 / s001050170096 .
  3. From glass washer to internationally renowned specialist. In: September 20, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016 .
  4. a b Steffen Kopetzky: Epidemic in the Eifel 1962: The attack of dangerous smallpox. In: Spiegel Online . March 26, 2020, accessed March 26, 2020 .
  5. Interview with CE Orfanos on the 125th anniversary of the German Dermatological Society on (mp4 video, 59.5 MB, 16:47 minutes) In: Archived from the original on March 19, 2015 ; accessed on March 26, 2020 .
  6. Constantin E. Orfanos: SARS-CoV-2 infection in Germany March 29, 2020 .
  7. Constantin E. Orfanos: HIV infection in Africa. Clinical Experience in Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Current Dermatology. Vol. 33, H. 1, January 2007, pp. 7-12, doi: 10.1055 / s-2006-945053 .
  8. a b Establishment of the Foundation. ( Memento of the original from February 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Website of the Berlin Foundation for Dermatology. Retrieved February 16, 2016.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Video interview with CE Orfanos on the 40th anniversary of the Dermatological Research Working Group. Website of the Dermatological Research Working Group. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  10. ^ History of the ADO. Website of the Dermatological Oncology Working Group. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  11. ^ C. Garbe, P. Büttner, U. Ellwanger, EB Bröcker, EG Jung, CE Orfanos, G. Rassner, HH Wolff: The Central Register of Malignant Melanoma of the German Dermatological Society in 1983–1993. Epidemiological developments and current therapeutic care for malignant melanoma of the skin. In: The dermatologist. Vol. 46, H. 10, October 1995, pp. 683-692, doi: 10.1007 / s001050050322 .
  12. GK Steigleder (Ed.), H. Aulepp (Ed.): The dermatologist. Supplementum II, Volume 28, 1977, p. XIX.
  13. Press release: Imperial Order of Japan for Prof. Orfanos. Website of the idw - Science Information Service. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Karl Herxheimer Medal. Website of the German Dermatological Society. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  15. Personal details - Honored. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. Vol. 100, H. 42, October 17, 2003, A 2748.