January 1st 1835

Gustav Speyer, son of Lazard Speyer, who is owner of Frankfurt’s bank 'Lazard-Speyer-Ellissen', is born. On December 17th his name is changed into Georg Speyer.

March 22nd, 1844

Trustor Franziska Speyer, née Gumbert, is born.

  • Portrait of Franziska Speyer

    1869

    Georg Speyer marries the 24-year-old Franziska Gumbert, eldest daughter of a banker from Berlin. The couple is very interested in social and cultural questions of the day and belongs to Frankfurt’s patrons. Many of Frankfurt’s social clubs and associations go back to their engagement and financial support, even the foundation of Frankfurt’s university and the Georg-Speyer-Haus, institute for biomedical research.

    Around 1900

    Mayor Franz Bourchard Ernst Adickes contrived to win Frankfurt’s propertied townspeople as patrons of social welfare, art, and science. Therefore many social services, scientific trusts, the opera, Frankfurt’s university, as well as charitable housing estates came into existence.

  • Portrait of Georg Speyer

    1901

    The Speyer family essentially belonged to Frankfurt’s patrons and therefore founded the 'Georg and Franziska Speyer scholarship foundation' with a budget of 1 million German Goldmark. Their foundation supported 'maintenance of science as well as the higher scientific education' and finally provided the basis for the University of Frankfurt.

    1902

    Georg Speyer dies on April 24th at the age of 67. In his honour his wife Franziska decides to donate an “Academy for practical medicine“ with the central building of a so-called “Georg Speyer Haus“ on the ground of the municipal hospital.

  • Portrait von Ludwig Darmstaedter

    1904

    It becomes apparent, that the realization of the academy project would be delayed. Ludwig Darmstaedter, a friend of Paul Ehrlich, prompts Franziska Speyer to give up the original plans and to follow a new concept. He advises her to directly support Paul Ehrlich’s scientific work by founding an institute for biomedical research. Since 1899 Paul Ehrlich had been managing the Royal Institute for experimental therapy in Frankfurt, which controlled the availability of antisera on the market for the state. Since approximately 1902 Ehrlich had dedicated himself to research on drugs for chemotherapeutic therapy of infectious diseases and cancer research. 

    1905

    For Franziska Speyer’s new research institute Frankfurt’s mayor Franz Adickes provides the municipal area in the eastern part of the Royal Institute for Experimental Therapy for free. The building is handed over to the city of Frankfurt, which, until today, pays for the upkeep.

  • Portrait of Paul Ehrlich

    September 3rd 1906

    Grand opening of the Georg-Speyer-Haus and handover to its first director Paul Ehrlich. From now on, Ehrlich manages the Royal Institute for Experimental Therapy as well as the newly opened Georg-Speyer-Haus. 

    1908

    Paul Ehrlich is awarded the Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine for his 'everlasting discoveries in medical and biological research, namely the evaluation of serums'.

    1909

    After longterm experiments Paul Ehrlich and his colleagues Alfred Bertheim and Sahachiro Hata discover Salvarsan, a drug for syphilis therapy. 

    Franziska Speyer died of cancer.

  • Portrait of Franziska Speyer

    1910

    In honour of Paul Ehrlich, the street in front of ‘his’ institute is renamed to “Paul-Ehrlich-Straße”.

    1911

    The budget of the 'Georg-Speyer-Haus' foundation increases considerably because of the Salvarsan licence.

    1914

    Opening of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt.

    August 20th 1915

    Paul Ehrlich dies in Bad Homburg.

  • Portrait of Wilhelm Kolle

    1917

    Wilhelm Kolle becomes successor of Paul Ehrlich at both institutes until he dies in 1935. Salvarsan is improved to the better-tolerated Neo-Salvarsan. 

    1921

    Ludwig Darmstaedter initiates the separation between the “Georg and Franziska Speyer scholarship foundation“ and the independent and charitable ‘Georg-Speyer-Haus’ foundation to guarantee the returns of Salvarsan licences for the Georg-Speyer-Haus.

    1922

    Completion of a connective building between the Georg-Speyer-Haus and the nearby Royal Institute for Experimental Therapy and thereby integration of the Ferdinand-Blum-Institut within the complex of buildings.

    1926

    On the occasion of Ludwig Darmstädter’s 80th birthday the directorate of the Georg-Speyer-Haus decides to establish the 'Ludwig-Darmstaedter-Preis'.

    1929

    Paul Ehrlich’s widow Hedwig founded a Paul-Ehrlich-Foundation, which annually awards the Paul-Ehrlich-Preis. Every year, the ceremony takes place on March 14th, Paul Ehrlich’s birthday. 

  • Portrait of Richard Otto

    1935

    Richard Otto succeeds Wilhelm Kolle as director of the Georg-Speyer-Haus and of the Royal Institute for Experimental Therapy and manages both institutes until 1948. By order of the Nazi regime all writings of Paul Ehrlich are removed from the institute’s library. At the end of the year all Jewish employees are made redundant by the order of the Reich- and Prussian Ministry of the Interior.

    1938/39

    Richard Otto succeeds Wilhelm Kolle as director of the Georg-Speyer-Haus and of the Royal Institute for Experimental Therapy and manages both institutes until 1948. By order of NS regime all writings of Paul Ehrlich are removed from the institute’s library. At the end of the year all Jewish employees are dismissed by the order of the Reich- and Prussian Ministry of the Interior.

    After 1945

    Renaming of the 'Research Institute for Chemotherapy' to 'Chemotherapeutical Research Institute Georg-Speyer-Haus'. The institute’s original name and organisational structure of the Twenties are re-established.

    1947

    Günter K. Schwerin, grandson of Paul Ehrlich, achieved, that the former Royal and meanwhile National Institute for Experimental Therapy is allowed to bear the name of its first director: Paul-Ehrlich-Institut National Institute for Experimental Therapy.

    1949

    The budget of the Georg-Speyer-Haus foundation, which had been around 10 million German Marks before the monetary reform, declines to 130,000 German Marks. The Salvarsan licences had expired and therefore no income is generated from this source. Richard Prigge (1949-1962) succeeds Richard Otto as director of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and of the Georg-Speyer-Haus. 

  • Portrait of Richard Prigge

    1950

    The Georg-Speyer-Haus is allowed to join the Königsberger convention, which defines a common funding of bigger research institutes by the federal states. Therefore, the financial situation of the Georg-Speyer-Haus is stabilised.

    1952

    Union of the 'Paul-Ehrlich' and the 'Ludwig-Darmstaedter' prize. But the prize money cannot be awarded until 1960 following Theodor Heuss’s interference. The ceremony follows the criteria of the 'Paul-Ehrlich-Preis' and takes place on March 14th (Paul Ehrlich’s birthday). Internationally seen, it is one of the most coveted prizes, which are awarded in the field of medicine in the Federal Republic of Germany.

  • Portrait of Günther Heymann

    1962 – 1966

    Günther Heymann manages the Georg-Speyer-Haus as well as the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute on a temporary basis.

    1966 – 1969

    Niels Kaj Jerne manages both institutes. He develops theories on the function of the immune system and therefore is awarded the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 1984.

  • Portrait of Niels Kaj Jerne

    1969 – 1973

    For the second time Günther Heymann becomes the institute’s director on a temporary basis.

    1974 – 1987

    Hans Dieter Brede is director of both institutes. During his term, research on Aids and the construction of a new building in Langen for the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut are initiated.

  • Portrait of Hans Dieter Brede

    1987

    Beginning of the relocation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute to Langen, dissolution of the union of both institutes and separation between Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and Georg-Speyer-Haus. The management of the Georg-Speyer-Haus decides to continue ist focus using the building in Paul-Ehrlich-Straße. 

    1987 – 1993

    As director Helga Rübsamen-Waigmann arranges new jobs at the institute and intensifies research on HIV. For the first time a German research institute is able to isolate HIV strains out of patients and to characterize them.

  • Portrait of Helga Rübsamen-Waigmann

    1994 – 1998

    Hans Dieter Brede directs the Georg-Speyer-Haus on a temporary basis until his death. During his term the entire complex of building is restored by funding from the Federal Ministry of Health and of the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art.

    1998 – 2012

    Bernd Groner becomes director of the Georg-Speyer-Haus. Establishment of new research groups and an emphasis on research on tumour biology. Intensification of collaborations with the university hospital. Clinical testing of new cancer drugs and application of gene therapy.

  • Portrait of Bernd Groner

    2012 – 2013

    Winfried Wels became director on a temporary basis.

    August 2013 – today

    As the new director of the Georg-Speyer-Haus, Florian Greten completely switches the aim of the research to tumor biology. This fact is reflected in the name of the institute 'Georg Speyer Haus- Institute for Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapy'.