May 2022

It is with great sadness that the ESR reports the passing of Professor Meinhard Lüning on April 3, 2022. Professor Lüning was a prominent figure in radiology known especially for his advanced research and work in sonography, CT and MRI. 

After his medical dissertation he became a radiologist at Charité in 1969 and completed his habilitation in Radiology in 1972. After spending time at New York Hospital with a scholarship from Cornell University, Lüning became a full professor at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 1980 and Chairman of the Institute of Radiology at Charité in 1985. 

The exchange between East and West was a matter close to his heart. In 1981, he spent an important time collaborating with Professor Alexander Margulis in the Radiology department at the University of California San Francisco. In addition, together with Professor Roland Felix from the Radiation Clinic of the Rudolf Virchow Hospital at Freie Universität Berlin, he was the editor of the textbook Komplexe bildgebende Diagnostik (Complex Imaging Diagnostics), published by Thieme Verlag in 1989, a unique East-West German cooperation in radiology on the topics of sonography, CT, and MRI. From 1988 to 1992, Prof. Lüning was the Chairman of Diagnostic Radiology for the European Association of Radiology – the predecessor of the European Society of Radiology and an important network of radiology societies that bridged the Iron Curtain. From 1993, he worked very successfully as an outpatient MRI radiologist in Berlin. 

Alongside his work in radiology, Professor Lüning was a talented trumpeter, founding the Jazz Optimisten Berlin (Jazz Optimists Berlin) at the age of just 19. The band became the most successful Dixieland formation in the German Democratic Republic and performed for example with Armin Mueller-Stahl, Manfred Krug, and Ruth Hohmann. From 1965, the Jazz Optimists thrilled audiences with well over a hundred performances at the Poetry – Jazz – Prose events with their typically swinging sound.  

All his life he remained connected to his first great love - music – whilst providing highly valuable contributions to radiology. As a man of many talents, he will be sorely missed by the ESR.