Board of Directors
der Vigdis Thompson Foundation

The members of the Board of Directors of the Vigdis Thompson Foundations are appointed for 4 year terms. They are working on a purely voluntary basis to assure that all the revenue generated by the Foundation is fully applied to the cause: Support of the education, science and research in the medical field of the central nervous system.

Prof. Dr. med. habil. Jan-Peter Warnke
Chairman of the board for life

I was born in the former Democratic Republic of Germany (DDR) and grew up in East Berlin. I went to school and University as well in East Berlin. After graduating from Humboldt University, I went to Budapest to further my education. This was the first city where, already in 1984/84, I experienced a more open and tolerant society, not the paralyzing confinement of the DDR. The feeling of freedom I have never forgotten since. 

Back in the DDR after a year in Hungary, life there turned impossible for me. I escaped to the Federal Republic of Germany (BRD) and continued my education as a Neurosurgeon. After the wall fell I went to work at the University Clinic in Sheffield, England, for 18 months. 
Back in Germany I started to work for the University Hospital in Aachen as Head of Neurosurgery. After a very intensive time there I was offered the position of Head of the Clinic in Zwickau. My experiences with minimally invasive operating methods lead to an increased interest in the field of endoscopic treatment methods of the spinal canal. As the result of extensive research work I habilitated in the field of Thecaloscopy at the Neurological Department of the University of Mainz. Simultaneously I received my appointment as Professor of Health Management at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau. The extensive scientific work with the diseases of the spinal cord and its meninx as well as the practical experiences in the daily medical field were the basis for my interest in the treatment of diseases of the Leptomeninges (soft skins), specifically Arachnoiditis and Tarlov Cysts. 

This biography should serve not only to provide some information on my background but more to reiterate my open questions with respect to the research emphasis of the Vigdis Thompson Foundation. It is so very important to find the underlying causes for Arachnoiditis and Tarlov Cysts. Why do some patients fall victim to these terrible diseases after injections or bleeding accidents and others do not? What are the mechanisms of the development of these diseases? Which factors initiate and further their development?

Only the answers to these questions will make it possible to help the affected patients, so that their disease is recognized by the medical community and thus to offer a targeted therapy as early as possible. One thing common to all the patients world-wide: they are often not taken seriously by medical professionals due to the limited knowledge about these diseases.

Dipl.-Jur.(Univ.) Lutz Maaß
Member of the Board

Born on August 11, 1952 in Osterburg · married · one son

1972 to 1976 Law school at Humbolt University Berlin
Since 1977 Attorney in Zwickau
1990 to 2009 Senior partner with Attorneys at Law Maass & Thoss
March 22, 2006 Based on proven record the Chamber of Lawyers awarded the title "Specialist Lawyer for Medial Law"
Since 2013 Owner of Specialist Attorneys "Lutz Maass & Kollegen"
Since 2016: Member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of the Vigdis Thompson Foundation, a legal nonprofit organization. The foundation has the purpose to advance the medical education and research in the field of the central nervous system.

Mr. Maaß...

  • is a committee member for medical law of the German Bar Association
  • was voted Member of the Board of the Germany Bar Association from 1991 – 1999
  • is founding member of the Association of Lawyers of Saxony and served as its President from 1990 – 2000 as well as from 2010 to March 2014

On March 22, 2006, the Bar Association of Saxony awarded Mr. Maaß the "Dr.- Schaffrath Medal" for outstanding judicial services rendered. In 2014 the Board of Directors of the German Bar Association decorated Mr. Maaß for his extraordinary services in support of the association.

Dr. med. Angelika Klammer
Member of the Board

I was born 1952 in Eckernfoerde at the Baltic Sea and grew up in Luebeck. After graduating from High School I went to West Berlin. While I was waiting for admission to the medical university I went to technical school to become a Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant and worked as a Radiology Assistant at a large hospital for the following two years. In 1976 I was accepted as a medical student at the "Freie Universität West Berlin".

After completing my studies, I started to work at the University Clinic Benjamin Franklin where I began my education as a Neurosurgeon. After 8 years I moved to a large hospital where I met Jan Warnke for the first time. Shortly after he took over his duties at the hospital in Zwickau he asked me to join him as Senior Physician and since then we work closely together. In 2006 I took the responsibilities as Head Physician of Ambulatory Services but continued also continued my duties in the surgical department.

The research work of Jan Warnke had always been of highest interest to me. I have a lot of patients in my ambulatory and stationary field who suffer from Arachnoidits and Tarlov Cysts and who I can support with surgical therapy. My future work will concentrate heavily on the many open questions concerning this disease in order to assist patients worldwide to better understand their condition and offer an established therapy.

Dipl. Kfm. Ralph Ehring
Member of the Board

Born in Muehlheim an der Ruhr and raised in Duisburg, I nor any of my friends had any connections to the area of hospital or medicine. This all changed during the, at the time still common, civil service in a rehabilitation facility for drug addition and detoxification. I fairly quickly gave up the idea of studying psychology and rather started my education as a nurse in the south of Duisburg. This was one of the most memorable professional experiences for me and the principles of those days guide me still to this day. After my graduation as a nurse in 2003 I dove full of energy into nursing care where I learned that a lot of issues in the system are not ‘just’ changed with good care. In my position as the department head I could not find enough gratification and thus decided to take up studies of health economics in Krefeld. After completing my studies in 2009 I worked in various fields until I became Managing Director in Zwickau. This is where I first met Jan Warnke and later Angelika Klammer and Lutz Maaß.

That was the first time I learned of Tarlov Cysts and Arachnoiditis. I share the opinion that far too few people know about these diseases. As a non-medical individual I support the Vigdis-Thompson Foundation mainly in organizational and financial matters in its efforts for a better understanding of the diseases.

Our research is financed through donations.
Please assist us in helping others!

Donations to Vigdis Thompson Foundation

Please contact us if you have questions or want to make an appointment.