The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs annually sponsors 25 German-speaking young professionals and university graduates from all disciplines who are committed to improving the world of tomorrow. During the 12-month programme, Fellows work in two or three international organizations that are active worldwide – non-governmental or non-profit organizations, or business enterprises. The Fellows’ own practical questions serve as their project proposals and determine their workstations anywhere in the world. Seminars are also held on current issues in international cooperation, and to develop their leadership skills and key competencies.
Johannes Diers studied medicine at the universities of Homburg, Heidelberg and Lausanne. Before his studies he worked for a NGO with street children in Ghana for one year. He gathered first work experience, among others, in a rural Tanzanian district hospital, in pharmaceutical research and development and in pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital Zurich. At the department of surgical oncology at Heidelberg university hospital he investigated the prognostic significance of marker proteins in patients with colon cancer. As a Mercator Fellow, he looks into the so called “neglected tropical diseases” – a group of mostly infectious diseases that typically affect the economically weakest people in developing countries.