Lara Keuck

Research Group Leader (Apr 2021-Jun 2026)


Lara Keuck is a historian and philosopher of medicine. At the MPIWG she leads an independent Max Planck Research Group on "Practices of Validation in the Biomedical Sciences." Lara graduated in molecular biomedicine at Bonn University with a Diploma thesis in virology at the Robert Koch Institute in 2008. She then participated in a German-French PhD program in History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine at the University Medical Center Mainz and the Philosophy Department of the École normale supérieure in Paris, and completed her dissertation Towards an Epistemology of Medical Classification Systems in 2012. Her research was awarded the 2012 Prize for Philosophy in Psychiatry of the German Association of Psychiatry DGPPN. 

In 2012–15, Lara held postdoctoral positions at the MPIWG and at the Institute of Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin, where she worked on a project on blurred boundaries, from which grew a book on vagueness in psychiatry. The ETH Zurich awarded her a Branco Weiss Fellowship in 2015, the funding from which was used to establish a junior research group "Learning from Alzheimer’s Disease: A History of Biomedical Models of Mental Illness," which she led from 2015–21 at the Department of History of HU Berlin. Lara has also been a short-term visiting scholar at Princeton University, University of Exeter, and Université de Bordeaux. In 2020 she was elected to Die Junge Akademie, the young academy of Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Lara has lectured in medicine, philosophy, and history, and has collaborated with scientists and scholars across these fields, in particular on meta-methodological questions and on the uses of history and philosophy in biomedicine.

About the Research Group



Translating Validity in Psychiatric Research


Validation and Regulation in the Sciences of Health


Validation at the Borderline


Encounters between Medicine, Literature, Philosophy, and their Circulation in Public Debates


Epistemologies of Heritable Disease Classifications in the Early 1950s


Selected Publications

Keuck, Lara K. (2020). “A Window to Act? Revisiting the Conceptual Foundations of Alzheimer’s Disease in Dementia Prevention.” In Preventing Old Age and Decline? Critical Observations on Aging and Dementia, ed. A. Leibing and S. Schicktanz, 19–39…

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Keuck, Lara K., and Alfred Freeborn (2020). “The Limits of Biomarkers. Contemporary Re-Phrasings of Canguilhem.” In Vital Norms: Canguilhem’s “The Normal and the Pathological” in the Twenty-First Century, ed. P.-O. Méthot, 346–367. Paris: Hermann.

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Keuck, Lara K. (2019). “DSM und ICD oder die Schwierigkeit, Psychosomatisches zu klassifizieren.” In Auf der Suche nach einer anderen Medizin: Psychosomatik im 20. Jahrhundert, ed. A. Geisthövel and B. Hitzer, 448–463. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

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Keuck, Lara K., Seraphina Rekowski, and Anke te Heesen (2018). “Angewandte Geschichtswissenschaft oder Historisierung der Anwendung: Für eine Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Oral History.” BIOS: Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung, Oral History und…

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Features and Digital Resources

Upcoming Events

Institute's Colloquium

Historicizing the Reproducibility Crisis

Institute's Colloquium

Historicizing Trust in Medicine


Past Events

Institute's Colloquium

Historicizing Critique(s) in Medicine


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Remembering, differently? Ander(e)s Erinnern in Künsten und Wissenschaften. Wissenstadt Berlin 2021.

Organisiert von Lara Keuck und Michael Bies. Clärchens Ballhaus (Spiegelsaal), Auguststraße 24, 10117 Berlin 

7. Offenes Forum Geschichte der Lebenswissenschaften.

Organisiert von Lara Keuck, Birgit Nemec, Johannes Schuckert und Hanna Worliczek. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien; Institut für Geschichte der Universität Wien.

Historicizing Validity: Scoping Alzheimer’s Disease

Laboratoire d'Excellence DistAlz, Espace éthique Ile-de-France, Équipe de Recherche en Éthique et Épistémologie

Praktiken der Validierung: Zur Methodengeschichte der Biomedizin

Lehrstuhl für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, LMU München

Provenance and validity: on retrospective diagnosis and biomedical history

CIRCUS, University of Uppsala, SWE

“Scope Validity in Medicine” (invited panel)

American Philosophical Association

Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Oral History/Wissenschaft und Demokratie, 1989/90

Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, HU Berlin

News & Press

Neue Max-Planck-Forschungsgruppe legt Fokus auf Validierungspraktiken in der biomedizinischen Forschung


Research Group Leiterin Lara Keuck ist Mitorganisatorin des Events „Remembering, differently?“


Forschungsgruppenleiterin Lara Keuck nun Mitherausgeberin der Fachzeitschrift „History of Science