Professor Hartung received his undergraduate training at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Glasgow, Oxford and London. After graduation magna cum laude as MD in 1980 he served an immunology fellowship at JohannesGutenberg-University of Mainz. He started his career in neurology at the University of Düsseldorf, where he became assistant professor in 1987. He was appointed professor and head of the MS clinical research group and Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology at Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg in 1990 and moved in 1997 to Graz, Austria, to become chairman of the University Department of Neurology. He is currently chair of the Department of Neurology at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, a position he has held since 2001, and since 2012 director of the Center for Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. He is in charge of two busy inpatient departments with a total of 110 beds including a 24 bed stroke unit and a range of outpatient clinics, including Multiple Sclerosis and GBS CIDP Foundation International Center of Excellence for immune neuropathies.
He is also Medical Director of the Department of Conservative Medicine at Düsseldorf University Hospital. This includes the Departments of Internal Medicine; Cardiology, Pulmonology, Angiology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Hepatology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Oncology, Rheumatology; Neurology; Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Oncology,
He is an elected member of the council of the Medical Faculty.
He served as representative of professors on the supervisory board of the University Hospital Düsseldorf for 8 years.
Professor Hartung’s clinical and translational research interests are in the field of basic and clinical neuroimmunology and in particular multiple sclerosis and immune neuropathies, development of new immunological, neuroprotective and neural repair promoting strategies. He has authored or co-authored more than 900 articles in peer-reviewed journals, one hundred book chapters and edited nine books. He is a Highly Cited Researcher 2017 (Web of Science).
He oversees the various research activities (clinical and preclinical) in his department that relate to Multiple Sclerosis. Parkinson`s and movement disorders including deep brain stimulation, stroke, cognitive disorders and dementia, neuromuscular disorders, neuro-HIV and infectious diseases, spinal cord injury, repair strategies in CNS and PNS.
He has been involved as member of the Steering Committee in numerous international multi-centre therapeutic phase 2 and 3 trials in Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome and CIDP.
He was President of ECTRIMS and has served / serves amongst others on the executive boards of the European Charcot Foundation (treasurer), the International Society of Neuroimmunology, Peripheral Nerve Society, INC (Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment Consortium),WHO Working Group on Multiple Sclerosis, GBS CIDP Foundation International, the Medical Advisory Board of the International (MSIF) and the German MS Society (Vice Chair; and Chair of German MS Society Sate of North Rhine Westphalia) and the US NMS Society and ECTRIMS clinical trials committee. He is member of the executive board of the International Multiple Sclerosis Cognitive Society (IMSCOGS).
He is/ was also member of the Editorial Board of a number of international journals including Annals of Neurology, CNS Drugs, Neurotherapeutics, Current Opinion in Neurology, European Neurology, Journal of Neuroimmunology, Journal of Neuroinflammation (Associate Editor), Journal of Neurology, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery Psychiatry, Nature Reviews of Neurology, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair(Associate Editor), Open Access Neurology, Frontiers Immunology, Frontiers Neurology (Chief Specialty Editor Multiple Sclerosis), Muscle Nerve, Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders and others.
Professor Hartung is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, Fellow and general assembly member of the European Academy of Neurology, chair/member of the management group of the EAN scientific panels on general neurology and multiple sclerosis; Corresponding Fellow of the American Neurological Association, the American Heart Association (Stroke Council), Honorary Member of the All Russian Neurological Society, Honorary Member of the French Neurological Society, Foreign Member of the Association of British Neurologists and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.