Gertrud Reemtsma established the "Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation" in 1989 in memory of her deceased brother, the neurologist Prof. Dr. Klaus Joachim Zülch, former Director of the Cologne Department of General Neurology at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt. In setting up the Foundation, Gertrud Reemtsma intended to keep the memory of her brother's scientific work alive and to recognize and promote exceptional achievements in basic research in neurology. Gertrud Reemtsma first came into contact with the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research in Berlin-Buch at the end of the 1930s, where together with the founder of neurosurgery in Germany, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Tönnis, her brother worked successfully as a neuropathologist and neurologist.
The Max Planck Society administers the "Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation" as a trust. The foundation's goal is to promote and recognize exceptional scientific achievements in basic neurological research. The Foundation also supports the funding of Ph.D. scholarships. In addition, the "Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation" awards the K. J. Zülch Prize each year for exceptional achievements in basic neurological research.
The Board of Trustees decides on the allocation of the Foundation's proceeds, the nomination of K. J. Zülch Prize winners and the final choice of grant recipients. The Secretary's Office of the Foundation handles the day-to-day business.