Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

New strategies against mosquitoes and pests

Mosquitoes can transmit serious diseases; flies can cause massive crop failures. New strategies are envisioned to cope with such insect pests. Environmentally friendly and species-specific. In this context, the "Sterile Insect Technique" plays an important role.

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Rubber from dandelions

Scientists at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and the Fraunhofer IME identify key components of the rubber-biosynthesis

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Predicting pesticide loads more accurately

Fraunhofer IME researchers have developed a software for Germany estimating pesticide concentrations in surface waters. The new process can be employed as a component of pesticide authorization procedures

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Recycling of industrial exhaust gases

Fraunhofer researchers develop a process for the recycling of exhaust gases from industrial production facilities

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Annual report 2015

Read about our highlights 2015

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New testing concept using molecular markers

Fraunhofer scientists track endocrine disruption in fish using molecular markers

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Focus on people

At Fraunhofer, people are the focus of research. Prof. Fischer, Head of Fraunhofer IME, and Prof. Weissenberger-Eibl, Head of Fraunhofer ISI, wrote a joint article on this guiding principle. Read the main contribution in the current annual report of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft starting on page 61.

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Our locations


Molecular Biology: Aachen | Frankfurt a.M. | Gießen | Hamburg | Münster

Applied Ecology: Schmallenberg

OVERSEAS: Newark, USA / Santiago, Chile

Research from molecule to ecosystem


Welcome to the Fraunhofer IME. We conduct research in the field of applied life sciences from a molecular level to entire ecosystems and are your partner for contract research in the areas of pharmacy, medicine, chemistry, agriculture, as well as environmental and consumer protection. Our research and development portfolio is focused on industry, small and medium enterprises and on the public sector.

The overarching goal of our research activities at Fraunhofer IME is the development and use of novel technologies for diagnosis and therapy of human and animal diseases as well as the protection of crop plants and food sources.




You can find a list of selected publications of the Fraunhofer IME, our annual reports, booklets and flyers here:



Novel insights: Plant metabolism exploration and production optimization

Fraunhofer IME researchers have developed a novel methodology that allows to explore the metabolic responses in plants at a global level. It enables the evaluation and interpretation of metabolic changes in any plant-based system caused by the simultaneous application of diverse ecological factors. Furthermore, this high-throughput screening system can be used for production optimization of any metabolically engineered cell lines. The comprehensive study has been published now in „Scientific Reports“, an online journal of the Nature Publishing Group.


Bioresources for the bio-economy: New research building

It is the insects and their gigantic variety of active substances, which give a new research building to the city of Gießen. Here, it is planned to set up a new Fraunhofer Institute for Bioresources, with the aim of obtaining new active substances for medicine, plant protection and industry from insects, bacteria and fungi. Now, the groundbreaking ceremony took place in the presence of Hessian Minister President Volker Bouffier. The approximately 30 million euro-expensive building is financed by the state of Hesse and by the German federal government, each bearing half of the costs.


Enzymes in parabolic flight: Experiments in microgravity

In a microgravity environment, objects are in free fall. This provides researchers with a clear view on biological and physical processes, since it is free of complicating gravity-induced phenomena like convection, shear forces, or hydrostatic pressure. Microgravity can be achieved e.g. by parabolic flights. Now, Fraunhofer IME has studied the effect of microgravity on the kinetic properties of enzymatic reactions in an Airbus A310 Zero-G flight. The experiment was conducted in automation mode via web application.The results might uncover new enzymatic properties that could expand industrial applications.


New therapies for healthy ageing: Transnational cooperation

In order to facilitate drug discovery and biomarker development for the healthy ageing of humans, Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort (Hamburg) and the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing ERIBA (University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen), have formed a strategic alliance. The initiative is supported by grants from the cities of Hamburg and Groningen.


Medical Data Space: Great potential for patients and researchers

In a press conference in Berlin, Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister for Education and Research, and Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (FhG), informed about the progress of the conversion of the German economy by digitization after one year of running the project "Industrial Data Space". Also, the FhG has already developed a white paper on a "Medical Data Space", with substantial contribution by Rainer Fischer and Matthias Jarke (Directors of Fraunhofer IME and FIT). The networking of medical data offers great potential for both research and patient-oriented health care.


IAA 2016: Dandelion rubber for the first time in trucks and buses

In a joint project, scientists of Continental, the Julius Kühn Institute, ESKUSA, and Fraunhofer IME strive to tap the potential of dandelion rubber for the rubber-processing industry. Material properties of dandelion rubber have previously been tested with success in tires and engine mounts of cars. Now, this sustainable raw material is used in commercial vehicles for the first time: Conti demonstrates prototypes of components and tires for trucks and buses at the International Motor Show IAA 2016 in Hanover.



New strategies against mosquitoes and pests

South America is fighting a battle against tiger mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever, dengue fever, and the Zika virus. In Central Europe, wine and fruit growers fear another year of massive crop failures due to a type of vinegar fly known as the spotted-wing drosophila. Since no control methods exist so far, Fraunhofer IME researchers in Giessen are developing new species-specific strategies that keep pests under control – free of polluting toxins and at the same time species specific.

Environmental Monitoring: IME publication appreciated in EU Newsletter

Mercury levels in bream (Abramis brama) collected from six European (EU) sampling sites from 2007 to 2013 exceeded the Water Framework Directive’s safety limit for fish in all but one site in 2012, a new study discovers. The findings presented in the Fraunhofer IME publication “Retrospective monitoring of mercury in fish from selected European freshwater and estuary sites“ suggest greater efforts need to be made to prevent or reduce mercury pollution. (Science for Environment Policy, European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service, edited by SCU; Newsletter Issue 456, 27 May 2016)