Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Annual report 2019

Read about our highlights of the past year

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Film about the Fraunhofer IME: "Natural Products for Biotechnology"

Insects are small creepy-crawlies with great potential - survival artists living in the most inhospitable places. How the molecules they produce enrich research and open up new perspectives for therapies, a new film is now showing.

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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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New testing concept using molecular markers

Fraunhofer scientists track endocrine disruption in fish using molecular markers

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Fraunhofer IME

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.

Schmallenberg | Gießen

Applied Ecology and Bioresources

Frankfurt am Main | Hamburg

Translational Medicine


A nano-bio device for the examination of neurons


The work conducted by an interdisciplinary research team from the Center of Hybrid Nanostructures (University ofHamburg) and ScreeningPort of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Hamburg made it to the cover oft he journal Biomaterials Science. The researchers cultivated electrophysiologically mature neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells on free-standing nanowire arrays. This nanowire set-up enables bidirectional communication with neural circuits with enhanced spatiotemporal precision.


iCAIR® - Development of COVID-19 medication


To date, there is neither a vaccine nor drugs for treating COVID-19 patients available. Researchers of the international consortium iCAIR® are working on the development of novel anti-infective agents to treat or prevent clinically significant diseases of the respiratory tract caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria – and they recently started a project aimed at developing medications to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The Hamburg site of Fraunhofer IME contributes its expertise in drug discovery and drug repurposing based on automated high-throughput technology to this project.



Identification of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2


Fraunhofer IME recently published a preprint article on a repurposing screen of 5.600 known drugs, clinical candidates and bioactives (Fraunhofer IME repurposing collection), which identified multiple inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro cellular toxicity in a phenotypic format using human (Caco-2) cells. The study was run by Fraunhofer IME in collaboration with the Goethe-University Frankfurt.


Orientation in the flood of data on SARS-CoV-2


With the "COVID-19 Knowledge Space", Fraunhofer SCAI – together with Fraunhofer IME, Fraunhofer IAIS, the Information Center for Life Sciences ZBMED and other research partners – is opening a new kind of knowledge space with analysis tools and information on COVID-19. This website provides central services that allow access to publicly available data on current COVID-19 research. Fraunhofer IME at its site in Hamburg will contribute its expertise in linking chemical information of drug molecules with antiviral properties against COVID-19 and other data, such as toxicity and possible side effects.


Using plant biotechnology against SARS COV-2


In the fight against pandemics, the rapid availability of appropriate diagnostic kits and the emergency production of vaccines and antiviral drugs are essential. In the latest issue of the renowned journal "Trends in Plant Science", plant biotechnologists discuss what makes plants attractive as a fast, scalable production system for vaccines and antiviral drugs or for the production of protein antigens and antibodies for diagnostic kits. Co-author is Prof. Stefan Schillberg from Fraunhofer IME in Aachen.


SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic



How can Fraunhofer contribute to the fight against the virus?

Interview concerning the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with Prof. Dr. Gerd Geißlinger, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and Medical Research Officer of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.





The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s response and action it has taken to protect its employees, business partners and participants at Fraunhofer events           


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Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Divison Molecular Biotechnology

Forckenbeckstrasse 6
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 6085-0


Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Division Applied Ecology

Auf dem Aberg 1
57392 Schmallenberg
Phone +49 2972 302-0

Frankfurt am Main

Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Division Translational Medicine

Theodor-Stern-Kai 7
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Phone +49 69 63018-0231


Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Branch Lab for Plant Biopolymers

Schlossplatz 8
48143 Münster
Phone +49 251 8322-323


Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Branch for Bioresources

Winchesterstrasse 2
235394 Gießen
Phone +49 641 9939-500




Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME

Branch Lab ScreeningPort

Schnackenburgallee 114
22525 Hamburg
Phone +49 40 303764-0