More News - Archive (until 31.12.2018)


Fraunhofer IME at MEDICA and COMPAMED


"Save the date" from the 12th to the 15th of November 2018, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institutes for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research IFAM, for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI and for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, the Fraunhofer IME exhibitis its novel implant surfaces at the MEDICA and COMPAMED trade fairs in Düsseldorf (Hall 8a, Stand P13). These surfaces protect patients against inflammation at newly inserted implants.


Plant scientists support precision breeding


European scientists unite to safeguard precision breeding for sustainable agriculture - Leading scientists representing more than 85 European plant and life sciences research centers and institutes have endorsed a position paper that urgently calls upon European policy makers to safeguard innovation in plant science and agriculture. Prof. Dr. Stefan Schillberg signed the paper for the Fraunhofer IME.


Fraunhofer magazine 1.2018


In the latest issue of the Fraunhofer magazine you get insights into the research at the Fraunhofer IME: In the lead article “Health Research in 4D“ you can read more about clinical trials at the Frankfurt site (page 8). Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerd Geißlinger, the managing director of the Fraunhofer IME and the Medical Research Officer of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, explains in an interview why the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is in a unique position to tackle the challenges of medical researchand to pull together the four key areas of biomedicine – drugs, diagnostics, data and devices. (page 17).



Chilean-German project meeting


On August 1st and 2nd, scientists of the Chilean- German project "MoMaPo" met at the Fraunhofer IME in Aachen.

The aim of the binational cooperation project "MoMaPo" is the identification of molecular markers for an increased anthocyanin content in potato tubers. Molecular markers are a tool of modern breeding. With their help, the breeders can succeed in developing new varieties in a shorter time compared to classical breeding.



License Agreement with LenioBio


Life sciences startup LenioBio GmbH and the Fraunhofer IME announced today the signing of an exclusive license agreement that allows LenioBio to utilize Fraunhofer’s proprietary vector solution and technology for the cryopreservation of cell-free lysates. The optimized vector solution and cryopreservation technology from Fraunhofer IME has been specifically developed to meet the wide application areas LenioBio is targeting.
With the addition of the Fraunhofer IME license, LenioBio is extending the patent family covering this innovative cell-free system.


Fraunhofer ATTRACT Eco'n'OMICs started


On July 1st, the Fraunhofer ATTRACT Eco'n'OMICs started at the location Schmallenberg (Applied Ecology). The group works on OMICs based detection of ecotoxicological effects in the scope of screening series for active ingredient precursors of e.g. plant protection products. Head of the ATTRACT group is Dr. Sebastian Eilebrecht.


Prof. Gerd Geißlinger appointed


On July 1st, the Executive Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft appointed Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerd Geißlinger as executive director of the Fraunhofer IME. Since January 2017, he has held this position as acting executive director. He is also Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Director of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schillberg and Prof. Dr. Christoph Schäfers will continue to be acting members of the institute's management.


Jacobs University and IME signed MoU


Jacobs University Bremen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology
and Applied Ecology IME, today announce their intention to set up a new
strategic collaboration to establish joint research projects in the area of antibiotic
drug discovery and promote the exchange of students, researchers and
educators between the institutions.


Plants for pharmaceutical industry 4.0


The Fraunhofer IME presented a living exhibit and its digital twin at the joint Fraunhofer booth “Future Factory” at the Hanover Trade Fair 2018.

The living exhibit attracted many visitors at the Hanover Trade Fair from 23rd to 27th April. For most, the use of plants to produce protein-based pharmaceuticals was new territory. Fraunhofer IME is one of the pioneers in research on „Plant-made Pharmaceuticals“ in Germany. Plant biotechnologists transform plants into protein factories whose cells produce the desired proteins - simply, quickly and safely.


International scientific conference “NanoGRAVUR”, Berlin, May 3-4, 2018

We invite to the Final Conference of “NanoGRAVUR“, a joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

May 3rd: Final conference "Scientific achievements and regulatory needs for "grouping" of nanomaterials."
Target Group: (Young) scientists, experienced regulators, users

May 4th:  Workshop "Dissemination: Applicability and implementation of the 'nanoGRAVUR' concepts" under participation of Fraunhofer IME. Target Group: Public bodies, Ministries and Industry (in German)


Evotec AG and IME sign strategic collaboration


Human stem cells, which can be produced from mature cells by dialing back their developmental programming - so-called "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)" - have enormous potential for regenerative medicine as well as for the research and development of new therapeutics. To ensure the development of better drug candidates in the field of patient-derived iPS cells, Evotec AG and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME are entering into a strategic alliance.


4th Annual G20 World Brain Mapping Summit/Neuroscience-20 in Hamburg

On July 5, the 4th Annual G20 World Brain Mapping Summit / Neuroscience-20 will take place in Hamburg.

The aim of the Summit is to further develop activities in neuroscientific research projects to map the human brain and to unite the best scientists, engineers, doctors and surgeons worldwide in the fight against neurological disorders.


New management team at Fraunhofer IME

Prof. Rainer Fischer will leave the Fraunhofer IME on 1 April 2017 to take on new tasks. He will remain a member of the institute's management team until the end of March 2017, but will hand over his duties as of January 1 to the responsible successor in the institute management and to the deputy Chairman of the Fraunhofer Group for Life Sciences, Prof. Norbert Krug.

Prof. Stefan Schillberg and Prof. Christoph Schäfers, heading the IME locations in Aachen and Schmallenberg, will take over the institute management as acting members, together with Prof. Gerd Geisslinger, head of the Frankfurt location, who will also serve as IME's acting Executive Director.


Together, UKE and IME strive to develop new active ingredients against MS

The University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME want to pave the way for new therapies against multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of a joint project is to further develop active substance candidates which specifically prevent death of neurons, which is the cause for the progressive degree of disability in multiple sclerosis. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 1.5 million euros.


Project group Bioresources successful: Hessian LOEWE funding extended

Fraunhofer IME’s project group Bioresources can successfully close the year and start into 2017 with the second funding period within the Centre Insect Biotechnology (ZIB). The ZIB is funded by the Hessian state program LOEWE and receives a total of 18.2 million euros from 2017 to 2019. Most of this is used for the Fraunhofer project group Bioresources. The project group was founded in 2009 at the Justus Liebig University, set up and expended by Gießen Entomologist and IME researcher Prof. Andreas Vilcinskas. He is also the coordinator of the ZIB.


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)

Fraunhofer IME scientists at SETAC Europe, Nantes

The SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) Europe 26th Annual Meeting was held in Nantes (France) from 22-26 May 2016 hosting scientists from Europe and overseas. Biologists and chemists from Fraunhofer IME contributed to the meeting with 30 oral presentations and posters (main authors from Fraunhofer IME are marked red in the overview).


”Pharmadialog”: German Federal Government think-tank presents its results

Federal Ministers Hermann Gröhe (Health) and Johanna Wanka (Research) as well as State Secretary Rainer Sontowski (Ministry of Economy and Labour, have presented the results of the ”Pharmadialog” in Berlin, together with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, the scientific research community, and the trade union IG BCE. Professor Rainer Fischer, Senior Executive Director of the Fraunhofer IME, is an active advisory member of the federal think-tank, and helped to shape the current action plan. The aim is to ensure that patients always have quick access to high-quality and affordable medicines.


Screening technology: Readers Choice Award for scientific publication

With the ”2016 JBS Readers Choice Award” of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening, a team involving researchers of the HelmholtzZentrum München (HMGU) has now received a prestigious award for a scientific publication. Amongst the authors is Dr. Sheraz Gul of the Fraunhofer IME. The award honors the most popular article among the readership of the ”Journal of Biomolecular Screening”. The underlying manuscript”Identification of Small-Molecule Frequent Hitters from AlphaScreen High-Throughput Screens” was published in 2014 and is a result of collaboration between the HMGU, the University of Cologne, the European ScreeningPort (now Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort) and others.


Launch of first European Stem Cell Bank

"Induced pluripotent stem cells", called iPSCs, have an enormous potential for research, regenerative medicine, and development of new therapeutic agents. Now, the first European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC), a public-private partnership project supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, has announced the public launch of its online catalog. Fraunhofer IME supports the rigorous quality control efforts and has teamed up with pharmaceutical companies, small & medium-sized enterprises and academic institutions to deliver a robust and reliable supply chain for iPS cell lines.


Awards ceremony “Jugend forscht“ in Hamburg – IME and HSV as co-sponsors

“Jugend forscht“ is Germany’s best-known mathematics and science competition for schoolchildren over ten years and teenagers. With high curiosity, 97 young researchers have brought their ideas to life for the regional competition of Hamburg Volkspark, a first round for the nation-wide contest. A jury assessed the 50 projects from the areas of professional life, biology, chemistry, geo and space sciences, mathematics / informatics, physics and technology. Now, the young researchers received their awards. Together with the Hamburger Sportverein (HSV), the Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort acted as host for the young participants.


Research on the carrier of the Zika virus at LOEWE Center for Insect Biotechnology

Professor Andreas Vilcinskas, head of the IME project group "Bioresources and Biotechnology" is coordinator and spokesman of Giessen LOEWE-Centre for Insect Biotechnology since 2014. He and his team are also working on a carrier of the ZIKA virus, the yellow fever mosquito Aedes. The Hessenschau shows an interview with Professor Vilcinskas on the status quo of insect research at ZIB, sponsored by the Land Hessen LOEWE initiative.


Technology transfer: Cooperation with SMEs – innovative cell-free screening platform

Antimicrobial proteins are used in medications, food packaging and cosmetics, for example. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and together with the LightFab GmbH, IME will develop a novel screening system to discover more active and more effective protein molecules for such applications. The platform will operate free of cells, so that cell-toxic molecules can also be tested. The new high-throughput system also enables an even more effective testing of more proteins. The BMBF’s funding measure »KMU-innovativ« strives to strengthen the cooperation of small and medium businesses (SMEs) with academic partners and to promote technology transfer.


AstraZeneca and IME: Advancing screening technology – for faster drug discovery

Together with international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Fraunhofer IME aims at advancing high-throughput screening (HTS) by making use of enhanced technologies, novel approaches for the selection of screening compounds and the formation of partnerships: Embracing the idea of “open innovation“, partners from industry and academia make their libraries and screening technology available to each other and share target and disease knowledge. Now, AstraZeneca and Philip Gribbon of IME ScreeningPort have published a joint comment on those two topics in the renowned scientific journal “Nature Reviews Drug Discovery“, under the heading “Towards a hit for every target“.


Wound healing: 2nd Place in EARTO Innovation Award 2015

Affordable innovative diagnosis and treatment tools are essential in the treatment of chronic wounds. In this context, the project “SkinHeal“ aims at making a decisive contribution. Now, in the EARTO-Innovation Award 2015 competition, it received the 2nd place in the category “Impact expected“. SkinHeal was awarded the prize for its innovative approaches to wound healing. Involved are five Fraunhofer Institutes: ISC, IGB, MEVIS, EMFT and IME. At IME, scientists developed an innovative strategy: by applying a special patch on the skin of the patient, the cells responsible for chronic inflammation can be identified - a crucial precondition for efficient treatment.


Stem cell research: Ensuring the quality of human iPS cells – with “PluriTest2“

“Induced pluripotent stem cells“ (iPSCs) are routinely created today. They have enormous potential for regenerative medicine, research, and development of new therapeutic agents. To ensure high quality of human iPSCs, a German-Amercian team of researchers will develop new genomics-based methods to analyze the cells. Involved in the project are The Scripps Research Institute (USA), the Center for Integrated Psychiatry, Kiel (Germany), and the Fraunhofer IME. The project is jointly funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the German Ministry of Education and Research.


Detecting contamination in drinking water in just a few minutes

Drinking water is subject to stringent controls. Nevertheless, pathogens can enter the water, for example due to earthquakes or floods. In such cases, quick and reliable water analysis is of decisive importance to carry out immediate and effective countermeasures. But currently established methods are laboratory-based and relatively time-consuming. Now, a new mobile analysis system is being developed to save valuable time. With the »AquaNANO« method pathogens and toxins are bound to chemically pretreated magnetic nanoparticles, which are relatively easy to detect. AquaNANO is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as a joint project of seven partners. Project manager is IME's Dr. Florian Schröper.


IAA 2015: Engine mounts made from dandelions

At the International Motor Show IAA in Frankfurt, ContiTech presents promising research results for mounting elements based on the so-called »Taraxagum«, a natural rubber extracted from dandelions. Together with Continental and since 2013, scientists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of Plants (IBBP) at the University of Münster have been exploring how dandelions could be used in a sustainable way as an alternative source of rubber for the rubber processing industry.


Inventory for Indonesia's outstanding biodiversity and natural substances

Indonesia is ranked second in the world for biodiversity, according to Conservation International. In order to fully document this natural treasure over the next decade, the Berlin »Museum für Naturkunde«, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences »LIPI« and the Fraunhofer IME are building up a database, sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. IME project coordinator is entomologist Professor Andreas Vilcinskas. The project’s aim is to enable the sustainable use of Indonesia’s enormous biological resources, particularly in the field of health and medical innovations, where the screening of organisms for new bioactive substances is of particular importance.


Prime Minister of Hesse Volker Bouffier a guest of IME entomologist Prof. Vilcinskas

In Gießen near Frankfurt/Main, a new flagship of insect biotechnology will be built. Crucial to this is Professor Andreas Vilcinskas, director of the local LOEWE-Centre for Insect Biotechnology and the Department »insects Biotechnology & Bioresources" of the Fraunhofer IME. Hesse Prime Minister Bouffier convinced himself personally of the commitment and research achievements of the participating scientists.


Amongst Nobel Laureates

Dr. Johannes Buyel of Fraunhofer IME has participated in the »Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2015«. From June 28 to July 3 650 selected young scientists came together to share knowledge with 65 Nobel Laureates from the fields of physics, physiology or medicine, and chemistry. In April this year Johannes Buyel has started his research group »FAST-PEP“, with the overarching goal to enable faster and therefore more cost-effective development and production of biopharmaceuticals. "I will certainly not forget this meeting with Nobel Laureates. They have all turned their hobby into a profession, like me, and have persued their research with incredible passion. This is very inspiring for the future", says Buyel.

Workshop: Environmental monitoring of biocides in Europe - compartment specific strategies

On behalf of the German Umweltbundesamt and the NORMAN association Fraunhofer IME organized the 2nd Workshop on environmental monitoring of biocides in Europe. More than 70 representatives of authorities, industry, research institutes and universities participated in the 2-day event in Berlin in June 2015. A detailed report is now online (see link below).  


Fuel and chemicals from steel plant exhaust gases

Carbon monoxide-rich exhaust gases from steel plants are only being reclaimed to a minor extent as power or heat. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new recycling process for this materially unused carbon resource: They successfully produced fuel and specialty chemicals from these exhaust gases on a laboratory scale. Three Fraunhofer Institutes join forces in this project: the Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, the Institute for Environment, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT and the Institute for Chemical Technology ICT. Dr. Stefan Jennewein of IME coordinates the project.


Big Data: New insights for drug development

In clinical research and drug development, vast and rapidly growing amounts of data are generated. In order to evaluate this highly complex information efficiently, the project »HUMIT« has now been launched, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The Fraunhofer IME, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the laboratory information system provider soventec take part in the project, under the direction of the Fraunhofer FIT. With innovative Big Data methods they strive to gain further insights by combining and balancing old and new data. The overarching goal: a better evaluation of possible effects and side effects of substances in order to treat complex diseases more effectively.


Fraunhofer Awards Ceremony 2015: Natural Rubber from dandelions

Dandelions are modest plants that are an excellent alternative source for a raw material of high demand: natural rubber, the fundamental ingredient in rubber products. In a joint project of the Fraunhofer IME, the Department of Biology and Biotechnology (IBBP) at the University of Münster and the tire manufacturer Continental, car tire prototypes made of dandelion rubber have been developed and produced. For their work on the Russian dandelion and its application as a source of natural rubber, Prof. Dirk Prüfer and Dr. Christian Schulze Gronover of IME and IBBP as well as Dr. Carla Recker of Continental receive one of the three Joseph von Fraunhofer Prizes 2015.


Antibiotics research: Chancellor Merkel discussed with Sanofi and IME scientists

Angela Merkel has made antibiotics and thus the fight against resistent germs a topic on the agenda of the G7 meeting on June 7 and 8. Now, she has met scientists of the global health care company Sanofi and Fraunhofer IME at Sanofi’s site in Frankfurt, to discuss the status of their joint antibiotics research. Professor Rainer Fischer, IME’s Senior Executive Director, and Professor Andreas Vilcinskas, Head of Bioresources at IME, participated in the meeting. – In 2014, Sanofi and Fraunhofer founded a natural product center: Scientists of both partners work as a team and in joint laboratories to explore and optimize naturally occurring chemical and biological substances, mainly for the treatment of infectious diseases. 


Discovering natural substances against infection in Indonesian insects

Insects and the substances they produce offer an enormous potential for diagnostics and therapies. The project »Insect-derived anti-Infectives from Indonesia« (»Triple-In«), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, it is one of eight joint projects with the common goal to identify and make use of natural products that are indigenous to Indonesia and may help fight infections. Together with Indonesian and German partners, Professor Andreas Vilcinskas of IME and project manager of »Triple-In», will particularly search for small molecules and peptides, which will be tested, for example, against the pathogens of tuberculosis or malaria.


A vaccine against rheumatoid arthritis

The »GO-Bio« initiative of the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports teams in the life sciences on their way from an academic idea to a sustainable business foundation. The Fraunhofer IME project group Translational Medicine and Pharmacology has been successful in the latest round of the highly competitive selection process: With 3.4 million euro, the BMBF will support an interdisciplinary team around Professor Harald Burkhardt and Dr. Frank Behrens. The overarching goal is to develop a vaccine against rheumatoid arthritis, so far chronic and incurable. Now the focus is on preparing the launch of »AIDCure GmbH«, which will utilize the new therapeutic approach. In this project, the IME works closely together with Professor Rikard Holmdaal of the Karolinska Institute.


Minimize loss of harvest with the plant doctor

Plant pathogens cause major economic losses in the agricultural industry because late detection delays the implementation of measures that can prevent their dissemination. Sensitive and robust procedures for the rapid detection of plant pathogens are therefore required to reduce yield losses and the use of expensive, environmentally damaging chemicals. In a paper recently published in the scientific journal »Applied Environmental Microbiology« scientists of the Fraunhofer IME describe a simple and portable system for the rapid detection of viral pathogens in infected plants based on immunofiltration, subsequent magnetic detection, and the quantification of magnetically labeled virus particles. Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) was chosen as a model pathogen.


Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation continues funding of doctoral colloquium "TRIP"

TRIP persues an innovative, hands-on training concept for young executives in the field of patient-oriented biomedical research. A new feature is, amongst other things, that several graduate students work together in interdisciplinary project teams. The graduate school „Translational Research Innnovation – Pharma“ has proven to be a success as an interface between university research and the Fraunhofer Project Group Translational Medicine and Pharmacology of Fraunhofer IME. The graduate program was jointly launched in 2012 by the Goethe University, Frankfurt, and the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation and will receive further funding by the foundation and the university over the next three years.

Workshop: Environmental monitoring of biocides in Europe – compartment-specific strategies. 25-26 June 2015, Berlin, Germany

This international workshop, jointly organised by the German Federal Environment Agency and the NORMAN network, and coordinated by Fraunhofer IME, is a follow-up to the first joint workshop in November 2012, will address the role of environmental monitoring in assessing the consequences of the EU biocides regulation. Announcement / workshop invitation and Hotel reservation form:


Rubber from dandelions: Scientists identify key components in the formation of rubber

Dandelions are robust and undemanding plants – from which a desirable product can be extracted: rubber. This is why dandelions have increasingly become the focus of attention of the rubber-producing industry. But how is rubber, contained in the plant’s white milky fluid, actually formed? There has not been any complete answer to this question yet, but a team headed by Münster University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME has now identified proteins which play a key role in the production of rubber in the plant.


Wrapping the genome of a tobacco leaf on a wooden stick – Girls' Day at IME

How to get the genetic blueprint out of a tobacco plant is something 20 girls from grades 7 to 9 have learned today at the IME. For the 5th time, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME has opened its lab doors for the yearly »Girls' Day« – an initiative supported amongst others by the German Ministry of Education. Its aim is to give girls from grade 5 and higher the opportunity to get a taste of professions mainly practised by men. The three Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institutes IPT, IME and ILT offer a joint program for this day, allowing girls to get a glimpse of different research areas at a time. On Girls' Day 2015 they have isolated plant DNA, created holograms and engraved USB sticks. - And who knows, one or the other of the girls might push open the lab doors again as a student ...


Young investigator group strives to optimize development process for biopharmaceuticals

From April 1, Dr. Johannes Buyel will be heading the new young investigator group »FAST-PEP«, supported by the Fraunhofer Attract funding. It is Buyel's aim to make it possible that biopharmaceuticals reach the market in a faster and more cost-effective way. His idea: by closely integrating the testing of product candidates with the development of corresponding efficient manufacturing processes, it should become possible to decide early on, if those innovative substances will also work in practice. This way, failure rates in drug development could be significantly reduced.


Predicting pesticide loads more accurately

The EU wants to further improve the authorization process for plant protection products. The different national procedures for this are supposed to be further harmonized. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a software for estimating the transfer of pesticides into surface water initially in Germany.


Awards ceremony science competition “Jugend forscht“ – Fraunhofer IME and HSV co-sponsors

Driven by great curiosity, 190 schoolchildren over ten years and teenagers brought their ideas to life in the context of the regional competition of Hamburg Volkspark. Together with the Hamburger Sportverein (HSV), Hamburg based Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort acted as host for the young researchers. Now, 13 first prizes were awarded. The first-placed winners will now prepare for the next stage and hope to qualify for the statewide competition. “Jugend forscht“ ist Germany’s best-known science competition for schollchildren and teenagers.


Fraunhofer IME integrates European ScreeningPort to enhance its expertise and capabilities in drug discovery

The operative business of European ScreeningPort GmbH (Hamburg) has been integrated into the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME located in Aachen, with branches in Gießen, Frankfurt, Münster, Schmallenberg and international centers in the USA and Chile. This integration enhances the expertise and capabilities of the Fraunhofer IME in drug discovery sciences thus boosting its drug development research activities.


Fraunhofer IME to strengthen EU-Africa collaboration

Professor Dr Rainer Fischer, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, has travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to explore opportunities to collaborate with Africa and to strengthen co-operation between the EU and Africa on scientific and technological R&D.


Conference on Current Findings in Plant Pathology

The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME organized an international conference on plant pathology from 4-5th of June 2014 in Aachen, Germany. Through its extensive scientific program, keynote presentations, plenary lectures, the conference highlighted the state of art developments in plant-pathogen interactions, pathogen resistance and host susceptibility. The renowned scientists from the field deliberated on achieving the goal of developing disease-resistant crops. The keynote speakers for this conference were Prof. Dr. Dierk Scheel, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry Halle, and Prof. Dr. Rainer Fischer Senior Executive Director Fraunhofer IME, Aachen. The conference was co-sponsored by the BMBF and DAAD program »Modern Applications of Biotechnology«.


Fraunhofer IME`s project nominated for the GreenTec Award

One of Fraunhofer IME`s projects is among the finalists of this year`s GreenTec Awards. The GreenTec Awards is Europe’s largest environmental and business prize. Once a year the Awards honor environmental commitment and green technologies. The joint project with CONTINENTAL »RUBIN - Dandelion RUBber Goes Industrial« was nominated in the category Automobility. On on Feb 25th the jury will choose the winner out of the three nominees per category.


World Malaria Day, 25 April 2014

World Malaria Day was instituted by WHO Member States in 2007 and is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. It is also an opportunity for research and academic institutions to flag scientific advances to both experts and the general public. At Fraunhofer IME several projects are dedicated to the development and the production of innovative vaccine candidates ranging from the early R&D stage via the cGMP development and production stage through to the clinical trial stage.

Environmental hormones – tiny amounts, big effects

Empty nets and few species – environmental hormones are believed responsible for the diminishing numbers of fish. How damaging are these substances really, though? Studies that depict a complete picture of the lives of fish provide clues.


Sanofi and Fraunhofer announce the Creation of a Natural Product Center of Excellence

Sanofi and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft announced today the creation of a natural product center of excellence to accelerate the discovery and development of new therapies to treat infectious diseases. Under the agreement, Sanofi and Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME will collaborate to identify and optimize novel naturally occurring chemical or biological compounds, mainly in the field of infectious diseases.


08.-09.11.2013: Malaria Meeting Aachen

The 11th Malaria Meeting will be held on November 08 and 09 2013 at the Fraunhofer IME Aachen. The Malaria Meeting ist a joint event of the of the Malaria group (section Antiparasitic Chemotherapy) of the Paul-Ehrlich-Society (PEG e.V.) in cooperation with the German Society for Tropical Medicine and international Health (DTG e.V.). The meeting will be hosted by the Fraunhofer IME together with RWTH Aachen University.

Meet Fraunhofer IME Scientists at SETAC Europe 2013

Fraunhofer IME Scientists presented results from varying research projects at the 23rd SETAC Europe Meeting from 12. - 16. May in Glasgow, Scottland


Workshop: Environmental Risk Assessment of Veterinary Medicinal Products

In cooperation with the German Federal Environment Agency and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, the Department of Chemical Risk Assessment of the Fraunhofer ITEM will be offering a 3-day workshop on environmental risk assessment of veterinary drugs. Date: October 22-24, 2013. Early registration is recommended.

Participation in ring test on transformation of veterinary pharmaceuticals in manure

Veterinary pharmaceuticals mainly enter the environment when liquid manure is used as a fertilizer in agriculture. Realistic exposure assessments must therefore consider the transformation of active pharmaceutical ingredients during manure storage. Within this scope, Fraunhofer IME and two project partners are currently searching for laboratories to participate in an international ring test (sponsored by the German Federal Environment Agency) that aims to develop an OECD test guideline on the transformation of veterinary pharmaceuticals in manure.


Affiliation of the Fraunhofer IME Applied Ecology Section to the University of Münster

The head of the IME Applied Ecology Division, Prof. Dr. Christoph Schäfers, habilitated in ecotoxicology at the university Koblenz-Landau with the professorial dissertation “Ecological approaches to aquatic ecotoxicology, challenged by the needs of risk assessment“ and the presentation “Microevolutionary consequences of anthropogenic impacts on the environment”. He received a professorship at the University of Münster at the start of 2013.


Meet the German Environmental Specimen Bank in Berlin

Berlin hosts the interactive exhibition WASsERLEBEN open for students and interested citizens, accompanying to the international tradeshow and congress WASSER BERLIN on April 23-26, 2013. Our experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology will demonstrate at the booth of the Federal Environment Agency how they work for the specimen bank.

BAU 2013 Clean air: New paints break down nitrogen oxides

Press Release Dec 20, 2012: Surfaces with photo-catalytic characteristics clean the air off nitrogen oxides and other health-endangering substances. Using a new test procedure, Fraunhofer researchers can find out how the coatings behave during a long-term test. They will introduce the test at the booth of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance in Booth 131 / 135 in Hall C2 at the Trade Fair BAU that will take place from 14 – 19 January, 2013, in Munich, Germany.

Closer co-operation between the Institute for Agroecology (IfA), and Fraunhofer IME, Division Applied Ecology

The IfA Neustadt has an excellent expertise in ecologically related agricultural research. One major research field focuses on crops as viticulture, orchards and hops. The Division Applied Ecology of Fraunhofer IME, Schmallenberg, has achieved an international reputation in similar research areas with main focus on field crops as well as hazard and risk assessment for chemicals. A high synergy potential by com¬plementary methodology and technology offers optimized market opportunities.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy - a new analysis facility at the Fraunhofer IME

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is the most efficient analytical method for determining the structure of organic substances. We offer a 700 MHz NMR spectrometer equipped with a 1.7 mm cryoprobe, which is ideal for the high-resolution analysis of small substance quantities (up 10 µg). The NMR suite is supported by a high-resolution OrbitrapTM Hybrid FT mass spectrometer that can determine the chemical formulae of unknown substances to complement the structural data. A LC-SPE unit is used to isolate and concentrate samples, e.g. from environmental simulation experiments.


The Pharma-Planta project is invited to the first EU Innovation Convention in Brussels

As part of the Innovation Union flagship initiative, the European Commission organized the first Innovation Convention which took place December 5th-6th, in Brussels. The EU FP6 project Pharma-Planta, which was coordinated by Fraunhofer IME, was one of only 48 projects invited to the convention, and was selected from more than 450 applications. It was also the only Fraunhofer project at the convention and the only one with a 100% life sciences content. The project ran from February 2004 to October 2011 and was lauded as a great success by representatives of the European Commission at its closing meeting. The project achieved all its goals, including the development of an approved production process for plant-based pharmaceuticals and the completion of the first human clinical trial of a plant-derived monoclonal antibody.

EU-funded project manufactures plant-derived anti-HIV antibody safe for humans

The EU-funded project Pharma-Planta has succeeded in producing an anti-HIV antibody in plants and has tested it in humans, with a positive result. This antibody could one day become an inexpensive component used to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The "Phase I" clinical trial was launched at the University of Surrey Clinical Research Centre (UK) in June and has just been completed. Further clinical testing will be required to assess the new drug's effectiveness. The Pharma-Planta project has delivered not only a clinical product tested on humans but also a production platform and facility that can be used to produce other protein-based pharmaceuticals.

A fish test to make food safer

Nowadays, half of all the fish we eat comes from fish farms. The problem is that these fish are increasingly being fed vegetable matter, which could lead to a build-up of residual pesticides in them. A new test shows how high the risk of contamination really is.


Fraunhofer opens Center for Systems Biotechnology in Chile

On September 1, 2011 the Chilean Minister of the Economy, Mr Pablo Longueira and Professor Bullinger officially opened Fraunhofer´s first research center in South America. The new ´Fraunhofer Center for Systems Biotechnology´ has been established in Santiago de Chile to develop and optimize new technologies in key areas of importance for the Chilean economy. The research projects are collaborations between Chilean and German scientists and focus at present on aquaculture, renewable energy, agriculture, and bio-computing.


Clinical tests for medicines made from genitically modified plants

Pharmaceuticals can be produced by plants. Antibodies that have been produced in tobacco plants will now for the first time be tested in a clinical study. The decision was announced at a press conference in London on Tuesday July 19th 2011.


Publication on nanomaterials selected for "Environmental Progress Series"

The publication by K. Schlich, K. Terytze, K. and K. Hund-Rinke: Effect of TiO2 nanoparticles in the earthworm reproduction test was identified by "Environment Progress" as being of special interest to the progress in the Environmental Sciences field. Environment Progress alerts the scientific community to breaking journal articles considered to represent the best in Environmental Science research.