Timeline 2017

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January 1

New to the management: Heinrich Baßler. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Diplom-Volkswirt Heinrich Baßler is the new CFO of Helmholtz Zentrum München. Baßler succeeds Dr. Nikolaus Blum, who had been appointed head of the regional church office of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria at the beginning of the year 2016.

January 1

Prof. Dr. Werner Rühm, Institute of Radiation Protection, is appointed member of the German Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety by Federal Minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks. In addition to Rühm, a total of five scientists from the Center, Prof. Dr. Michael J. Atkinson, Institute for Radiobiology, Dr. Markus Eidemüller and Dr. Werner Kirchinger, both Institute for Radiation Protection, as well as Markus Figel, Personal Monitoring Service, are members of the committee.

They are members of the Radiation Protection Commission: Markus Figel, Markus Eidemüller, Werner Kirchinger, Mike Atkinson and Werner Rühm (from left). | Photos:  Helmholtz München

February 1

Head of the new Institute of Network Biology: Pascal Falter-Braun. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Pascal Falter-Braun is the director of the newly founded Institute of Network Biology. The institute focuses on the elucidation of molecular networks and their mechanisms using interdisciplinary experimental and theoretical methods from systems biology.

February 1

Heiko Lickert: New approaches in beta cell therapy. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Prof. Dr. Heiko Lickert, Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, and Dr. Matthias Meier from the University of Freiburg are coordinating the PancChip consortium, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 1.5 million euros. The aim is to further develop the culture and differentiation of stem cells into functional beta cells on a chip and thus to solve questions on the development and therapy of diabetes and other diseases of the pancreas.

February 1

Research professorship for Irmela Jeremias. | Photo: Woelke, Haunersches Kinderspital der LMU

Dr. Irmela Jeremias, Research Unit Gene Vectors, receives a Mildred Scheel research professorship at the Hauner Children's Hospital of the Ludwig Maximilian Universität Munich. The German Cancer Aid foundation is funding the paediatrician with one million euros over five years to find new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of leukaemia.

February 13

Honorary doctorate awarded by the University of Leipzig: Beate Schücking, Matthias Tschöp, Michael Stummvoll and Ingo Bechmann (from left). | Photo: Universität Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, receives a honorary doctorate from the University of Leipzig. The university is honouring Tschöp for his research on a hormonal therapy concept for obesity and diabetes with the award.

March 1

New HELENA Director: Monika Beer. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Monika Beer is the new Director of the Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental Health (HELENA). She succeeds Dr. Christian Langebartels, who has been the founding director of the Graduate School since 2004. 

March 3

The Society for Clinical Research honours Elfriede Nössner. | Photo: DGFIT e.V.

Prof. Dr. Elfriede Nössner, Immunoanalytics Group, receives the Clinical Science Award. The German Society for Immuno- and Targeted Therapy (DGFIT e.V.) honors a publication that suggests new approaches in the immunotherapy of soft tissue tumors.

March 25

First-hand information for lung patients is given at the Patient Forum in Stuttgart. | Photo: Helmholtz München

The 17th Patient Forum Lung in Stuttgart deals with clinical studies in lung research. It is organized by the Lung Information Service of Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Center for Lung Research in cooperation with the German Lung Congress.

March 28

Helmholtz Zentrum München's press work is award-winning. | Photo: idw – Science Information Service

The idw Award for Science Communication goes to the Communication Department of Helmholtz Zentrum München. The Science Information Service awards the Center for the best science press release of the year 2016 in terms of professionalism, news value and scientific significance.

April 20

Laukien Prize for Cutting-Edge NMR Research: Bernd Reif, Frank Laukien and Kurt Zilm. | Photo: ENC

Prof. Dr. Bernd Reif, Institute of Structural Biology, has been awarded the Günther-Laukien Prize 2017, endowed with 20,000 euros. Reif shares the prize donated by Bruker Biospin with Prof. Dr. Kurt Zilm from Yale University.

May 2

Starting signal for Allergy Information Service: Minister of Health visits the campus. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe is visiting Helmholtz Zentrum München at the occasion of the launch of the Allergy Information Service. The Service has been developed by the Center with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).

May 9

Another four years a member of ICRP: Werner Rühm. | Photo: Helmholtz Munich

Prof. Dr. Werner Rühm, Institute of Radiation Protection, is a member of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) for another four years. The ICRP confirms the scientist as Chairman of Committee 1, which deals with radiation effects, and as a member of the Main Commission.

May 15

Matthias Tschöp has been awarded a high-ranking research prize. | Photo: Bayer AG

Prof. Matthias Tschöp, Helmholtz Diabetes Center, receives the Hansen Family Award of the Bayer Science & Education Foundation, endowed with EUR 75,000. Tschöp receives the prize for his research into drug candidates that are now in clinical trials for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.

May 15

Coordinates the research consortium ZiSStrans: Horst Zitzelsberger. | Photo: Helmholtz Munich

Prof. Dr. Horst Zitzelsberger, Department of Radiation Cytogenetics, coordinates the research consortium ZiSStrans, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with approximately four million euros. The aim of the joint project is to research new ways of personalising radiotherapy of tumours in the head and neck area.

May 18

Research into neurodegenerative diseases: Magdalena Götz. | Foto: Innovations- und Gründerzentrum Biotechnologie

Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz, Institute of Stem Cell Research, receives the Roger de Spoelberch Prize 2016. The prize, worth 750,000 euros, is awarded annually by the Geneva-based foundation to outstanding researchers who have advanced clinical and basic research in the field of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

May 20

Opened Translational Medicine Series: Günther Wess. | Photo: Helmholtz Munich

Prof. Dr. Günther Wess, CEO of Helmholtz Zentrum München, opens the new seminar series 'Translational Medicine' of the Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental Health, HELENA. In his opening lecture "The long way of drug development", he describes the opportunities and difficulties of modern drug research.

May 21

Dr. Darcy Wagner, Lung Repair and Regeneration Division, has been elected Rising Star of Research of the RCMB. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Darcy E. Wagner, Research Unit Lung Repair and Regeneration, is elected Rising Star of Research of the Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (RCMB) Assembly and presents her scientific work at the annual conference of the American Thoracic Society.

May 25

Dedicated to the prevention of type 1 diabetes in childhood: Carolin Daniel. | ©K.I.T./ Photo: Deckbar

Dr. Carolin Daniel, Institute of Diabetes Research, receives the 2017 Ernst Friedrich Pfeiffer Prize worth 10,000 euros. The German Diabetes Society (DDG) honors Daniel for her work in preventing type 1 diabetes in children.

May 31

Minister Ilse Aigner and President Otmar Wiestler join the Senate of the Helmholtz Association on the Zugspitze. | Photo: Dr. Inga Beck/UFS

The Senate of the Helmholtz Association meets on the Zugspitze. In the presence of Bavaria's Minister of State Ilse Aigner and Helmholtz President Otmar Wiestler, the Senate members catch up on the environmental research station Schneefernhaus, in which Helmholtz Zentrum München is also involved with a number of scientific projects

June 2

Receives an ERC-Starting Grant: Caspar Ohnmacht. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Caspar Ohnmacht, Institute of Allergy Research, receives an ERC Starting Grant for the study of the interaction between intestinal flora and immune system. The ALLERGUT project, funded with 1.5 million euros, aims to clarify whether and how bacteria in the intestine can promote or prevent the development of allergies.

26. Juni

Top ranking for plant researcher Klaus Mayer. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Four researchers of the Research Unit Genomics and Systems Biology of Plants are among the most cited authors in the field of plant sciences in German-speaking countries. The analysis of the journal Laborjournal ranked Dr. Klaus Mayer 2nd, Mannuel Spannagl 6th and Heidrun Gundlach 7th. Matthias Pfeifer, former PhD student at Helmholtz Zentrum München, ranked 31st.

June 26

The University of Frankfurt honours Matthias Tschöp with the Rolf-Sammet Guest Professorship 2017.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, is honoured by the Goethe University Frankfurt with the Rolf-Sammet Guest Professorship 2017. Each year, an internationally renowned natural scientist is invited to Frankfurt via the Rolf Sammet Foundation Fund to present his field of research and his current focus in a compact form.

June 27

Nine Core Facilities are getting presented at the theme day. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Helmholtz Zentrum München presents its scientific infrastructures at a theme day. Nine Core Facilities guarantee access to state-of-the-art technologies. The services are available to internal and external research groups on a billing basis.

July 1

Leibniz Prize winner Erika von Mutius has joined Helmholtz Zentrum München. | Photo: Hospital of the University of Munich

Prof. Dr. Erika von Mutius heads the new Institute of Asthma and Allergy Prevention (IAP). The Leibniz Prize winner and member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is the Professor of Pediatric Allergology at the LMU and Head of the Department of Allergy and Asthma at Dr. von Hauner's Childrens’ Hospital in Munich.

July 1

Irmela Jeremias leitet die neue Abteilung Apoptose in hämapoetischen Stammzellen. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Prof. Dr. Irmela Jeremias is head of the new Research Unit Apoptosis in Haematopoietic Stem Cells. The paediatrician holds a research professorship from the German Cancer Aid and a consolidator grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

July 18

Successful graduation: CEO Günther Wess bids farewell to the first seven graduates of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. | Photo: Helmholtz München

The first class of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at Helmholtz Zentrum München celebrates its graduation. As part of the CEO lunch, seven Fellows present the scientific and personal results of the three-year program.




July 27

Information about allergy research and environmental medicine: Environment Minister Ulrike Scharf. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Ulrike Scharf, Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection, visits Helmholtz Zentrum München. The Minister catches up on allergy research projects and visits new laboratories of the Institute of Environmental Medicine.

August 8

Member of UNSCEAR expert group: Markus Eidemüller. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Markus Eidemüller, Institute of Radiation Protection, is a member of the working group "Biological mechanisms influencing health effects from low-dose radiation exposure" of the United Nations Scientific Committee of the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The aim of the six-member expert group is to critically evaluate the state of knowledge on biological radiation mechanisms and the implications for health at low doses and dose rates.

August 9

Build-up with funds from the Helmholtz Association: The Career Center is to support researchers in their career planning.

Helmholtz Zentrum München is establishing a Career Center to support young scientists in their career planning. The activity is supported by funds from the Initiative and Networking Fund of the President of the Helmholtz Association.

September 15

The winners of the Erwin Schroedinger Prize 2017 together with the President of the Donors' Association Andreas Barner, Research Minister Johanna Wanka and Helmholtz President Otmar Wiestler. | Photo: Michael Reinhardt

Prof. Dr. Dr. Fabian Theis, Prof. Dr. Timm Schroeder, Dr. Carsten Marr and Dr. Laleh Haghverdi are awarded the Erwin Schrödinger Prize 2017 at the annual conference of the Helmholtz Association. The research team at Helmholtz Zentrum München has developed methods for predicting cell differentiation in an interdisciplinary approach. Timm Schroeder is now Professor of Cell System Dynamics at ETH Zurich.  Dr. Laleh Haghverdi also receives the Helmholtz Doctoral Prize 2017. The former PhD student at the Institute of Computational Biology was honored for her dissertation on methods of data analysis in the field of single-cell sequencing. She is one of a total of six prize winners from the various research areas of the Helmholtz Association. Laleh Haghverdi is now conducting research at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton.

September 18

Outstanding achievements in biological radiation research: Martin Selmannsberger. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Martin Selmansberger, Research Unit Radiation Cytogenetics, receives the Dieter Frankenberg Young Investigator Award of the Society for Biological Radiation Research (GBS). The prize, endowed with 2000 Euro, is awarded to young scientists for outstanding achievements in the field of biological radiation research.

September 18

Summit meeting of diabetes research established in Munich. | Photo: Helmholtz München

The annual Helmholtz-Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference in Munich has established itself as a summit meeting for diabetes research. Sir Stephen O´Rahilly, University of Cambridge, receives the Helmholtz Diabetes Lecture Award.

September 22

In a row with the great researchers of our time: Carus Medal for Matthias Tschöp. | Photo: Leopoldina

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, is honoured with the Carus Medal of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The renowned award is presented to Tschöp at the Leopoldina Annual Meeting in Halle/Saale for his fundamental discoveries in metabolic research.

September 23

Want to find out more about the diagnosis, therapy and prevention of consequential damage: Participants at Patiententag Diabetes 2017. | Photo: Helmholtz München

The Patient Day Diabetes 2017 is taking place at the University Hospital of Tübingen. The event is organised by the Diabetes Information Service Munich and the Medical University Hospital in cooperation with the Children's Hospital of the University of Tübingen, the Institute of Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the German Centre for Diabetes Research.

Oktober 10

Has rendered outstanding services to vocational training at the center: Angelika Appold. | Photo: IHK Munich and Upper Bavaria, Tobias Hase

Angelika Appold, training officer, is honoured for her services to vocational training. Appold receives a certificate from the Bavarian State Government for her many years of commitment.

Oktober 11

Funding awarded towards new cancer therapies: BioM Managing Director Prof. Dr. Horst Domdey with the winners. | Photo: Bio M, Angela Esslinger

Dr. Bettina Proneth, Dr. Marcus Conrad, and Dr. José Pedro Friedmann Angeli, Institute of Developmental Genetics, receive an m4 Award for their research project METoxicate. The project, funded with 500,000 euros, uses a newly discovered cell death mechanism, ferroptosis, to develop new cancer therapies.

Oktober 11

1st place in Microbial Ecology: Michael Schloter. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Prof. Dr. Michael Schloter, Research Unit Comparative Microbiome Analysis, is one of the most cited authors of microbiology in the German-speaking world. According to a publication analysis by the journal Laborjournal, Schloter ranks first in the field of microbial ecology.

Oktober 23

Early detection of type 1 diabetes is the focus of Freder1k.

Helmholtz Zentrum München in cooperation with the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technische Universität starts a program for the early detection and prevention of type 1 diabetes in children. Newborn screening and prevention studies are part of the Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes (GPPAD), which is funded by the American Helmsley Foundation with over 44 million euros.

Oktober 23

Taken over by Bracco: The former spin-off SurgVision. | Picture: www.SurgVision.com

The Milan-based company Bracco Imaging SPA acquires SurgVision BV, a company spun off from Helmholtz Zentrum München in 2013. SurgVision owns a patented fluorescence-based imaging technology based on the research of the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging.



November 2

Winners of the Helmar Award: The award winners Christina Scheel, Manuel Miller and Markus Brielmeier together with managing director Alfons Enhsen. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Dr. Christina Scheel, Institute of Stem Cell Research, as well as Dr. Markus Brielmeier and Dr. Manuel Miller, are awarded the Helmholtz München Animal Welfare Research Award (Helmar). The award recognizes projects with the goal of improving, avoiding or reducing animal experiments and is endowed with a PhD position and consumables for three years.

November 8

Experience shared: Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Robert Huber. | Photo: Sebastian Duerst, AEGIS

Robert Huber, 1988 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, is a guest at the AEGIS Midterm Review, the EU-wide drug discovery project coordinated by the Institute of Structural Biology at Helmholtz Zentrum München. The Munich Nobel Prize winner outlines the history and perspectives of structural research to a large audience.

November 20

TOTAL E-QUALITY award goes to Helmholtz Zentrum München for the fifth time. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Helmholtz Zentrum München is awarded the TOTAL E-QUALITY award for the fifth time. The award has been presented since 1997 for exemplary activities in terms of human resource management aimed at providing equal opportunity.

November 27

Lecture in honor of the insulin pioneer Charles H. Best held by Matthias Tschöp. | Photo: University of Toronto

Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, Institute of Diabetes and Obesity, is the first European scientist to hold the Charles H. Best Lecture at the University of Toronto. The lecture, named after the co-discoverer of insulin, is held every two years and is an award for researchers who have made a significant contribution to diabetes and metabolic research.

December 4

Helmholtz Pioneer Campus is an innovation campus with a startup culture at Helmholtz Zentrum München.

The first Helmholtz Pioneer Campus Recruitment Symposium takes place at Helmholtz Zentrum München. 13 international candidates will present their ideas for new approaches in life science research. HPC is an innovation campus at Helmholtz Zentrum München.

December 12

Appointed to BfR-Committee: Peter Schröder | Photo: Helmholtz München

Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Schröder, Research Unit Comparative Microbiome Analysis, is appointed to the Committee for Pesticides and Their Residues of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). The committee advises the BfR on scientific and methodological issues relating to residue behaviour, toxicology and residue analysis of plant protection active substances.



December 14

With the newly opened Center stem cell research picks up speed. | Photo: Helmholtz München

Helmholtz Zentrum München is launching its Stem Cell Center with a scientific symposium featuring prominent participants. International guests and researchers from the newly founded center give an overview of new approaches and applications of stem cell research.

December 20

DFG funds new Research Training Group in Pulmonary Toxicology.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) supports the Research Training Group on Therapeutic Target Structures in Pulmonary Toxicology, in which the research groups of PD Dr. Anne Hilgendorff, Dr. Claudia Staab-Weijnitz and Dr. Georgios Stathopoulos from the Institute of Pulmonary Biology are involved in addition to other research partners from the Munich region. The total funding of around four million euros is mainly intended for the financing of new doctoral positions.