Helmholtz Zentrum München is the German Research Center for Environmental Health. As one of the world’s leading centers with a focus on Environmental Health, it investigates chronic and complex diseases which arise from the interaction of environmental factors and individual genetic disposition.

The processes underlying common diseases such as diabetes, lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and depression are still not understood to a large extent. Many factors influence these processes, which generally take place over a long period and develop out of a complex interaction between individual genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as nutrition, lifestyle, stress or pollutants. Frequently, they are accompanied by preexisting conditions or symptoms of old age.

Helmholtz Zentrum München is investigating these relationships with a special focus on diabetes and lung diseases. Understanding the complex causal relationships involved is crucial for the development of new therapies, diagnostic methods and prevention strategies. With the aid of our technological platforms, we are elucidating the biological mechanisms involved in these processes and are thus making important contributions to fighting diseases of the central nervous system, cancer, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

The foundation of our work is excellent basic research, which is carried out by well-managed institutes and scientific departments which undergo external expert review on a regular basis. Our expertise ranges from biomedicine to research on ecosystems and the preservation of the natural foundations of human life. Central state-of-the art technological platforms are an integral part of our scientific- technical infrastructure. Through intensive collaboration with clinical partners we ensure that research findings are rapidly translated into medical applications to benefit patients.

The first drug developed by the German biotech sector and brought to market has its scientific origin in our center. We are especially committed to training young scientists, and in this area we work closely with Munich’s elite universities. The many joint institutes with the universities and the integration of the Center in national and international associations offer young scientists a stimulating academic environment and excellent career prospects.

Helmholtz Zentrum München has approximately 1700 staff members including 450 graduate students. The head office is located in Neuherberg to the north of Munich on a 50-hectare research campus.

Helmholtz Zentrum München belongs to the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest research organization, a community of 16 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of 30,000 staff members.