Fighting Infections Side by Side

The Leibniz ScienceCampus InfectoOptics unites biologists, physicists and chemists in combating infectious diseases

| by Christine Vogler

Infectious diseases are one of the most common causes of death worldwide. In Germany alone, they cause 60,000 deaths per year. Scientists in Jena now teamed up and founded the interdisciplinary Leibniz ScienceCampus InfectoOptics for extensive investigations of infections. InfectoOptics has recently been selected for funding by the Leibniz Association.

"Research in infection biology has been neglecting the recent advances in optics and photonics for too long", Axel Brakhage, speaker of the ScienceCampus and director of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institut (HKI), explains his motviation to initiate InfectoOptics. "New developments and technologies such as flow cytometry and microfluidics harbour great potential for the rapid analysis of single cells. Novel optical systems and methods will help us to improve diagnosis and therapies for infectious diseases."

InfectoOptics brings together scientists not only from different disciplines, but also from different research institutions. In the ScienceCampus, the HKI, the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (IPHT), the Friedrich Schiller University, the University Hospital Jena, the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Science, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Instiute collaborate to shape the research profile of Jena and the whole region.