Interdisciplinary team on the hunt for new active compounds
President of the Leibniz Association opens Research Cluster funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research
| by Christine Vogler
Natural products that are synthesized by microorganisms, fungi and plants are one of the most important sources for therapeutics such as antibiotics and cancer drugs. However, producing sufficient amounts of these urgently needed natural products or their precursors poses a major challenge to modern biotechnology. To address this challenge, biologists and chemists turn to methods used by their colleagues from the material sciences - in the Leibniz Research Cluster (LRC), these fields now come together.
On March 12, 2015, the official inauguration of the Leibniz Research Cluster took place at the Hans Knöll Institute in Jena. The directors of the five Leibniz Institutes that form the Research Cluster received the granting letters from the representative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Henk van Liempt. Matthias Kleiner, President of the Leibniz Association stressed in his greeting the importance of the interdisciplinary collaboration and the innovative concepts of the LRC.
After the inauguration, the guests could glimpse an insight into the biotechnological research performed at the Hans Knöll Institute by visiting the state-of-the-art Bio Pilot Plant facilities.
The Leibniz Research Cluster is funded with 5,5 Mio Euro until 2020 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the Initiative „Nächste Generation biotechnologischer Verfahren - Biotechnologie 2020+“. The following Insitutes are members of the LRC:
- Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute (HKI), Jena
- Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS), Dortmund
- Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Halle
- Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)
- Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM), Saarbrücken