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50 years of research at the Biozentrum

Since its foundation, the Biozentrum has been dedicated to studying molecules, cells and organisms to achieve a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles of life. Researchers at the Biozentrum give us insights into the fascinating world of science, their work at the interfaces of different disciplines, and their passion for discovering new things.


From small details to fundamental questions
Cutting-edge structural biology technologies enable scientists to observe how molecules interact within cells. Prof. Maria Hondele and Prof. Timm Maier talk about their research at the smallest scale and how collaboration between research groups can move mountains. pdf download

New approaches in the fight against bacteria
The infection biologists Prof. Christoph Dehio and Prof. Urs Jenal investigate bacteria at the Biozentrum. Their goal is to better understand the interactions between pathogens and humans under natural conditions, in order to counter the alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant pathogens with new treatment options. pdf download

A stem cell researcher to the core
With her research on stem cells, Prof. Fiona Doetsch draws on different disciplines: neurobiology and developmental biology. She focuses on a specific group of neural stem cells in the brain, whose existence has long been contested. It is possible that these cells are the key to the plasticity - adaptability - of our brain. This could also open up perspectives for the therapy of brain diseases. pdf download

A hisTORic  breakthrough
Michael N. Hall was not yet 40 years old when he discovered a key protein for cell growth and communication at the Biozentrum. The protein, known as TOR, opened the door to numerous subsequent discoveries by the biochemist – some of which required him to leave the lab for the clinic. pdf download

The pioneer of genetic engineering
Prof. Werner Arber discovered the restriction enzymes, which can be used to cut out sections of DNA in the cell. With this he laid the foundation for today's molecular biology and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978. His daughter Silvia Arber was just ten years old at the time and described her father's discovery in a story of her own. pdf download

Spectacular moments in evolution
It was fruit flies that made Walter Gehring world famous. The sensation he published in the scientific journal "Science" in 1995 astonished experts and shocked the public. He had identified a single genetic switch, a master control gene. It could turn on an entire cascade of genes, causing the formation of a new organ such as an eye. pdf download