Our history

The Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures was founded in 1969 as the national centre for culture collection in Göttingen, Germany. It was originally part of the Gesellschaft für Strahlenforschung (GSF) and was later moved to Braunschweig to become an independent institution.

1969 foundation of a national culture collection, supported by external grants. Decentralized organization with headquarter in Göttingen
1981 recognition as International Depositary Authority (IDA) for patent purposes according to the Budapest Treaty
1987 unification of all German collections in Braunschweig at the Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mBH
1988 legally independent body established as a nonprofit accepted private limited company (GmbH)
1990 expansion of the collection (Departments Plant Cell Cultures, Human and Animal Cell Lines, Plant Viruses)
1993 appointment of Prof. Dr. Erko Stackebrandt as Scientific Director (1993-2010)
1996 DSMZ becomes member of the Leibniz Association
2004 establishment of quality management according to ISO 9001:2000
2010 appointment of Prof. Dr. Jörg Overmann as Scientific Director; foundation of the fifth department Microbial Ecology and Biodiversity research
2017 Prof. Dr. Michael Pester joins DSMZ as head of the department Microorganisms
2018 first European Registered Collection; implementation of a dual management with Prof. Dr. Jörg Overmann as Scientific Director and Bettina Fischer as Administrative Director; recertification according to ISO 9001:2015; accreditation according to ISO 17034:2017
2019 50th anniversary of DSMZ in Braunschweig, Germany; Prof. Dr. Yvonne Mast joins DSMZ as head of the department Bioresources for Bioeconomy and Health Research