New Leibniz ScienceCampus for the DSMZ in Braunschweig

Main building of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ on the Science Campus Braunschweig-Süd; source: DSMZ

Prof Dr Jörg Overmann, Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ; source: DSMZ

At its meeting on 19 March 2024, the Senate of the Leibniz Association made major decisions in various cross-institute funding formats: the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH in Braunschweig, Germany, is leading one of seven new ScienceCampi. "The Leibniz Association and the state of Lower Saxony are funding the establishment of the Leibniz ScienceCampus EcoPath (Evolutionary Ecology of Zoonotic Pathogens during Agricultural Transformations), which has a total volume of 3.8 million euros, under the leadership of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ.", announced the Scientific Director of the Institute, Professor Dr Jörg Overmann, today.

The aim is to investigate the biological basis for the reproduction, spread and survival of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the environment, typically in domestic and wild animals. They can cause severe infections in humans, but have so far been insufficiently investigated. "The Leibniz ScienceCampus enables us to work with our partners to develop innovative biological approaches for a better understanding of zoonotic bacteria and viruses. To accomplish this, we not only need solid expertise in molecular bacteriology and virology, but also specialist knowledge from the veterinary and agricultural sectors. The Braunschweig-Hannover-Göttingen region in Germany offers excellent conditions for the strategic and long-term development of this research topic and for increasing our international visibility. We are deepening our excellent cooperation with the TU Braunschweig and establishing a strategic network with four other key academic partners in the region. At the same time, we are fulfilling our mission as a Leibniz Institute to link basic research with application by contributing to the prevention of future outbreaks of zoonotic diseases with EcoPath," states microbiologist Jörg Overmann.

New Leibniz-Science Campus of the DSMZ in Braunschweig, Germany
The Leibniz ScienceCampus "Evolutionary Ecology of Zoonotic Pathogens during Agricultural Transformations" of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ in Braunschweig enables a joined research program together with the TU Braunschweig, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, the German Primate Centre-Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. The DSMZ ScienceCampus will be established in April 2024, with the aim to systematically investigate the spread and resistance of zoonotic pathogens and therefore learn more about their evolutionary ecology. This new research program will help to elucidate the evolutionary mechanisms that enable these pathogens to adapt to the environment and facilitate the transition to humans. State-of-the-art molecular ecology and systems biology methods, modelling, and data science analyses will be employed. Three pathogens that are often highly resistant to antibiotics are in the focus: Clostridioides difficile (pathogens that cause severe diarrhoea), enterococci (urinary tract and wound infections, including sepsis) and porcine coronaviruses (rare acute respiratory diseases).

Leibniz ScienceCampus links Leibniz institutes with scientific partners
The Leibniz ScienceCampi serve to establish strategic partnerships of Leibniz institutes with universities and other institutes in their region in a thematic focus area. The Senate of the Leibniz Association has approved a funding budget of 8.4 million euros for seven ScienceCampi for a period of four years. Four newly established Leibniz ScienceCampi are dedicated to the influence of aerosols on atmospheric processes, sonopharmacology for the development of more effective therapies, zoonotic pathogens, and research into resilience. The funding of ScienceCampi for research into living therapeutics, European-American relations, and social inequalities has been extended. A total of twelve funding applications were submitted, three of which for a second funding period. With the projects now funded, a total of 24 Leibniz ScienceCampi will be in the current funding programme from April 2024.

Further information can be found at www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/en/research/leibniz-sciencecampi.


Press contact:
PhDr. Sven-David Müller, Head of Public Relations, Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH
Phone: ++49 (0)531/2616-300
Mail: press(at)dsmz.de

About the Leibniz Institute DSMZ
The Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures is the world's most diverse collection of biological resources (bacteria, archaea, protists, yeasts, fungi, bacteriophages, plant viruses, genomic bacterial DNA as well as human and animal cell lines). Microorganisms and cell cultures are collected, investigated and archived at the DSMZ. As an institution of the Leibniz Association, the DSMZ with its extensive scientific services and biological resources has been a global partner for research, science and industry since 1969. The DSMZ was the first registered collection in Europe (Regulation (EU) No. 511/2014) and is certified according to the quality standard ISO 9001:2015. As a patent depository, it offers the only possibility in Germany to deposit biological material in accordance with the requirements of the Budapest Treaty. In addition to scientific services, research is the second pillar of the DSMZ. The institute, located on the Science Campus Braunschweig-Süd, accommodates more than 86,500 bioresources and has almost 230 employees. www.dsmz.de

The Leibniz Association
The Leibniz Association connects 96 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct basic and applied research, including in the interdisciplinary Leibniz Research Alliances, maintain scientific infrastructure, and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer, particularly with the Leibniz research museums. It advises and informs policymakers, science, industry and the general public. Leibniz institutions collaborate intensively with universities – including in the form of Leibniz ScienceCampi – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to a transparent, independent evaluation procedure. Because of their importance for the country as a whole, the Leibniz Association Institutes are funded jointly by Germany’s central and regional governments. The Leibniz Institutes employ around 20,500 people, including 11,500 researchers. The financial volume amounts to 2 billion euros. www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de