The Helmholtz Centre
Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research examine the mechanisms of infection diseases and their defences. We develop the results of basic research systematically with the emphasis on medical application. The following are included in scientific issues that we investigate:
- What is it that transforms bacteria or viruses into pathogens?
- Why are some individuals particularly sensitive while others are resistant to infections?
- How can we interrupt infection processes?
- How do we transfer our findings to application for human beings?
For clarification of such questions, we examine pathogens that are either medically relevant or that can be used as models for the research of infections. Understanding these mechanisms then contributes to the on-going battle against infectious diseases in the form of drugs and vaccines.
It is the task of this Centre to execute bio-medical research in the domain of infection biology and its clinical application and practical implementation. The focus of research at the HZI is concentrated on the programme of infection research.
Sponsors for the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research are the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the States of Lower Saxony (9%) and Saarland (1%). The HZI receives from the Federal Government and the States a budget amounting to close to 45 million euros (2010) for the financing of research. Additionally, leaders for both working groups and projects procure third-party support from national research funding programmes, EU programmes and private industry.
Patents und Publications
Research results are sometimes registered as patents – in the year 2009 alone there were 29 applications for patents. Moreover, the HZI can lay claim to a total of ca. 250 publications in international, high-ranking scientific speciality magazines.
Employees and Professional sectors
The HZI currently employs around 800 employees from various professional sectors: biologists, biotechnologists, biochemists, chemists, physicians, laboratory workers and assistants, office personnel, animal-care technician, network specialists, craftsmen, technicians and engineers.
International research: 150 guest scientists from 40 countries work at HZI.