Milestone for the CSSB

The interdisciplinary Centre for Structural Systems Biology CSSB celebrates the topping out of its new research building


Richtfest 01


Today, the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) celebrates its topping out ceremony on the DESY Campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. Hamburg’s Scientific Senator, Katharina Fegebank, Dr. Karl Eugen Huthmacher from the German federal government, Schleswig-Holstein’s Scientific Minister, Kristin Alheit and Chairman of the DESY directorate Professor Helmut Dosch and other representatives of CSSB’s nine partners joined Professor Matthias Wilmanns, CSSB Scientific Director, today in celebrating this important milestone. In 2017, using a unique and interdisciplinary approach the CSSB will conduct research on bacterial and viral infections. The novel light sources at DESY and the cryo-electron microscopes in the future CSSB building will be used for this purpose. In their welcome addresses, Hamburg’s Scientific Senator, Katharina Fegebank, and Schleswig-Holstein Minister, Kristin Alheit, highlighted the important role CSSB plays in fostering interdisciplinary scientific cooperation in northern Germany. The CSSB is a common initiative of nine northern German research istitutions including the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research.

CSSB Scientific Director, Professor Matthias Wilmanns explained “Research is similar to sports: by uniting the strengths of the CSSB Partners we aim to become the best and to use our combined expertise to generate cutting-edge insights into the mechanisms of the infection process. We would like to make important and vital contributions to improve the protection of our society from emerging infections.”

“CSSB combines the excellent possibilities of the DESY light sources with additional powerful methods thus furthering our understanding of the molecular processes of infections and disease patterns. This is the foundation for the development of customized drug treatments which will ultimately result in more effective control of infections,” explains Professor Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY directorate. DESY is a partner of CSSB and building contractor for the new research building.

“The CSSB is already an excellent research institute. The new building will only enhance the existing framework. Closer exchange between many disciplines, shorter ways and DESY particle accelerators on CSSB’s doorstep; these are all things that will move infection and immunization research forward and will contribute to the worldwide scientific reputation of the metropolitan region,” says Hamburg’s Scientific Senator, Katharina Fegebank.

“The CSSB has become a magnet for innovative researchers in the fields of structure and systems biology,” explains Schleswig-Holsteins Scientific Minister Kristin Alheit, “the best equipment and technology has therefore been put in place to support the further development interdisciplinary excellence in northern Germany specifically in field infection research.”

Dr. Karl Eugen Huthmacher, Director of the Department for the Provision for Future – Basic and Sustainability Research, said “For some time, fundamental research at DESY is now being interpreted in a new way. Basic physics research places itself in the service of innovation. The CSSB is an emerging example of the future combination of medical and biological research with physics based fundamental research.”

“Research in human health and the natural sciences is for Niedersachsen an important strategic research focus that we have especially emphasized in our political research agenda. Together with the federal and local governments, we have succeeded in establishing with the CSSB an excellent transnational institute in Northern Germany which is focused on a pioneering field,” said Niedersachsen’s Scientific Minister, Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić.

The Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) builds a bridge between structure and systems biology. CSSB combines structural and molecular biological methods and imaging techniques with systems biology approaches further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the infection processes. This knowledge will enable the development of better treatment methods against both bacterial and viral pathogens.


The CSSB is a join initiative of nine research institutes from northern Germany:

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ)

Hannover Medical School (MHH)

Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI)

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)

Universität Hamburg (UHH)

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)


For more inforamtion about CSSB, please visit:


Photos from the event will be available after 16:00 via: