Background information about HZI

How do bacteria and viruses make us sick? How does our immune system defend our body? Which novel pharmaceutical compounds can help us to fight dangerous infections? These are questions we at the HZI want to answer. Our goal: To set up the basis for new diagnostic tools, new drugs and new therapies against infectious diseases.


  • April 2022: Foundation of the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) in Greifswald as another HZI location. Local founding partners are the University of Greifswald, the University Medical Center Greifswald and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute. The HIOH will address the threat caused by the appearance of novel pathogens as well as the modification of known pathogens, including their antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • October 2016: Start-up of the HIRI in Würzburg – The HZI and the University of Würzburg launch a new institute for infection research: The Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) addresses a new research field and aims for novel therapeutic approaches.
  • August 2016: Inauguration of the research centre for systems biology BRICS – The joint research centre of the Technische Universität Braunschweig and the HZI commences its research operations. Some 170 researchers from institutes of both facilities mainly address models for the life sciences in this setting. The aim is to use these models for a better understanding of the foundations of life to make new applications for health and environment possible.
  • September 2014: Unique project of MHH, Fraunhofer ITEM and HZI in all of Germany – Inauguration of the Clinical Research Center Hannover (CRC Hannover) – The CRC is an important interface between basic research and marketing authorisation for new medications and medical devices. The focus is on concepts for early clinical studies.
  • December 2012: Grand opening of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) – The DZIF is an association of leading universities and non-academic institutions in the field of infection research in Germany. The aim is to strengthen translational research. The DZIF office is located on the HZI campus.
  • May 2012: Grand opening of the study centre in Hannover. Future studies related to public health will be conducted at the study centre and the correlations between infections and chronic diseases will be investigated.
  • April 2011: The HZI becomes the representing partner for the Hannover/Braunschweig region in the nationwide research association "German Centre for Infection Research".
  • January 2011: The HZI assumes the coordination of the newly founded Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) arising on the DESY campus in Hamburg.
  • August 2009: HZI branch site founded on the campus of the University of Saarbrücken: Scientists of the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) develop new agents and therapeutic options for infectious diseases.
  • August 2008: The Hannover Medical School and the HZI jointly open the Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research TWINCORE in close proximity to the MHH campus.
  • July 2006: The GBF is renamed Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. The new gate of the centre is completed at the same time. As a result, the premises gain a new entryway, and also a new address.
  • 1975/76: The Federal Republic of Germany takes over the Institute and the federal state of Lower Saxony joins as a shareholder. In 1976, this leads to the establishment of the Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH (GBF).  In 1976, the Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH (GBF) emerges from this.
  • 1968: Aided by the Volkswagen Foundation, the IMB is converted to the Gesellschaft für Molekularbiologische Forschung mbH (GMBF).
  • 1965: The Institute for Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics (IMB), the predecessor of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, is founded in Braunschweig. This takes place on the initiative of the chemist, Prof Dr Hans Herloff Inhoffen. Inhoffen's efforts are supported by other renowned scientists, in particular Nobel Prize laureate Prof Dr Manfred Eigen.

Image brochure of HZI


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