Management Structure

The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) is organised in the form of a GmbH (equals “Ltd.”). Shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany (90%) and the federal states Lower-Saxony (9%) and Saarland (1%).

Representatives from the shareholders are members of the supervisory board – together with experts from universities, clinics, economy, other research institutes and from the HZI itself. The highest governing body of the HZI meets twice a year, it takes the major policy decisions and appoints the two directors. The scientific committee advices the supervisory board. The middle management of the centre is composed of the heads of academic departments, administrative units and staff units.

Scientific Director

Dirk Heinz

Dirk Heinz studied Chemistry and Biochemistry in Freiburg before he turned towards Structural Biology during his PhD work at the University of Basel. Following a postdoc period in the US, he returned to Freiburg for his habilitation. In 1998 he became a junior research group leader at the then German Research Centre of Biotechnology (GBF, now HZI) in Braunschweig, where he has headed the Department of Molecular Structural Biology between 2002 and 2013.

Dirk Heinz is Professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig and has promoted the field of structural biology for more than a decade as member of several national and international committees. Since 2009 he is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

After a one-year period as Acting Scientific Director, Dirk Heinz was appointed as Scientific Director of the HZI on 1st August 2011.

Contact Partner

    Prof Dr Dirk Heinz

    Dirk Heinz

    Scientific Director

    +49 531 6181-1000

    +49 531 6181-1099


    Curriculum Vitae

    Publications of Prof. Dr. Dirk Heinz



    Date of Birth: August 01, 1960
    Marital Status: Married, two children  


    Education and Employment:

    * Since Aug. 2011
    Scientific Director, HZI Braunschweig
    * Nov. 2010 – July 2011
    Acting Scientific Director, HZI Braunschweig
    * Jan. 2010 – Oct. 2011
    Speaker of the Helmholtz Programme “Infection and Immunity”
    * March 2005
    Appointment as Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig
    * July 2003
    Appointment as Extraordinary Professor at the Technical University Braunschweig
    * Since May 2002
    Head of Department/Division of Structural Biology, German Research Center for Biotechnology (GBF), Braunschweig, Germany
    * Dec. 1998
    Habilitation in Biochemistry (University of Freiburg, Germany)
    * July 1998 – Apr. 2002
    Junior research group leader in the Department of Structural Biology, German Research Center for Biotechnology (GBF), Braunschweig, Germany
    * Oct. 1993 – June 1998
    Research Assistant, University of Freiburg, Germany* July 1990 – Sept. 1993
    Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oregon, Eugene, U.S.A.
    * Apr. 1990
    PhD in Biochemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland
    * 1980 – June 1986

    Diploma Studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of  Freiburg, Germany


    Further scientific activities:

    * Since Oct. 2011
    Member Scientific Advisory-Board Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Tübingen
    * Since November 2010

    Chairman of the board of TWINCORE
    * Since April 2010
    Member of the Helmholtz Think Tank panel
    * 2009 – 2010
    Coordinator of the topic “Strukturbiologie” within the “Strukturanalyse der Forschung in Norddeutschland” der Wissenschaftlichen Kommission Niedersachsen (WKN)
    * Since 2008
    Speaker of the CSSB initiative at DESY Hamburg
    * Since 2007
    Member of the Editorial Board of Biological Chemistry
    * Since 2005
    Founder and spreaker of GBM-Study Group "Structural Biology" and principal organizer of the international "Murnau Conference in Structural Biology" (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012)
    * Since 2005
    Member of the Editorial Board of Protein Science
    * Since 2003
    Official representative and speaker of Helmholtz Structural Biology
    * 2002 – 2006
    Speaker of the DGK Study Group "Biological Structures"
    * 2002 – 2008
    Member of DECHEMA e.V.
    * Since  2001
    Member of the German Crystallographic Society (DGK)
    * Since 1999
    Member of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM)


    Further Activities:

    * November 2008
    Certificate “Leadership – St. Galler Führungsprogramm”, St. Galler Business School, St Gallen, Switzerland


    * since Dec 2009
    Elected Corresponding Member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg

    * since Oct 2008
    Elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)