Flagship InitiativeEngineering Molecular Systems

The Flagship Initiative Engineering Molecular Systems (Fl EMS) is part of the Excellence Strategy of Heidelberg University and brings together researchers from different institutes and faculties of the university as well as non-university research institutions. The aim of the Flagship Initiative is to develop new materials, methods, technologies, devices, and therapies at the molecular level using both natural and synthetically made components. This requires an alliance of disciplines such as chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and medicine plus theoretical computations and simulations.

FI EMS Logo and synthetic cells

FI EMS and FoF4 Call

Call for “Bridging-Project FoF4 and FI EMS”. An opportunity for interdisciplinary work connecting humanities and life/health sciences.
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Engineering molecular systems is a new field of research that has the potential to make groundbreaking innovations that can broadly benefit society. The field includes synthetic biology and medicine, materials science, organic electronics, and new environmental technologies. Breakthroughs are expected in the field of developing new types of carbon-based materials, from molecular machines with a wide range of applications, in regenerative medicine and from the development of vaccines or cells with tumour-fighting properties.This research could likewise advance diagnostics, sensor technology, clean and renewable energies, and the development of new data processing algorithms.

A number of institutes of Heidelberg University as well non-university research institutions – among them the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research – are involved in the Flagship Initiative’s interdisciplinary work. The Flagship also strengthens the link between Fields of Focus I (Molecular Foundations of Life, Health, and Disease) and II (Patterns and Structures in Mathematics, Data, and the Material World), thereby fostering scientific exchange beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries within the university itself.


FI EMS Young Scientist Retreat

All PostDocs and PhD students of Heidelberg University and their partner institutions EMBL, DKFZ, HITS and MPImR working in the field of EMS are welcome to take part in the Young Scientists Retreats offered by the FI EMS. Submission for the retreat in May 2023 is closed. You will find more information about the retreat in November 2023 (27th-29th) in early summer.