Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University Celebrates 30 Years
11 September 2015
Over the past three decades, the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH) has participated in the development of a safe hepatitis B vaccine, the discovery of molecular causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, the invention of a widely applied genetic switch, the revelation of the transport mechanisms in cells, and the deciphering of repair systems for damaged proteins, to cite just some of its outstanding work. The ZMBH will commemorate its 30th anniversary from 17 to 18 September 2015 with a ceremony and an alumni forum. At this major research institution, scientists from a variety of disciplines investigate fundamental processes of molecular and cellular biology that frequently also touch on medical aspects. Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Theresia Bauer, will attend the ceremony.
“The progress made in molecular biology research in recent decades is breathtaking. The development of new technologies in the current post-genome era is driving fast-paced transformation and enables research into even the most complex life processes”, underscores Prof. Dr. Bernd Bukau, Director of the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University. According to the molecular biologist, the ZMBH has been a model institution in basic research since the birth of genetic engineering and has helped to shape it.
The founding of the ZMBH in the 1980s began as an initiative by professors whose previous US sojourns had exposed them to the new research methods in molecular biology and the potential they offered – until then, the technology had met with little more than scepticism in Germany. The concept for a new research centre with an innovative departmental structure that promoted freedom and independence of young researchers as well as close networking of scientists. A strategic alliance between the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University and the “Cell and Tumour Biology” research programme of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has been in place since December 2007.
The 30th anniversary commemoration for the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University will open with words of welcome from Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, President of Ruperto Carola, Minister Theresia Bauer, Dr. Matthias Kölbel of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and ZMBH Director Prof. Dr. Bernd Bukau. Then the Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Prof. Dr. Maria Leptin, will discuss “Generating a Creative Research Environment: In Defense of the Friday Night Experiment”. The Heidelberg neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Hannah Monyer will talk about “25 Years of Research in Brain Inhibition”. The event will be held on 18 September at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 227 and will begin at 10am.