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Hans Knoell Institute participates in Thuringia's first excellence project

24.10.2007 - (idw) Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie - Hans-Knöll-Institut (HKI)

Jena, October 23, 2007 - The "Jena School for Microbial Communication" (JSMC) has been rated an excellent graduate school. It is the only project in Thuringia, which has been awarded by the jury of Germany's "Excellence Initiative". The international graduate school will receive funding of over five million Euros within the next five years. The key of this great success is an outstanding concept. The "Jena School for Microbial Communication" is a project of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (FSU), which comprises basic research and industrial application. Altogether four faculties of the university, six research institutes and twelve companies are involved in this project. In this way graduate students can benefit from an interdisciplinary and practical education.
Prof. Dr. Axel A. Brakhage, director of the Leibniz-Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology Jena - Hans Knöll Institute - (HKI) and Professor for Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the FSU, coordinates this project. His institute is also involved. The "International Leibniz Research School" and the graduate schools of the Friedrich-Schiller-University and the Max-Planck-Institute for chemical Ecology belong to the "Jena School for Microbial Communication". All three schools share related topics.
Almost 150 graduate students from all over the world will study the complex interactions of microorganisms. They will not only focus on the communication between bacteria and fungi but also on their interactions with the environment as well as with plant, animal, and human hosts.
The scientific topics of JSMC are supported by the research of Prof. Dr. Axel Brakhage, who also leads a department at the HKI Jena. "In my department of Molecular and Applied Microbiology we are especially interested in the molecular mechanisms of human-pathogenic fungi which can lead to severe diseases. Our goal is to understand the course of fungal infections and to find new ways of diagnosis and treatment." Brakhage says.
The participation of natural products in the signal transmission of microorganisms with their environment is a central research topic of the HKI.
The results of the "Jena School for Microbial Communication" could contribute to the discovery of new drugs or pesticides and for the redevelopment of soils.
At the JSMC there will be a continuous exchange between research and industry. In this way graduate students will gain an inside on the practical application of basis research.

Michael Ramm, PhD
Scientific Organisation
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product research and Infection Biology
- Hans Knoell Institute -
Beutenbergstrasse 11a
07745 Jena
T: +49 (0) 3641 - 65 66 42
F: +49 (0) 3641 - 65 66 20
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