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The Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and is responsible for studying environmental health issues. Founded in 1964 as ″Gesellschaft für Strahlenforschung″ (GSF), it is a joint project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Bavaria's Finance Ministry. Nowadays the Helmholtz Zentrum München's focus is to investigate chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, lung diseases, illnesses of the immune system or mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

The head office of the center is located in Neuherberg to the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München has around 2300 staff members. Helmholtz Zentrum München belongs to the Helmholtz Association, a German research organization with 16 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers.


In 1964 the ″Gesellschaft für Strahlenforschung″ (GSF) was founded as an autonomous limited company engaged in radiation research. With the foundation of the "Institute of Ecological Chemistry" 1969 a new research field was developed. The name of the Center changed 1971 in "GSF - Gesellschaft für Strahlen- und Umweltforschung". In 1977 the center started a concentration process on radiation and environmental research. A new orientation towards environmental health was reflected 2008 in the name change to "Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health". (see also research highlights with disease focus[1])


Institutes and Research UnitsEdit

Diabetes Center

  • Institute of Diabetes and Cancer (IDC)
  • Institute of Diabetes Research (IDF)
  • Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM)
  • Institute of Diabetes and Obesity (IDO)
  • Research Unit NeuroBiology of Diabetes (NBD)
  • Institute of Diabetes- and Regeneration Research (IDR)
  • Institute of Translational Stem Cell Research (ITS)
  • Institute of Functional Epigenetics (IFE)
  • Research Unit Molecular Epigenetics (MEG)
  • Institute of Pancreatic Islet Research, Paul-Langerhans-Institut Dresden (IPI)
  • Research Unit Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism (MEM)

Genetics & Epidemiology

  • Institute of Developmental Genetics (IDG)
  • Institute of Epidemiology (EPI)
  • Research Unit Molecular Epidemiology (AME)
  • Independent Research Group Clinical Epidemiology (KEPI)
  • Institute of Experimental Genetics (IEG)
  • Institute of Genetic Epidemiology (IGE)
  • Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management (IGM)
  • Institute of Human Genetics (IHG)
  • Institute of Neurogenomics (ING)
  • Institute of Translational Genomics (ITG)
  • Research Unit Comparative Medicine (AVM)

Health & Environment

  • Research Unit Gene Vectors (AGV)
  • Research Unit Apoptosis in Hematopoetic Stem Cells (AHS)
  • Research Unit Molecular Immunoregulation (AMIR)
  • Comprehensive Molecular Analytics (CMA)
  • Institute of Epidemiology (EPI)
  • Research Unit Molecular Epidemiology (AME)
  • Institute of Allergy Research (IAF)
  • Institute of Asthma and Allergy Prevention (IAP)
  • Institute of Environmental Medicine (IEM)
  • Institute of Lung Biology and Diseases/ Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC)
  • Research Unit Lung Repair and Regeneration (LRR)
  • Institute of Innovative Radiotherapy (IRT)
  • Institute of Radiation Biology (ISB)
  • Institute of Radiation Protection (ISS)
  • WG Tissue Control of Immunocytes (TCI)
  • WG Translational Molecular Immunology (TMI)
  • Institute of Virology (VIRO)
  • Research Unit Radiation Cytogenetics (ZYTO)

Stem Cells

  • Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES)
  • Institute of Stem Cell Research (ISF)
  • Research Unit Sensory Biology and Organogenesis (SBO)

Enabling Technologies

  • Research Unit Analytical Pathology (AAP)
  • Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (IBIS)
  • Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI)
  • Institute of Computational Biology (ICB)
  • Research Unit Scientific Computing (ASC)
  • Institute of Medicinal Chemistry (IMC)
  • Research Unit Protein Science (PROT)
  • Institute of Molecular Toxicology and Pharmacology (TOXI)
  • Research Unit Cellular Signal Integration (AZS)
  • Institute of Structural Biology (STB)

Environmental Science

  • Research Unit BioGeoChemistry and Analytics (BGC)
  • Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology (BIOP)
  • Research Unit Environmental Simulation (EUS)
  • Research Unit Comparative Microbiome Analysis (COMI)
  • Institute of Groundwater Ecology (IGOE)
  • Research Unit Environmental Organic Isotope Chemistry (EOIC)
  • Institute of Network Biology (INET)
  • Research Unit Plant Genome and Systems Biology (PGSB)

Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental HealthEdit

The Helmholtz Graduate School Environmental Health (HELENA) was opened on November 1, 2010. It is a joint initiative for the promotion of doctoral students of the Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and the Technische Universität München (TUM).

With its focus on Environmental Health, interdisciplinary research activities will concentrate on the interaction between individual genetic predisposition, environmental factors and individual lifestyle habits, thus illuminating the pathogenesis of common, complex diseases such as diabetes mellitus and chronic lung diseases.

Comprehensive Pneumology CenterEdit

The Comprehensive Pneumology Center [2] (CPC) is an institution combining three partners: Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) with its University Hospital and the Asklepios Fachkliniken München-Gauting. Helmholtz Zentrum München is responsible for basic and applied research. LMU is with its medical faculty provides results in the area of pulmonary research and medical treatment. The third partner, Asklepios Fachkliniken München-Gauting is a hospital specialized in lung diseases.

External linksEdit