Helmholtz-Institute Würzburg

May 24th 2017 saw the inauguration of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), an exciting joint venture between the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the Julius-Maximilian University of Würzburg (JMU).

Located on the Würzburg medical campus, HIRI will be the first research institution worldwide bridging the areas of RNA research and infectious diseases.

The integrative concept of HIRI will unite the internationally renowned, interdisciplinary scientific expertise in RNA biology and RNA technology at the University of Würzburg with the state-of-the-art, cross-institutional infrastructure of the HZI.

Acting director of the new institute is Prof. Jörg Vogel, director of the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB) at the JMU. For his groundbreaking work in the field of RNA biology, he has just recently been awarded Germany’s highest research award, the Gottfried-Wilhelm Leibniz-prize.

Thus, HIRI provides the ideal conditions to exploit the vast potential of RNAs as a diagnostic, drug and therapeutic target for new strategies to combat infectious diseases.

Scientists at the HIRI will develop innovative RNA-based approaches to advance our understanding of infection processes, elucidating the complex mechanisms of pathogens and the host immune system.

The knowledge gained will then be translated into novel anti-infective strategies. New RNA-based diagnostic tools, drugs and therapeutics will be established and be brought to clinical application by developing strategies for their delivery.

„The foundation of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research is a milestone for Bavaria as scientific location. In this way, we can further consolidate our leading position in medical research”, says the Bavarian Minister for Economy and Technology Ilse Aigner.

The state of Bavaria has provided 16.5 million euros in start-up funding as well as 30 million euros as resources for a new. Following the initial launch phase, the Helmholtz Association will provide the Institute with annual funding of 5.5 million euros.


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Prof. Dr. Jörg Vogel

Acting Director

Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research

Josef-Schneider Straße 2 / D15

97080 Würzburg



Tel. +49 (0)931 31-89587 (Secretary Monika Meece)

Fax +49 (0)931-3182578



Alice Hohn

Head of Administration

Tel. +49 (0)931 31-89545



Dr. Nina-Vanessa Littwin

Scientific Coordinator & Public Relations Manager

Tel. +49 (0)931 31-89235