Institute of Applied Microbiology Officially Opened


Earlier this week, Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg officially opened the RWTH Institute of Applied Microbiology, located in the Chemistry and Biology building complex at Worringer Weg. The Federal State of NRW and RWTH Aachen have invested about 5 million euros in order to provide outstanding teaching and research opportunities in microbiology. After two years of planning and building activities, there are now about 1500 sqm of renovated floor space for offices, lab facilities, and student work areas. 

  Opening Ceremony for the RWTH Institute of Applied Microbiology Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter Professors Agler-Rosenbaum, Schirawski und Blank (from left, next to RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg) and their teams conduct basic and applied research in the field of microbial processes.

The Institute of Applied Microbiology, iAMB for short, is of the university’s seven institutes in the fields of biology and biotechnology. Apart from conducting basic research in physiology, the researchers at the new institute investigate the genetics of microorganisms and their interactions with plants, develop methods for the analysis and optimization of microbial reactions, and identify and implement microbial processes that promise to result in technical applications.

Since June 2011, the Institute saw the appointment of new professors Lars Blank, Jan Schirawski und Miriam Agler-Rosenbaum. After acquiring his post-doctoral lecturing qualification at the University of Dortmund, Professor Lars Blank is now Chair of Applied Microbiology and Head of iAMB. Professor Jan Schirawski came from the University of Göttingen to head the Teaching and Research Area Microbial Genetics. His key research area is the genetics of pathogenic fungi. Dr. Miriam Agler-Rosenbauer, who has worked at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, is a Junior Professor investigating the microbiology of defined microbial mixed cultures, with a focus on microbial electrocatalysis. Furthermore, iAMB employs 32 research staff, four technicians, two administrative staff, and several student assistants.

iAMB closely collaborates with the RWTH Excellence Cluster Tailor-made Fuels from Biomass and the newly established Bioeconomy Science Center – BioSC, a inter-university research center between Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Aachen, Bonn and Düsseldorf universities.