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Division Leibniz Competition
Leibniz Association
Chausseestraße 111
10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 / 20 60 49 - 33 or -32

Funding line 2: National and international networking

WHEATSCAN – Unraveling the causes for wheat sensitivities

Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB), Freising

Wheat is one of the most important staple foods worldwide. However, wheat-dependent inflammatory diseases like coeliac disease and non-coeliac wheat (gluten) sensitivity (NCGS) occur with increasing frequency among the population. Changes in protein composition due to wheat breeding are one of the possible causes. This joint project aims to elucidate the influence of wheat breeding during the last 100 years on the genetic expression pattern and protein composition of wheat and its immunogenic potential to trigger wheat sensitivities. Our multidisciplinary approach is expected to serve as a basis for the development of new wheat cultivars with a low potential to cause these wheat-dependent sensitivities. Furthermore, this work shall contribute towards improved diagnostics and a better understanding of the pathomechanism of NCGS.

Period: 1. April 2016 – 30. September 2019

Project Website


Berlin Economics Research Associates (BERA)

German Institute for Economic Research Berlin (DIW)

With the foundation of the Berlin Economics Research Associates Program (BERA), seven Berlin-based research institutions aim to promote postdoctoral research careers. BERA is a structured program that enables the participating institutions to further raise their research quality, to increase their shares of female researchers and to strengthen the researchers’ access to professional networks. BERA includes (i) coordination of recruitment among the seven institutions, (ii) personal mentoring of postdoctoral researchers by senior faculty, (iii) financial support of scientific activities like visitor programs and workshops, and (iv) provision of access to skills courses and other career and placement support.

Period: 1. April 2016 – 31. March 2019


The lung microbiota at the interface between airway epithelium and environment

Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Center for Medicine and Biosciences (FZB)

The lung epithelium is directly exposed to environmental challenges demanding epithelial regulation of tissue homeostasis and immune responses. The lung microbiota is located at the interface between lung epithelium and environment. We hypothesize that environmental challenges alter the structure and functionality of lung microbial communities. These in turn affect epithelial barrier functions. Cigarette smoke is a major environmental cause of chronic lung diseases. In a multidisciplinary approach we investigate the lung microbiota from human smokers, non-smokers and longitudinally after smoking cessation. Mechanistic studies are performed in murine and cellular models of active smoking. This approach will create a basis for future personalized treatment strategies targeting the microbiota in lung disease.

Period: 1. June 2016 – 31. March 2020


“HYPERAM” – Leibniz research network for fast wide-field hyperspectral Raman imaging for in vivo diagnostics and intra-operative tumour resection margin analysis

Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT), Jena

Currently, there are no reliable intraoperative diagnostic approaches providing information towards the transition between tumour and normal surrounding tissue. If the final postoperative histopathology reveals that the tumour margins still contain tumour tissue, patients prognosis worsens dramatically. The Leibniz HYPERAM research network opens interdisciplinary synergies of three Leibniz institutions in the areas of life sciences, astrophysics, electronics as well as medicine to translate their knowledge towards a rapid, lable-free and non-invasive tissue diagnosis based on wide-field Raman imaging for an ex-vivo but in the long-term in-vivo optical pathology. This approach offers the possibility to augment standard intraoperative clinical tissue assessment with functional Raman images to highlight tumour boundaries.

Period: 1. June 2016 – 31. May 2019


Relationship lenders and unorthodox monetary policy: Investment, employment, and resource reallocation effects

Halle Institute for Economic Research – Member of the Leibniz Association (IWH)

We combine a number of unique and proprietary data sources to measure the impact of relationship lenders and unconventional monetary policy during and after the European sovereign debt crisis on the real economy. Establishing systematic links between different research data centers (“Forschungsdatenzentren”, FDZ) and central banks with detailed micro-level information on both financial and real activity is the stand-alone proposition of our proposal. The main objective is to permit the identification of causal effects, or their absence, regarding which policies were conducive to mitigate financial shocks and stimulate real economic activities, such as employment, investment, or the closure of plants.

Period: 1. July 2016 – 30. June 2020


Worker flows, match quality and productivity – Evidence from European micro data

Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Essen

The project aims at analysing the influence of worker flows on productivity through the channels of worker reallocation and worker-firm match quality, and at studying the determinants of worker flows and match quality. In order to do so, we analyse worker flows between and within regions and industries for a large number of European countries, and examine the importance of match quality for productivity and wage differentials for two case study countries using linked employer-employee data. A specific focus is on the role of labour market institutions in this context. Finally, a theoretical analysis computes the potential gains from reducing costs of worker mobility.

Period: 1. January 2016 – 30. September 2019


Identifying the genomic loci underlying mammalian phenotypic variability using Forward Genomics with Semantic Phenotypes

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN), Frankfurt am Main

Mammalian species such as primates, wales, or bats exhibit various differences in their morphology, anatomy, or physiology. However, it is largely unknown which loci in the genome are responsible for these different characteristics. In order to address this question we explore currently available mammalian genomes using the novel concept of Forward Genomics. We aim at identifying genomic loci that explain the independent change of skeletal and visceral traits in mammalian species. Identifying and functionally characterizing such loci will not only deepen our understanding of evolutionary processes but is also expected to unravel genomic causes responsible for human organ function. Our scientific network brings together scientists from very different disciplines such as mammalian biology, evolution, phylogeny, bioinformatics, and molecular biology.

Period: 1. July 2016 – 30. June 2019


Marine biological production, organic aerosol particles and marine clouds: a Process Chain (MarParCloud)

Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig

Within the project MarParCloud a compact network consisting of the TROPOS, the ZMT, the IOW and the Universities of Oldenburg and Hamburg will be built. The aim of this network is to investigate the entire process chain of biological production of organic matter in the oceans, the export of organic matter to marine aerosol particles and finally their abilities to act as cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei. Tank experiments and laboratory studies will be performed at the marine experimental facility of the ZMT and in the seawater outdoor tanks at the ICBM. Furthermore, a comprehensive field campaign will take place at the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO). The modeling in MarParCloud will incorporate the experimental results and derived parameterisations in a process model that will be used beyond the project.

Period: 1. May 2016 – 31. October 2019


Overcoming language barriers - Cross-lingual search of bibliographic metadata

Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID), Trier

There is an ongoing debate on whether scientific and professional communication should be based on a lingua franca like English or whether national languages should also play a role. In psychology, the multilingual information system PubPsych is used to investigate the added value of machine aided access to descriptions of research resources in languages that users normally don’t understand. This project aims at providing empirical evidence about this important query evaluating different machine translation approaches: Query translation, translation of the information systems’ text corpora, cross-lingual thesaurus mapping and English as a pivot language.

Period: 1. July 2016 – 30. June 2019

Project Website