Research Groups


Frankfurt scientists win funding for a LOEWE research cluster on multi-scale modelling in the life sciences

June 2019. Organisms are incredibly complex and dynamic, especially at the cellular and molecular level. Only mathematical modelling will help us to fully understand how such biological systems function and why certain diseases occur.

How can complex biological systems be described theoretically and how can their functions be precisely predicted? New developments in computer technologies are enabling scientists to start building models of highly dynamic biological systems. To progress in this area they require quantitative assessments of the properties of these systems on different scales rather than just isolated snapshots. The new LOEWE research cluster 'CMMS – Multi-Scale Modelling in the Life Sciences' in Frankfurt will contribute to closing this gap.

CMMS will foster approaches connecting theoretical and experimental work as well as developing theoretical tools for modelling in the life sciences. The new cluster will develop novel approaches to data organization and algorithms in order to enable a quantitative recording of the properties of biological systems on different scales using mathematical models. The generated computer models will be verified by experiments and will help to understand the functioning of organisms and to develop medical treatments and biotechnological applications.

CMMS is headed by the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) and partners include several research groups from the BMLS, the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics and the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. All partners are located on Riedberg campus of Goethe University in Frankfurt. CMMS will also establish a graduate programme. As announced by the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts, CMMS will receive a total of 4.5 million euros as part of the LOEWE research funding programme until the end of 2023 (link).

"We are very proud and happy about this positive news, and look forward to establishing a new, future-oriented research direction in Frankfurt with this exciting project from 2020 together with our colleagues from the neighbouring faculties of the Goethe University and the Max Planck Institutes," says the coordinator of CMMS, Volker Lindenstruth. "In order to give this project the right impetus for a successful start, four junior research groups in this area are to be announced this year and filled at the beginning of 2020," adds BMLS Director Enrico Schleiff.

The acronym LOEWE stands for State Initiative for the Development of Scientific and Economic Excellence, an initiative that was founded by the state of Hessen in 2008. Hessen’s state government regards the promotion of higher education and research as an important investment in the future (link). LOEWE supports universities and non-university research institutions in Hessen in achieving and implementing their strategic objectives and promotes outstanding joint research initiatives. More...

Enrico Schleiff, Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, schleiff(at)