International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity

The IMPRS-IDI is a vibrant international doctoral program with about 70 doctoral students from more than 20 different countries. We offer outstanding training and support in an excellent scientific network. Our faculty members are affiliated with internationally renowned research institutes in Berlin as well as the Berlin universities. Our mission is to develop students into creative and critical, responsible and self-confident young researchers. As a basis for this, we strive to provide excellent training supporting projects analyzing the genetic, biochemical and organismal basis of infections and immune reactions.

Current challenges

Our understanding of infections and their interplay with other disease entities like cancer, neurological and metabolic disorders has progressed significantly over the last decades. However, we are experiencing that many relevant infectious diseases are far from being eradicated. The opposite is the case: resistance to antimicrobials (in man and livestock), lack of efficient vaccines and therapies for major global health threats along with evolution of new pathogen variants lead to emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases of sometimes epidemic dimensions. On the other hand, our immune system is ever more likely to “go rogue” ­– as autoimmune disorders and allergies which are associated with a modern lifestyle are on the rise.

The IMPRS-IDI sets out to support the next generation of researchers in addressing these challenges. In their projects, the IMPRS-IDI doctoral students aim to explain the genetic, biochemical and organismal basis of infections and immune reactions. The projects are in the areas of pathogenity mechanisms, pathogen-host interactions, pathogen-host co-evolution, chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, development and differentiation of immune cells.

An excellent Network

Our graduate program is part of a wider network of graduate schools in the areas of infectious diseases, (chronic) inflammation und immunity that collaborate under the umbrella “ZIBI Graduate School Berlin”. This strong and actively cooperating community provides a truly interdisciplinary framework for the doctoral students. To foster scientific exchange and to expose the students to a wide variety of research fields, we organize joint events – including a monthly “Students´ Day” or the annual ZIBI retreat. On top of this, the doctoral students form a great community from which exciting ideas and activities emerge. A highlight is the yearly Science-Ethics-Politics-Day, a symposium on the interfaces of science and society, organized by students for students.

The IMPRS-IDI was founded in 2006 as a joint initiative of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). Our members are affiliated with several internationally leading research institutions in Berlin, including the Freie Universität Berlin mainly the Veterinary Medicine, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the German Rheumatology Research Center (DRFZ), the Robert Koch Institute, and the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

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