Funding of € 4.2 Million for Medical Diagnostics and Food Quality Control

Prime Minister Daniel Günther delivered the good news of an award to acquire the latest generation equipment for NMR metabolomics.

The Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, conveyed the good news to our Universität zu Lübeck – an award of € 4.2 million for metabolomics. This funding falls under the state’s economic program to expand the research infrastructure across Schleswig-Holstein. During the award ceremony on 16 January 2019, held at our university’s Centre of Brain, Behaviour and Metabolism (CBBM), the project scientists transmitted a live demo in the lab showing the new device’s functions and capabilities. The scientists also identified the molecular components of Rotspon, a regional wine, given to the Minister President. There was also another bottle of wine from grapes grown on the campus in the exceptional year of 2018. The metabolome encompasses the complete set of metabolites in an organism or cell. Less than 10% of molecules comprising the metabolome are known. The associated research project on metabolomics is based in our Universität zu Lübeck’s Institute for Chemistry and Metabolomics, under the directorship of Prof. Dr Thomas Peters. The new analysis device uses NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and is considered the best available technology for metabolomics. Ms Barbara Richer, M.Sc., ran the lab experiment with the superconductor magnets in the 600 MHz device. A new chair for metabolomics will be appointed at our university. Big impact for the food and healthcare industry
Metabolomics is not only of great significance for the fundamentals of science, but also for the food and healthcare industry. Close links exist between the Institute for Nutritional Medicine at our university and the joint Cluster of Excellence for Precision Medicine and Inflammation Research, under the direction of the University of Kiel and the Borstel Research Centre. Regional food and healthcare companies are already cooperating closely. Among these is foodRegio, which represents relevant companies and institutions in Schleswig-Holstein. foodRegio, a driving force worthy of mention, has Prof. Dr Björn P. Jacobsen on its board, who stated, “foodRegio helps universities and research institutions in Lübeck to boost their profiles in their effort to set up a centre of excellence for nutritional sciences in Northern Europe. This Lübeck partnership covers the entire value-added chain, unlike anywhere else. Hence, companies can interact directly on aspects spanning basic research to applications.” Research discovers new perspectives at the crossroads of medicine, informatics and natural sciences. Connecting metabolomics with structural biology offers a totally new view of infectious diseases. This gives us the ability to do more precise research into the main impact of metabolism in the microbiome of our intestinal tract and the course of bacterial and viral infections. Applications call for close dealings with neighbouring technical universities and the Fraunhofer Research Institute for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Engineering in Lübeck. Prof. Thomas Peters explains: “Following establishment of this scale of a NMR metabolomics platform, science and industry can now meet at different levels in totally new ways. I personally hope that by integrating NMR metabolomics into modern structural biology processes, we can delve much deeper into how to control viral and the bacterial infections.” Even students at our university, many of whom were present for the award ceremony, will benefit from the facility – with the option to specialise in new majors that will arise especially in the Molecular Life Science and Medical Nutrition Science degree programmes. The state’s economic program LPW bundles EU funding over the 2014–20 period from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the joint task force of the federal & state programme entitled “Improving the Regional Economic Infrastructure” (GRW), and the state funding programme to promote the economy in Schleswig-Holstein and its regional policy. For more information, please visit:

Prime Minister Daniel Günther (right) hands over the award to Prof. Thomas Peters (Picture: Olaf Malzahn / Universität zu Lübeck)