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German Research Foundation: Axel Brakhage re-elected Vice President

The re-elected Vice President of the DFG, Prof Dr Axel A. Brakhage. (Source: Anna Schroll/Leibniz-HKI)
The re-elected Vice President of the DFG, Prof Dr Axel A. Brakhage. (Source: Anna Schroll/Leibniz-HKI)

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has confirmed Prof. Dr Axel Brakhage as Vice President by a large majority at its annual General Assembly in Potsdam on 3 July 2024. The microbiologist and infection researcher will therefore remain on the Executive Committee of Germany's largest research funding organisation and central self-governing institution for science for a further four-year term.

Axel Brakhage has been Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute since 2004. He researches the infection biology of human pathogenic fungi and the fundamentals of microbial communication as a source of new microbial agents, particularly antibiotics.

During his scientific career, Brakhage was always very closely associated with the DFG in various functions. Initially, he initiated and led various DFG-funded research projects, including the Priority Programme on human pathogenic fungi. This was so successful that the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio (SFB/TR) 124 FungiNet was established in 2013 as a collaboration between the Universities of Jena and Würzburg, of which Brakhage is the spokesperson. Together with scientists from Jena, he was the spokesperson for the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) in 2007. Together with other Collaborative Research Centres in Jena, the JSMC and the SFB/TR FungiNet formed the basis for successfully acquiring the Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse at the University of Jena, which he headed as spokesperson until 2022..

Brakhage also acted as a reviewer in DFG funding programmes and was elected to the DFG Review Board for Microbiology, Immunology and Virology in 2008, serving as its spokesperson during his second term of office. In 2020, the DFG members elected him Vice President for the first time. In this role, he is particularly committed to sustainability in research and the development of research collaborations with China. As an expert in animal testing and genetic engineering, he also contributes to fact-based political decision-making.

With the current election, engineering scientist Professor Dr Hans Hasse (RPTU Kaiserslautern) was also confirmed as Vice President of the German Research Foundation together with Axel Brakhage.

The members of the DFG Executive Committee