Kieler Wirkstoff-Zentrum at GEOMAR


GEOMAR is one of the leading institutes of marine sciences in Europe.
The Center for Marine Natural Product Research (KiWiZ) at GEOMAR
focusses on the identification of new natural products from marine
microorganism and the evaluation of their potential for applications in
medicine, cosmetics, agriculture and food products. For this purpose large collections of both marine bacteria and marine fungi are maintained.

In addition, the microbial diversity of promising marine habitats in particular associated to marine invertebrates and algae are studied and bacteria and fungi isolated thereof. Secondary metabolite production is studied under a variety of metabolic conditions and stimulated experimentally to enlarge the metabolite profile of fungal strains.

The expertise of IGEOMAR includes all culture techniques for marine fungi and bacteria up to 250 Liter scale, isolation and molecular identification of microorganisms, functional gene analysis, physiological experiments to specifically trigger and optimize secondary metabolite production, chemical analysis of the cell extracts and identification of their chemical structures (HPLC-UV/MS, HPLC/MS-MS, FCPC, NMR) and bioassays (antibacterial, antifungal, antiproliferative) to determine the application potential of metabolites.

The KiWiZ in Kiel was supported by finances from the European fonds for regional development (EFRE). It is currently engaged in a project to build up a substance library of metabolites from marine microorganism financed by regional funds in cooperation with the European Screening Port. GEOMAR has successfully coordinated a number of EC projects and harbours an EC coordination office. Prof. Johannes F. Imhoff is the coordinator of MARINE FUNGI.


PI contact: Prof. Johannes Imhoff  jimhoff(@)

                 Dr. Antje Labes  alabes(@),

Young Scientists at KiWiZ


Johanna Silber

2003 – 2009    Study of biology at the University of Rostock, Germany,
                        with specialization in microbiology, biochemistry and immunology

2006 – 2007    Practical internship at the Heriot-Watt University and
                        Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, UK,
                        with focus on the galactose metabolism in Clostridium acetobutylicum

2009                Diploma thesis on "Stimulation and chemical analysis of secondary
                        metabolite production in marine fungi" at the University of Rostock and the KIWIZ

2009                Award of the department of mathematical sciences at the University
                        of Rostock for the best student of the institute of biology in the years 2008/2009

Since 2009      Doctoral thesis on natural products of fungi at the GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel University

Role within the MF-project:

Search for novel cytotoxic natural products from marine fungi, including:
-    cultivation and characterization of fungi
-    analytics, isolation and structure elucidation of natural products

"I investigate marine fungi because they are a rich source for natural products, little is known about them, and last but not least they are beautiful and fascinating organisms."