Press releases – November 2021

Whether it is new and groundbreaking research results, university topics or events – in our press releases you can find everything you need to know about the happenings at Goethe University. To subscribe, just send an email to

Goethe University PR & Communication Department 

Theodor-W.-Adorno Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt


Nov 25 2021

New publication on the proceedings of an important conference at the Institute for Law and Finance 

Green banking – the perspective of politics, banks and investors

Everyone is talking about green banking – and were too at the recent global climate conference in Glasgow. But to what extent are economic concepts really forward-looking and green? A book published by the Institute for Law and Finance at Goethe University looks at this question.

FRANKFURT. “Green Banking and Green Central Banking: What are the right concepts?" This is the title of a book in English that has now appeared as the ninth in the series Future of the Financial Sector – to coincide with the debates at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, which ended last Friday. Green banking was a hot topic at the conference, known internationally as COP26.

The book, published by De Gruyter, Berlin, comprises papers presented at a conference held by the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) of Goethe University in January 2021 that dealt with questions related to green banking and green central banking. Over 1,000 people took part online in this conference. The book, edited by Andreas Dombret and Patrick Kenadjian, contains the opening address on the topic of climate change and central banking by Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, and remarks by Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, on the role central bankers should play in combating climate change. Further distinguished authors include senior policy makers, bankers and investors, among others Günther Bräunig, CEO of KfW Bankengruppe; Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB); Wiebe Draijer, Chairman of the Managing Board, Rabobank; Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank; Jose Manuel Campa, Chairman of the European Banking Authority; John Berrigan, Director General, DG Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA), European Commission; and Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at Germany's Federal Ministry of Finance. They write about the tasks that their institutions could assume in the battle against climate change.

Publication: Green Banking and Green Central Banking: Andreas Dombret and Patrick S. Kenadjian (eds.), Vol. 24, Institute for Law and Finance Series, De Gruyter, English, 2021, PDF & EPUB ISBN: 9783110752892, €69.95, bound edition ISBN: 9783110752878, €69.95.

Picture to download:

Caption: The book on the proceedings of the conference in the ILF Series (Vol. 24) published by De Gruyter.

The ILF conference took place on 25 January 2021. Further details on the speakers and the contents of the conference can be found under the following link: 

Further information:
Dr Rolf Friedewald, Managing Director
Institute for Law and Finance
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
60323 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49(0)69-798-33626

Editor: Dr. Anke Sauter, Science Editor, PR & Communication Department, Tel.: +49 69 798-13066, Fax +49 69 798-763-12531,  


Nov 12 2021

Goethe University and Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies agree on closer collaboration in new cooperation agreement

Joining Forces in the Theoretical Natural Sciences

Starting next year, Goethe University and the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) will intensify and expand joint research projects and the exchange of scientific knowledge. A new cooperation agreement has laid the legal foundations for this. The contract was signed yesterday, on November 11th.

FRANKFURT. Interdisciplinary basic research in the natural sciences, life sciences, neurosciences, and computer sciences - in these areas Goethe University and FIAS have been collaborating since the research institutes foundation in 2003. The new contract will allow for easier coordination of existing projects and the start of new projects.

"The contract will give us the freedom to conduct even more interdisciplinary research and to design our projects complementary to the questions of the two partners," University President Prof. Dr. Enrico Schleiff said at the signing of the contract yesterday evening. "However, it is important for us that FIAS is now closely linked with the university's natural science departments. For example, a project at FIAS can now also be applied for through the university."

"Even though FIAS acts autonomously and independently, there have of course always been close ties between the two institutions. We are looking forward to strengthening and structurally anchoring this cooperation now," said Prof. Dr. Volker Lindenstruth, Chairman of the Board of FIAS. He signed the cooperation agreement together with his board colleague Dr. Rolf Bernhardt.

For example, it is planned to jointly develop technical and content-related topics of high-performance computing in the natural and life sciences within the framework of the Center for Scientific Computing (CSC); only recently, Goethe University was accepted into the national network for high-performance computing. Another goal is to intensify cooperation in the life sciences: for example, researchers are already cooperating on the LOEWE focus on multi-scale modeling (CMMS), which aims to quantify complex biological systems, and the cluster project ENABLE, which is investigating the internal balance of cells (homeostasis), to help develop novel drugs for inflammation and infection diseases. Thus, FIAS will be involved in preparing the future Excellence Initiative of the Federal Government.

In addition to funding ongoing projects, Goethe University has also developed a fellowship program to support its researchers in starting new projects with FIAS. In this way, researchers get the opportunity to devote themselves to new creative and interdisciplinary approaches to their research at FIAS during a sabbatical.

About 80 scientists work at FIAS, and several fellows also conduct research and teaching at Goethe University. The two institutions also work together to promote young researchers; at the Frankfurt Graduate School for Science (FIGSS) at FIAS and the program to support doctoral students at the GRADE Center iQbio at Goethe University. 

Goethe University established FIAS in 2003 as a foundation under civil law. Since then, FIAS has been promoting science in interdisciplinary, theoretical basic research in the natural and life sciences. In doing so, it operates as an ambitious, independent scientific institution. At the same time, FIAS is a hub for research activities at Goethe University and at various surrounding research institutions and thus will be essential for the preparation of the next Excellence Initiative.

Images to download:

Caption: Goethe University and Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies agree on closer collaboration in new cooperation agreement: Goethe University President Prof. Dr. Enrico Schleiff (2. from the left) and the chairmen of the board of FIAS, Prof. Dr. Volker Lindenstruth (left) and Dr. Rolf Bernhardt, after signing the contract (Picture: Sälzer/FIAS)

Further information
Prof. Dr. Volker Lindenstruth
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics
069 798 47688

Editor: Pia Barth, PR & Communication Department, Tel: +49(0)69 798-12481, Fax  +49(0)69 798-761 12531,


Nov 9 2021

International research team shows long-range effect of bacterial metabolites for the first time

By capsule through the bloodstream: How intestinal bacteria communicate with the body

Bacteria in the intestine pack a wide spectrum of their biomolecules into small capsules. These are transported via the bloodstream to various organs in the body and even absorbed and processed by nerve cells in the brain. This has now been shown for the first time by a team of researchers from Goethe University, FAU (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and the University of California in San Francisco. The newly established research method will help to better understand the influence of intestinal bacteria on diseases and could support the development of innovative forms of drug or vaccine delivery.

FRANKFURT.  In the human body, bacteria are in the majority: According to estimates, there are 1.3 bacterial cells for each human cell. Our bacteria are correspondingly superior to us in their genetic diversity. All intestinal bacteria together – the intestine's microbiome – have 150 times as many genes as humans. The intestinal bacteria's metabolic products have a variety of effects on our body: For example, they train our immune cells and contribute to their maturation, they control metabolic processes in the body and how often intestinal mucosa cells renew themselves. It is highly probable that changes in the microbiome's composition contribute to the development and course of diseases, e.g. neurological disorders or cancer.

The bacterial metabolites act on the cells of the intestinal mucosa via direct contact. However, how such bacterial substances travel to peripheral organs, such as the liver, kidney or brain, had not yet been explained. It was assumed that small capsules (membrane vesicles), released by bacteria into their environment during normal growth or as a reaction to stress and filled with bacterial lipids, proteins or also hereditary RNA molecules, were the means of transport.

An international research team led by Dr Stefan Momma from the Neuroscience Centre of Goethe University, Professor Claudia Günther from FAU (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Professor Robert Raffai from the University of California has now investigated in mice how bacteria distribute their metabolic products in such vesicles. For this purpose, the researchers colonized the intestines of mice with E. coli bacteria, which produced a specific type of gene scissors (Cre) and released these into their environment via vesicles. The mice cells contained a gene for a red fluorescent protein, which could be activated by the Cre gene scissors (Cre/LoxP system).

The result: In the subsequent examination of the mouse tissue, the bacterial vesicles had been absorbed by individual cells in the intestine, liver, spleen, heart and kidneys as well as by immune cells. Consequently, functional Cre contained in the vesicles could enter the cells and lead to the expression of the red marker protein. Even individual nerve cells in the brain glowed red. Stefan Momma: “Particularly impressive is the fact that the bacteria's vesicles can also overcome the blood-brain barrier and in this way enter the brain – which is otherwise more or less hermetically sealed. And that the bioactive bacterial substances were absorbed by stem cells in the intestinal mucosa shows us that intestinal bacteria can possibly even permanently change its properties."

The fluorescence images indicate, says Momma, that the vesicles were probably distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. “The further study of these communication pathways from the bacterial kingdom to individual mammalian cells will not only improve our understanding of conditions such as autoimmune diseases or cancer, in which the microbiome quite obviously plays a significant role. Such vesicles are also extremely interesting as a new method to deliver drugs or develop vaccines, or as biomarkers that point to a pathological change in the microbiome."

Publication: Miriam Bittel, Patrick Reichert, Ilann Sarfati, Anja Dressel, Stefanie Leikam, Stefan Uderhardt, Iris Stolzer, Tuan Anh Phu, Martin Ng, Ngan K. Vu, Stefan Tenzer, Ute Distler, Stefan Wirtz, Veit Rothhammer, Markus F. Neurath, Robert L. Raffai, Claudia Günther, Stefan Momma: Visualizing transfer of microbial biomolecules by outer membrane vesicles in microbe-host-communication in vivo. J Extracell Vesicles 2021 Oct;10(12):e12159

Pictures to download:  

Caption: In the brain of the transgenic mouse, two nerve cells glow red because they have absorbed membrane vesicles containing functional protein from intestinal bacteria. Blue: nuclei of the other cells in the brain tissue. (Photo: Stefan Momma)

Further information:
Dr Stefan Momma
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Institute of Neurology (Edinger Institute)
Neuroscience Centre
Tel.: +49 (0) 69 6301-84158

Editor: Dr. Markus Bernards, Science Editor, PR & Communication Department, Tel: -49 (0) 69 798-12498, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531, E-Mail: