Research for global health

[Translate to English:] .

Combating and controlling infections

BNITM aims to make a significant contribution to the fight against and control of infections.

[Translate to English:] .

Innovative training

Innovative training is key to future research collaboration

[Translate to English:] .

Tropical Diseases

Tropical diseases are treated on the basis of the latest research results

[Translate to English:] .

Modern techniques

Modern techniques in clinical trials bring new insights into tropical diseases

Infections are a major cause of illness and death worldwide. Particularly in countries of the Global South, they can lead to disability, stigmatisation and poverty. We strive to make a significant contribution to combating and controlling infections through our research. In order to achieve this goal, we hold the people as the focus of our research and regularly adapt our research strategy to new technological developments.

In this we apply a two-pronged approach, utilising the latest innovative technologies to investigate infections and immune responses in humans, while also maintaining a focus on the environmental and social conditions as important factors for global well-being.

Three strategic topics


Our guidelines

Two friendly people talking while walking on a staircase.
  • Researching excellently

One of the main tasks of the BNITM is to conduct qualified research in the field of tropical medicine. This is to be supported by scientific events, teaching, training and further education as well as advice and care in the fields of infectious and tropical medicine.

To this end, we pursue an integrative approach and see cooperation as a central building block for our research success. In addition, we rely on continuous internal and external quality control and regularly adapt our research focuses and methods.

Ongoing optimisation of our infrastructure, systems, processes and quality is of course important to us. To this end, we make bureaucratic processes as lean and flexible as possible.


  • Sharing and applying knowledge

Our scientific data and results are public, transparent and accessible free of charge. From our point of view, this offers an opportunity to make the most of their potential. In addition, we are in contact with industry in order to make the best possible use of the knowledge we generate and to transfer it into useful applications.

We also report on our research in a generally understandable manner, participate in public discussions and open our house to all sections of the population with various events. We regard our long history and high profile as both an opportunity and an obligation.


  • Support employees and students

In order to achieve our ambitious goals, we need outstanding and motivated employees. For this reason, we give every employee the opportunity to fully exploit their own potential through specific further training and individualised support services, and by ensuring relevant framework conditions. We prepare our students and young scientists in the best possible way for their future careers. To this end, we reflect on and optimise our understanding of leadership.

Especially employees with families often face special challenges in science in order to balance career and family. This makes it all the more important for us at BNITM to provide the best possible individual solutions. We are convinced that science and society benefit from diversity and are committed to the goals of equality, diversity and internationalisation.

  • Setting ethical standards

Our research shall exclusively serve humane and peaceful purposes. We therefore protect ourselves against the misuse of our research. We also fully respect the rights of countries and patients to their biological resources. We avoid or minimise any negative effects of our research on people, society and the environment. With our work we are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


  • Achieving goals together

Our goal is clear: We want to conduct relevant and excellent research. To achieve this, we rely on a trustworthy and reliable partnership with national and international research institutions and organisations. We focus our cooperation on sustainable success for the benefit of all parties involved.

We are committed to a strong regional research environment and recruit excellent scientists through competitive processes. In addition, we create additional infrastructures and sharpen the profiles of Hamburg as a location for science.

We rely on a global alumni network consisting of former BNITM employees and participants of BNITM training events. In this way, we facilitate cooperation and increase the visibility of the BNITM.

Collegial cooperation at the BNITM contributes significantly to our success. We promote this by valuing in-house collaborations, creating opportunities for regular scientific exchange and developing goals together with our employees. We advocate a sustainable  organisational structure solution that will ensure that the BNITM will continue to be maintained as a unit at one location.


Strategie im Wandel

"Wir forschen in einer sich schnell ändernden Welt. Bevölkerungsentwicklung, Klimawandel und technischer Fortschritt beeinflussen unsere Arbeit maßgeblich und dauerhaft. Regelmäßige Anpassungen der Forschungsstrategie sind daher Grundvoraussetzung, um weiter erfolgreich unsere Ziele verfolgen zu können."

Globale Gesundheit ist eine entscheidende Grundlage für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, soziale Gerechtigkeit und Frieden. Dieses Wissen spornt uns an.

[Translate to English:] Kind das auf einem rosa Fahrrad sitzt, welches noch von einem erwachsenen stabilisiert wird.


Dr. Eleonora Schönherr: a woman with shoulder-length dark hair and a lilac-coloured top stands in a glass passageway.
Science Officer

Dr Eleonora Schoenherr

phone: +49 40 285380-269

fax: +49 40 285380-265


Executive Assistant to the Board

Dr Anneke Novak-Funk

phone: +49 40 285380-266