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Franziska Fay was appointed Junior Professor of Political Anthropology at JGU in April 2021. (© private)POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Disciplined empathy as an important tool in highly political times

For over a decade, Franziska Fay conducted research on the Zanzibar Archipelago. There she worked with child protection organizations, children in primary and Koranic schools, was a guest lecturer at Zanzibar University, and advised international aid organizations. After completing degrees in Frankfurt and London, she was appointed Junior Professor of Political Anthropology at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in 2021.


The search for causes of neurodegenerative diseases

In spring 2021, the Faculty of Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) was lucky to acquire a specialist in the field of neurodegenerative disorders – Professor Dorothee Dormann. A cell biologist and biochemist by training, she is an expert in identifying the molecular processes that underlie conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and has already won several awards for her research.


Powerful technologies may help overcome future challenges

How will the field of artificial intelligence (AI) develop in the coming years? What sort of risks, what chances will open up? Professor Stefan Kramer of the Institute of Computer Science at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is to find answers to these questions – in an interdisciplinary research project in which he and his colleagues will investigate core aspects of AI over the next six years.

Biochemist Professor Ute Hellmich and her team, among them Eric Schwegler, are developing new therapeutic approaches to treat various neglected tropical diseases. (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)BIOCHEMISTRY

Giving more attention to neglected tropical diseases

More than one billion people worldwide suffer from devastating tropical illnesses that to date have been insufficiently researched. Biochemist Professor Ute Hellmich is exploring new ways in which these neglected diseases can be treated. Her research group employs a structural biological approach, concentrating on three closely-related parasites that causes Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, and leishmaniasis.

Her time at Mainz University had a decisive influence on Gutenberg Alumna Maria Böhmer in many topic areas that are still close to her heart today. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)GUTENBERG ALUMNI

The never-ending story of equal rights

She was the first State Commissioner for Women in Rhineland-Palatinate and the first politician of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to be appointed Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration. She made important contributions as a Minister of State in the cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and in the Federal Foreign Office, acted as National Chairwoman of the Frauenunion, the CDU's women's organization, and today is President of the German Commission for UNESCO. From her years at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), where she started studying in 1968, she has taken with her important impulses for her later public offices and tasks.


A minor subject with major themes

The division of Turkic Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is in a period of transition. A second professor is currently being recruited, and new, independent degree courses will soon be launched. Professor Julian Rentzsch, who was appointed to Mainz University in 2017, is structuring and supervising this process.


Searching for effective ways to diagnose non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Around 20 million people in Germany suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It can cause severe inflammation, cirrhosis of the liver, and even cancer. At present, there is no simple technique to detect NAFLD reliably at an early stage. But this is essential for the development of appropriate new drugs and therapies. The LITMUS research project seeks to make a major contribution in this field: Involving an international consortium, with the Mainz University Medical Center being a key player, the LITMUS network is developing biomarkers that open up new horizons.


How flies and humans see the world

Professor Marion Silies joined the Faculty of Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in early 2019. Here she has been investigating the organization and function of circuits in the visual system of the fruit fly. Her work has already earned her numerous awards.

Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Schild (r.) und Prof. Dr. Tobias Bopp leiten den Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 1292 "Gezielte Beeinflussung von konvergierenden Mechanismen ineffizienter Immunität bei Tumorerkrankungen und chronischen Infektionen" seit 2017. (Foto: Stefan F. Sämmer)IMMUNOLOGY

Tumors and chronic diseases outsmart the immune system

For decades, researchers at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have been doing outstanding work in the field of immunology. In 2017, their work was further enhanced through the establishment of the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 1292 on "Targeted influencing of the convergent mechanisms of ineffective immunity in cancer and chronic infections". The German Research Foundation (DFG) agreed to fund it to the tune of EUR 9.7 million for an initial period of four years.

Seit zehn Jahren übertragen Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzer am Germersheimer Fachbereich Translations-, Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft (FTSK) Werke aus dem Deutschen ins Arabische. (Foto: Britta Hoff) TRANSLATION

German literature is popular in the Arab World

The year 2019 marks a decade of collaboration between Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Kalima section of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi. Together they are working on translating works of German literature into Arabic. A pool of translators was established at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies (FSTK) in Germersheim, and 142 titles have been successfully produced since then.


German-Polish success stories

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has a long tradition of contact and exchange with Poland. For decades now there have been close connections with a number of Polish universities. Groundbreaking collaborations and the unique JGU Poland Fellowship are examples of the special relationship with this European neighbor. Adam Seredynski came to Mainz in 2006 as part of a double degree program between SGH Warsaw and JGU – and he ended up staying a bit longer than expected.

Doris Prechel und Frank Maas präsentierten in der Ausstellung "Bringing the Past to Light" die ersten Ergebnisse ihrer interdisziplinären Kooperation. (Foto: Peter Pulkowski) BRINGING THE PAST TO LIGHT

Nuclear physics and cuneiform studies working hand in hand

Doris Prechel, Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Philology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), and Professor Frank Maas of the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) have teamed up to throw light on the past. With the help of state-of-the-art analytical devices developed for use in physics, they are busy deciphering thousand-year-old cuneiform tablets. The two researchers now presented the initial results of their cooperation in an exhibition.

Arthur Schopenhauer's main work was published 200 years ago. (photo: Peter Pulkowski) SCHOPENHAUER RESEARCH CENTER

A philosopher not suitable for a university curriculum?

For a long time, it was the only academic institution at a German university dedicated to the study of Arthur Schopenhauer and today it is still the best place to go for anyone wanting to know more about the philosopher. The Schopenhauer Research Center was founded in 2001 by Professor Matthias Koßler at the Philosophy Department of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). 

Seit 2014 organisiert die Studenteninitiative Cross Borders am Fachbereich Translations-, Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft (FTSK) Sprachkurse und Freizeitangebote für Flüchtlinge. (Foto: Birgit Hoff) CROSS BORDERS

Student project supports refugees

In 2014, students of the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies at JGU's Germersheim campus founded the Cross Borders project. The idea was to use language courses and a variety of recreational activities to help refugees find their way in Germany. Over the years to come there were a number of changes, but the core idea remained: Cross Borders sees itself as a student project that is not only for refugees but also aims to involve them.


Artificial intelligence as reviewer, text to speech reader – and author?

At the beginning of the year, Professor Christoph Bläsi hosted the 14th Mainz Colloquium on te topic of Artificial Intelligence in the Book World – Machines as editors, Machines as Readers? at the Gutenberg Institute for World Literature and Written Media of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).  We talked with Professor Bläsi and learned what is currently feasible in the field of Book Studies and where it might be heading in the future.


When fatal stabbing becomes a scientific experiment

In 2017, Stefan Axmann came to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Mainz University Medical Center to establish a forensic physics department. It attracted a lot of attention from the media at the time, which was keen to report on the new facility, the first of its kind in Germany. The physicist himself likes to talk about his enthusiasm for his work and explains how he ended up in Mainz.


New religious research network

Twelve renowned European institutions are participating in the EU project "Research Infrastructure on Religious Studies" (ReIReS). Its aim is to promote and network the exchange of religious knowledge and research. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is part of the cooperation. Talmud expert Leor Jacobi from Israel will use his ReIReS scholarship to investigate the Yom Kippur ritual of the medieval Jewish community in Mainz.


"Research always involves a major biographical aspect"

Veronika Cummings was appointed Professor of Human Geography at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in 2017. Her current research focuses on social, cultural, and political aspects of migration. In these fields she can also draw from the experiences and insights  she collected during her time in Singapore and the Sultanate of Oman – and on her return to Germany.

 Gutenberg alumnus Benjamin Eberhardt is currently living and undertaking research at the South Pole for a whole 12 months. (photo/©: Raffaela Busse, NSF)GUTENBERG ALUMNI

A long winter in Antarctica

Physicist Dr. Benjamin Eberhardt from Mainz will be living and conducting research at the South Pole for an entire year. Together with his colleague Dr. Kathrin Mallot, he is overseeing the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. The observatory is operated by an international consortium in which Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is a major participant.

Dr. Klaudia Dombrowsky-Hahn (l.) of Goethe University and Dr. Sabine Littig of JGU are implementing the new research project "Africans in the Rhine-Main region". (photo: Peter Pulkowski)AFRICAN LINGUISTICS

Pilot project on linguistic integration and strategies of language acquisition

The Department of Anthropology and African Studies of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Institute of African Studies of Goethe University Frankfurt initiated the joint pilot project "Africans in the Rhine-Main region" in early 2019. It is dedicated to the currently much-debated sociopolitical issue of linguistic integration. The Rhine-Main Universities (RMU) Initiative Funding for Research finances this partnership undertaking.

Professor Atoosa Meseck was appointed Professor of Accelerator Physics – Collective Effects and Nonlinear Beam Dynamics at Mainz University in September 2018. (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) NUCLEAR PHYSICS

New professor in accelerator physics

In September 2018, Professor Atoosa Meseck was appointed Professor of Accelerator Physics – Collective Effects and Nonlinear Beam Dynamics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The professorship was instituted in cooperation with the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), where Meseck is researching into novel concepts for particle accelerators. One particular class of components, known as undulators, feature prominently in her work.

Professor Peter Baumann is one of the world's leading cell biologists and chromosome researchers. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT PROFESSORSHIP

Highest endowed German research award brings world-class biologist to Mainz University

He is a world-leading cell biologist and chromosome researcher and recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, the most highly-endowed research award in Germany: Professor Peter Baumann. In 2017, Baumann left the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Kansas City in the USA and moved to Germany to work at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), where he supports the strategic realignment and expansion of the life sciences disciplines.

Professor Jairo Sinova has set up new research infrastructures in the area of ​​spintronics at Mainz University. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)SPINTRONICS

"We need to get out of our comfort zone"

Professor Jairo Sinova came from Texas A&M University to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in 2014 to take up an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. He is one of the world's leading researchers in the field of spintronics and has already set-up the Spin Phenomena Interdisciplinary Center (SPICE) and the Interdisciplinary Spintronics Research (INSPIRE Group) at Mainz University.

Professor Martina Schrader-Kniffki of the JGU Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies in Germersheim is organizing the new Translation of Indigenous Languages course. (photo: Britta Hoff)TRANSLATION STUDIES, LINGUISTICS, AND CULTURAL STUDIES

New degree course focusing on the translation of indigenous languages

In cooperation with the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is planning to launch a specialized degree course in translation and interpreting of Mexican indigenous languages. Professor Martina Schrader-Kniffki of the JGU Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies (FTSK) in Germersheim is in charge of the project, which is currently entering a decisive phase.

Prof. Dr. Holger Tost vom Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre der JGU forscht zu Klima- und Wettereinflüssen. (Foto: Peter Pulkowski)ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS

Tracking the climate using MESSy

Professor Holger Tost wants to find out what is going on in the atmosphere and uses computer simulations to investigate the processes influencing our climate and weather. He was appointed to the Carl Zeiss Foundation Endowed Professorship on Environmental Modeling in the Climate System at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in 2016.


"We talk about one another rather than with each other"

The first holder of the Israel Professorship at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) takes up his work. Yossi David comes from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is joining the Department of Communication at Mainz University. He will be a guest professor for three years with the goal of stimulating German-Israeli exchange in the field of Communication Studies.

Sikelelwa Anita Mashiyi studies the underground hip hop of South Africa. (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)ANTHROPOLOGY AND AFRICAN STUDIES

South African exchange student researches underground hip hop

Sikelelwa Anita Mashiyi is the first exchange student to come from the University of the Western Cape to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). A Master's degree student, she is currently undertaking research in JGU's African Music Archives (AMA) on the underground hip hop of South African townships. With the Department of Anthropology and African Studies planning to intensify its partnership with three African universities and to establish a network for research and teaching, further visits might follow.

Professor Michael Bruse has been working on the development of an urban climate planning software for 25 years. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)GEOINFORMATICS

A model of urban climate

With the help of ENVI-met, it is possible to determine the microclimate of a city down to the square meter, while effects of construction projects, soil sealing, and green spaces can be exactly predicted. Professor Michael Bruse of the Institute of Geography of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has been working on this software for 25 years.  As time went by, the specialist in geoinformatics incorporated increasingly more factors and made the 3D simulation more complex. ENVI-met is now in use around the world.

Im November 2018 findet an der JGU erstmals die von Studierenden organisierte "International Students' Conference", kurz ICON, statt.INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS' CONFERENCE MAINZ

By students, with students, for students

In November 2018, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) will be celebrating the first  International Students' Conference (ICON). Speakers from all over the world will come together to discuss topics and issues in and around gender, migration and markets, ethics, literature, and a great deal more under the title "Bounds of Humanity". The event will mark the start of a regular series of study conferences at JGU. 

Zhiyuan Wang had the opportunity to work on his own project in a nuclear physics research group at Mainz University. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)PRISMA CLUSTER OF EXCELLENCE

Attractive internship program for young talent

A special internship program regularly succeeds in getting talented young people to come to PRISMA, the Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Seven students were welcomed this summer. Zhiyuan Wang is one of them. He took the opportunity to work on his own project in nuclear physicist Professor Dmitry Budker's team.

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