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Prof. Dr. Andreas Vilcinskas

Fraunhofer-Institut für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologie IME

© Christin Vilcinskas

Prof. Dr. Andreas Vilcinskas

Andreas Vilcinskas, born in 1964, studied biology at TU Kaiserslautern and at Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin). He received his doctorate from the Zoology Dept. at FU Berlin in 1994 and completed his qualification as a professor (“habilitation”) there in zoology in 1998. From 1999 to 2004 he held a visiting professorship in Evolutionary Biology and Specialized Zoology at the Department of Biochemistry and Biology at the University of Potsdam. In 2004, he accepted the post of Professor for Applied Entomology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, where he headed the LOEWE Special Focus Area in Insect Biotechnology, funded by the Hessian Excellence Program from 2011 to 2013. He has directed the LOEWE Center for Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources since 2014. From 2006 to 2013, he was the Executive Director of the Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology at Justus Liebig University Giessen. From 2014 to 2015, he was the spokesperson for the Interdisciplinary Research Center there, and he has been the Executive Director of the newly-formed – and the world's first – HE institution for insect biotechnology since 2015. From 2009, he simultaneously headed the Fraunhofer Bioresources department, which is planned to be expanded into an independent Fraunhofer Institute for Bioresources, occupying a newly constructed building in 2020.


I want to leave the world in a better state than I found it.


Andreas Vilcinskas is a distinguished global pioneer in the field of insect biotechnology and has published the first three books addressing this new research field. His research interests focus on molecular, development and evolutionary biology, as well as immunology and the chemical ecology of insects. With the establishment of the Animal Venomics platform he is expanding his research beyond insects to include poisonous animals. As a diver and underwater photographer he has been interested in marine toxic animals for decades.

Facts, background information, dossiers

  • zoology
  • evolutionary biology
  • entomology
  • insects
  • molecular biology
  • insect biotechnology
  • bioresources
  • chemical ecology
  • Animal Venomics

Other articles by this author

All articles

Learning from insects

With over a million documented species, insects are the most successful group of organisms from the perspective of biodiversity. In the course of their evolution, they have developed a (…)

Animal Venomics

More than 200,000 animal species produce poison to defend themselves against predators or to kill their prey. These poisons are usually complex mixtures of different toxins that have been (…)

More about Fraunhofer IME

  • News

    Spider venom for therapeutics and bioinsecticides

    The venom of a single spider can contain up to 3000 components. These components, mostly peptides, can be used to develop promising drug leads for the treatment of diseases. Spider venom can also be used as a biological pesticide. A team of scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molec ... more

    Fuel and chemicals from steel plant exhaust gases

    Carbon monoxide-rich exhaust gases from steel plants are only being reclaimed to a minor extent as power or heat. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new recycling process for this materially unused carbon resource: They successfully produced fuel and specialty chemicals from these exha ... more

    Natural rubber from dandelions

    Dandelions are modest plants that are an excellent alternative source for a raw material of high demand: natural rubber, the fundamental ingredient in rubber products. Fraunhofer researchers have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandel ... more

  • q&more articles

    Dandelions as a new source of natural rubber

    More than 12,500 plants produce latex, a colorless to white milky sap that contains, among other things, natural rubber. However, this industrially indispensable raw material is found in only three plants in a quality required to produce high-performance rubber products such as car tires. more

    Animal Venomics

    More than 200,000 animal species produce poison to defend themselves against predators or to kill their prey. These poisons are usually complex mixtures of different toxins that have been functionally optimized over the course of evolution. For this reason, animal poisons are also a valuabl ... more

  • Authors

    Dr. Christian Schulze Gronover

    Christian Schulze Gronover, born in 1975, is a molecular biologist who received his doctorate in biology from the University of Münster in 2004. During his doctoral studies, he was a visiting scientist at the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Dundee, Scotland, and at the Graduate School f ... more

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