Friedrich Loeffler Institute

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The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), is the National Institute for Animal Health of Germany. The institute was founded in 1910 and named for its founder Friedrich Loeffler in 1952. The FLI is situated on the Isle of Riems, which belongs to the City of Greifswald. Riems is a very small island that can be reached via a dam, which can be closed off in case of an outbreak. Due to these circumstances, Riems posed the perfect location for one of the most modern animal health research facilities in the world.

The Friedrich Loeffler Institute is directly subordinated to the German Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Its main subject is the thorough study of livestock health and other closely related subjects including molecular biology, virus diagnostics, immunology, and epidemiology. Federal laws of Germany hold the FLI responsible for national and international animal disease control; it also poses the international reference lab for several viral diseases. The institute publishes its research, and cooperates with other national and international institutions and researchers.

Among the animal diseases under research are for instance foot and mouth disease, mad cow disease, and avian influenza.

Currently, 330 people work for the FLI, and an additional 140 will be employed upon completion of the construction work. Until 2010, the 100th anniversary of the Institute, the FLI is expected to be the most up-to-date animal health research center in Europe. 260 Million Euros are spent by the Federal Government to build new laboratories and barns.

As part of this extension, in 2010 the Riems Institute completed Biosafety level 4 laboratory facilities, which enable research activities on the most dangerous of viruses -- one of four such facilities in Germany.


The FLI's president is Thomas C. Mettenleiter, who also teaches at the nearby University of Greifswald. The FLI consists of the following eleven institutions at seven different locations, some of which are to be relocated to Riems by 2010:

  • Riems:
    • Institute of Infectology (IMED)
    • Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology (IMVZ)
    • Institute of Diagnostic Virology (IVD)
    • Institute for Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases (INNT)
    • Institute of Immunology (IfI)
  • Braunschweig
    • Institute for Animal Food
  • Celle:
    • Institute for Animal Protection and Animal Husbandry
  • Jena:
    • Institute for Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses (IBIZ)
    • Institute for Molecular Pathogenesis (IMP).
  • Mariensee
    • Institute for Farm Animal Genetics
  • Tübingen:
    • Institute of Immunology - this lab was closed in 2011
  • Wusterhausen:
    • Institute for Epidemiology (IfE)

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Coordinates: 54°10′58″N 13°21′47″E / 54.18278°N 13.36306°E / 54.18278; 13.36306