More than 100 participants: Radiobiologists of the GSI's Biophysics Department organize annual conference on biological radiation research


To promote research on biological effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation is the main goal of the German Society for Biological Radiation Research (DeGBS). More than 110 scientists from all over Germany came together at the DeGBS annual meeting to present and discuss new research results for three days. The event was organized by the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Department of Biophysics. It was chaired by Professor Claudia Fournier (Head of GSI Research Group Immunomodulation and Tissue Effects after Heavy Ion Irradiation) and PD Dr. Michael Scholz (Head of GSI Research Group Biological Modeling) as congress presidents. The meeting was held at the Hohenwart conference center in Pforzheim. Professor Verena Jendrossek, Chair of the Board of DeGBS, opened the event.

In line with the interdisciplinary character of biological radiation research, the program of the meeting reflected the broad scientific spectrum covered by the activities of the DeGBS members. Topics of the sessions were the basic mechanisms of radiation action of different radiation qualities, the signaling impact of radiation on intra- and extracellular communication, systemic and extra-cellular factors affecting radiation responses, and physics and radiobiology of innovative approaches for radiotherapy. A special topic presentation highlighted the scientific challenges of modern radiation-protection research in the context of the current knowledge in the field.

Each of the four scientific sessions started with an introduction by a keynote lecture. Renowned national and international experts were invited to open the respective sessions with keynote lectures. These were s followed by the presentation of five proffered papers, and a poster session. The program of the meeting started with a Young Investigators' (jDeGBS) session, which aims at exchanging information and experiences that are of particular importance for the students and young research fellows. This was chaired by Dr. Alexander Helm from GSI Biophysics and Dr. Johann Matschke from Essen University Hospital.

At the conference, DeGBS also commemorated its honorary member Professor Gerhard Kraft, founder of the Biophysics Department at GSI and father of heavy ion therapy in Europe, who passed away in March 2023. The obituary of the Biophysics department says: “He was one of the strongest ‘motors’ of radiation research in Germany during the last decades. We are grateful to him for his important ideas and impulses, and will preserve his memory as an outstanding scientist and mentor.”

The Ulrich Hagen Award and the Dieter Frankenberg Young Investigator Award were also presented during the annual meeting. The Ulrich Hagen Prize of the DeGBS has been awarded since 2004 to researchers for outstanding contributions to radiation research in Germany, usually in honor of a lifetime achievement. This year, the prize went to Professor Horst Zitzelsberger, Helmholtz Munich. The Dieter Frankenberg Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding achievements by young researchers in the field of biological radiation research. The prize was awarded to Dr. Johanna Mirsch, Faculty of Biology/TU Darmstadt.

The annual meeting of the German Society for Biological Radiation Research was organized for the third time by members of the GSI Department of Biophysics, headed by Professor Marco Durante. After the founding event in 1996 in Gießen, it is the 24th meeting of the DeGBS. (BP)

Further information

Website of DeGBS