Biophysics News

Here you can find recent information from our staff and around our work.


Martina Quartieri won at the "47th Annual Meeting of the European Radiation Research Society“ (on 24.09.2022 in Catania ,Italien) an Award for an outstanding poster with the titel "The role of hypoxia and radiation in the  stemness of murine osteosarcoma cells"


Focus on cosmic radiation research: Joint ESA-FAIR Summer School back in presence (GSI/FAIR press release)

It is a high-quality training offer for young international scientists and has already attracted large attention from the international community: Currently 19 young researchers from ten countries come together during the “ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School 2022” to work intensively on the topic of cosmic radiation. After two years of video school, the event is back in presence in Darmstadt. The Summer School for radiation research was jointly established by the European Space Agency ESA and the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research GmbH), currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. More


Kill a tumor in less than a second: FLASH radiotherapy with heavy ions (GSI/FAIR press release)

At GSI and the future accelerator center FAIR, scientists are working to improve the tumor therapy with charged particles through new technologies and treatment procedures.

The tumor therapy with charged particles is one of the most promising applications in the fight against cancer. At the existing research facility of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, as well as with the FAIR accelerator facility currently under construction here, scientists are working to improve the method through new technologies and treatment procedures and make it even more effective. Thereby, the new FLASH method is a promising way. An important step has now been…


The Association for the promotion of ion therapy accepts nominations for the 24th Christoph-Schmelzer-Award for outstanding master (diploma) theses and PhD theses related to tumor therapy with ion beams. Deadline: September 30th, 2022. More


Marco Durante elected president of PTCOG  (GSI/FAIR press release) Professor Marco Durante, head of the Biophysics Research Department at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, has been elected president of the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG). The international organization is active worldwide to promote particle therapy — tumor therapy with particle beams, as developed, among others, at GSI— and thus improve overall treatment options for cancer.


New cooperation between GSI/FAIR, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen and Varian aims to further advance radiation therapy (GSI/FAIR press release)

It is an important step to extend future treatment methods in the fight against cancer: The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM) and Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company from Palo Alto, California, intend to jointly advance medical-technical developments in the field of FLASH therapy and further pave the way to clinical application. To this purpose, an agreement was concluded among the three collaborators.


Our paper "Compensating for beam modulation due to microscopic lung heterogeneities in carbon ion therapy treatment planning" by Paz et al. was selected by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) for the Farrington Daniels Best Paper Award published in the Medical Physics journal in 2021. The paper is open access and can be downloaded here:


Call for Proposals for beamtime in 2023/2024


ESA launched a new announcement of opportunity to perform ground-based space radiation experiments at GSI. Details are available here


Bloomberg video on hibernation with Walter Tinganelli at GSI


Dr. Andreas Maier has been appointed in a working group of the Strahlenschutzkommission  “Revision of ICRP Publication 103”.


Dr. Tabea Pfuhl received the "Giersch Prize for an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis 2021". This prize is awarded by the Giersch Foundation and the HGS-HIRe Graduate School to outstanding young scientists for completed dissertations. She received the award for her research on the influence of secondary electrons on the enhanced biological effectiveness of ion beams. This research is relevant, for example, for the improvement of  ion beam therapy for cancer patients. Furthermore, the research results allow a more precise modeling of the biological effects after undesired radiation exposure on Earth or in space.


Dr. Olga Sokol won at the FLASH Radiotherapy  Particle Therapy virtual Conference (FRPT Dec 1-3, 2021) the award for theBest Oral Presentation  with the title "In vitro measurements of proton RBE: a multi-centric comparison of experimental procedures and results".


Dr. Andreas Maier won at the "46th Annual Meeting of the European Radiation Research Society“ (on 29.11.2021 in Caen, France) an Award for an outstanding poster with the titel "Radon dosimetry measurements in a patient and in mouse – a comparison"


Christoph Schmelzer Prize awarded to two young researchers (GSI/FAIR press release)

Two young researchers have been awarded this year's Christoph Schmelzer Prize: Dr. Theresa Suckert from the Technical University of Dresden and German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), partner site Dresden, and Dr. Felix Horst from the University of Giessen. With this award, the Association for the Promotion of Tumor Therapy with Heavy Ions e.V. annually honors outstanding master's respectively doctoral theses in the field of tumor therapy with ion beams. More


Wide range: Research papers from GSI/FAIR published in "Nature Reviews(GSI/FAIR press release)

Two important research contributions from GSI and FAIR have been prominently published side by side in the world-renowned online journal "Nature Reviews". Both topics represent special GSI and FAIR research competence at the highest international level: The "Perspective" section deals with "New directions in hypernuclear physics", while the "Review Article" section focuses on "Physics and biomedical challenges of cancer therapy with accelerated heavy ions".


GSI Biophysicists Dr. Christian Graeff and Dr. Burkhard Jakob receive professorships at TU Darmstadt (GSI/FAIR press release)

Two new professorships strengthen the profile of GSI/FAIR in research and teaching: Dr. Christian Graeff and Dr. Burkhard Jakob, both from GSI's Biophysics Department, will hold a teaching position as professors at the TU Darmstadt starting from the winter term.


The publication 'DNA damage interactions on both nanometer and micrometer scale determine overall cellular damage' by Thomas Friedrich et al. received the 'Best Paper of the Year 2020' award from DeGBS (German Society for Biological Radiation Research) in the Physics / Modeling section.


The Association for the Promotion of Ion Therapy awards the 23rd Christoph-Schmelzer-Preis for outstanding Master- and PhD-theses related to tumor therapy with ion beams this year to Dr. Theresa Suckert für her Disseration at Techn. University Dresden and to Dr. Felix Horst für his Dissertation at Giessen University   More


Anggraeini Puspitasari, MD., PhD.  have been selected to receive a Scholar-In-Training (SIT) Travel Award to attend the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society, to be held at the Caribe Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3-6, 2021. A total of 112 SIT abstracts were submitted for consideration, and these were judged blindly by 70 referees representing the radiation research community. Although The Radiation Research Society has decided to transition the meeting in San Juan to an immersive virtual meeting, she presents her work with the title '' Radiation Protection effect of Synthetic hibernation following Carbon ion irradiation''.


The HITRIplus beam access video is online


ESA-FAIR cooperation: Dr. Dr. Jennifer Ngo-Anh succeeds Thomas Reiter (GSI/FAIR press release)

n the joint cooperation between the European Space Agency ESA and the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research GmbH), which is currently being built at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, there is a new ESA coordinator responsible for implementing the ESA-FAIR cooperation. Jennifer Ngo-Anh, who holds doctorates in medicine and neuroscience, succeeds astronaut Thomas Reiter, who recently retired. On FAIR side, Dr. Corinna Kausch from Biophysics Department is responsible for implementing the cooperation.


TRON uses GSI/FAIR experiment period for cancer research: combination of heavy ion therapy and mRNA vaccine (GSI/FAIR press release)

It is a strong alliance for research in the fight against cancer, opening the way for exciting new developments. On one hand, the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt with its worldwide unique accelerator facilities and the cancer therapy with ion beams developed here. On the other hand, the biopharmaceutical and translational research institute TRON in Mainz with its highly specialized oncology research. Via its founder Professor Ugur Sahin and further scientists, TRON is closely linked to the biotechnology company BioNTech, which is conducting world-class science with its Corona vaccine development – based on the most advanced applications of mRNA vaccines from tumor research.


GSI role in the EU H2020 INSPIRE project


Perspectives for future tumor therapy: New FLASH method for ultrafast, high-dose heavy ion irradiation tested for the first time (GSI press release)


"The Monte Carlo simulation of action of heavy ions on SARS-CoV-2 virus" made the front page of Radiation Research. Read the paper free here:


EU funds four research infrastructure projects with strong GSI/FAIR participation

Several GSI/FAIR research areas receive EU funding in the millions. Four planned infrastructure projects in the fields of tumor therapy with heavy ions, innovative methods for industrial radiation testing and new technology developments for accelerator facilities were successful in current EU tenders and have received funding commitments. FAIR and GSI play a decisive role in each of these projects, which are carried out in international collaborations. (GSI/FAIR presse release)


Francesca Luoni received the „Giersch Excellence Award“ of the HGSHire graduate School. This price is awarded from the Giersch foundation for doctorate students during their PhD related reserarch phase for excellent research achievements. She was honored with the award thanks to the experimental results obtained in the field of innovative shielding materials for radiation protection during long-term deep-space missions.


Felix Horst received a dissertation prize for his PhD thesis "Measurement of Nuclear Reaction Cross Sections for Applications in Radiotherapy with Protons, Helium and Carbon Ions" at the Academic Ceremony of the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen. The thesis originates from a cooperation between Justus-Liebig-Universität, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen and the Biophysics department at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. The prize was awarded virtually on the 27th of November 2020.


The article “Carbon ions team up with immunotherapy to tackle advanced tumours” is now live on Physics World. More


Perspectives of tumor treatment: Researchers investigate combination of carbon ion and immunotherapy (GSI/FAIR-Press release)

It is still a glance into the future: The combination of carbon ion and immune therapy could become an effective tool in the fight against cancer. More


Timo Smit was awarded the Young Investigator Award for his work entitled "Cardiomyocyte dysfunction upon radiation" at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Radiation Research Society (ERRS2020) in Lund / Sweden. The award ceremony took place virtually on September 17th, 2020.


(GSI/FAIR Presse-Mitteilung) High award for GSI scientist: Marco Durante receives the Failla Award of the Radiation Research Society

Marco Durante, head of the GSI Biophysics Research Department and professor at the TU Darmstadt, has been awarded the prestigious Failla Award 2020 by the Radiation Research Society (RRS). Professor Durante has been invited to give a lecture on his scientific career at the virtual annual RRS meeting in October this year. The award has been announced at the end of June. More>>


The Association for the promotion of ion therapy accepts nominations for the 22nd Christoph-Schmelzer-Award for outstanding master (diploma) theses and PhD theses related to tumor therapy with ion beams. Deadline: September 30th, 2020. More


(GSI/FAIR - Press release) The physicist Dr. Thomas Friedrich from GSI’s biophysics department is laureate of the Hermann Holthusen Award 2020. The science prize is awarded by the German Society for Radiooncology (DEGRO) for outstanding habilitation theses in the field of radiotherapy, radiobiology, medical radiation physics and technology. With this award the society honours the excellent scientific quality of Thomas Friedrich's work


Due to the current situation with COVID-19 PANDEMIA and for the safety of attendees, the Project Team has decided to cancel the ESA/FAIR Space-Radiation-Summer-School 2020. The school will be rescheduled in 2021.


GSI/FAIR research supports the fight against corona (GSI/FAIR - Press release)


ERC Advanced Grant to the GSI Biophysics Department


How do fiducial markers affect particle therapy dose distributions? The comment to the paper is on Physics World:


Call for Proposals: open now, please visit the G-PAC webpage regarding all necessary information.

Please select "Bio-PAC" in the webform for Proposal submission.

The deadline of the 'Call' is 30 April 2020. 

Please note that since 2019 GSI provides access to its facilities under INSPIRE (Infrastructure in Proton International Research); a contract within the framework of TNA (EU/Horizon2020 Integrating Activities). Please find more information here.


(GSI/FAIR Press release) FAIR experimental program: Research team analyses repair processes in radiation-damaged cell

These are future-oriented research results, combining most advanced physics and biology and at the same time demonstrating the great potential of the future accelerator center FAIR: Scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been able to observe the repair processes in human cells after radiation damage more directly and with higher resolution than ever before. A precise understanding of DNA repair mechanisms is of great importance, for example, for risk assessments during long-term space missions.


IBER-19 program starts

ESA has officially approved 12 experiments that will be implemented at GSI in 2021-22 in the framework of the Investigations on Biological Effects of Radiation (IBER) program ( Investigators from Germany, Italy, Canada, Belgium and UK will perform experiments for space radiation risk assessment and to develop countermeasures for the missions to the Moon and Mars. The investigators will use iron ions at 1 GeV/n in the FAIR-phase-0 beamtime.