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Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation (IBER) Using the GSI Accelerator Facility

GSI is the European facility selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to perform research in biological effects of space radiation. Cosmic radiation poses a major threat to the health of astronauts exploring outer space. In order to study in more detail the biological effects of cosmic radiation and find out solutions for effective radiation protection measures in space, the ESA and GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been cooperating on the research project IBER (Investigations into Biological Effects of Radiation) for almost ten years. The project enables groups of researchers to use the GSI accelerator facilities to study the biological effects of cosmic radiation. The first IBER campaign started in 2008. Now, scientists will have a further opportunity to study this topic at GSI and utilize beam time.


New IBER-17 Program started:

The new IBER (2017) program has been confirmed by ESA and GSI management on July 3rd, 2017. The ESA announcements can be found here (information material, templates for the proposals):


An IBER-17 proposal Workshop was held at GSI Darmstadt on Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017. A group of 28 experts of GSI, ESA and other research institutes discussed the usage of beam time at GSI, various project ideas and their feasibility. 

More Information

Photo: G. Otto GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Photo: G. Otto GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

Call for Proposals:

The deadline for submission of proposals was October 27th.  All submitted proposals have been reviewed by an international expert committee.
The final review panel took place on 11-12th of January 2018 (Noordwijk); see below for the selected proposals.

Oranisation of the IBER-17 prgramm:
Scientific Coordinator | GSI | Marco Durante |+49 6159 71 2009 | M.Durante(at)
Scientific Coordinator | ESA-ESTEC | Jennifer Ngo-Anh |+31 71 565 3728 | Jennifer.Ngo-Anh(at)

 Approved projects for the IBER 17 programm

February 2018 a list of 12 proposals received a favourable scientific and technic review and were selected for beam time experiments at GSI:

1 Proposal Scientific group /Principle investigator GSI Liaison scientist Title of the proposal
2 IBER_011_Rapp GSI Darmstadt (DE) /Felicitas Rapp Felicitas Rapp The role of microglia and vascular damage in radiation-induced changes of the CNS
3 IBER_006_Patera Foot collaboration (IT) /Vincenzo Patera Uli Weber FOOT@SPACE
4 IBER_010_LaTessa University of Trento and TIFPA (IT) / Chiara La Tessa Uli weber Measurements of neutron production in thick passive shielding and assessment of LET distributions for shielding and assessment of LET distributions for radiobiological effects
5 IBER_007_Iliakis University of Duisburg-Essen (DE) /George Iliakis Micheal Scholz Analysis of DNA double-strand-break-forms induced by space radiation and definition of their processing requirements for optimizing radiation protection
6 IBER_005_Hellweg erman Aerospace Center DLR (DE) /Christine E. Hellweg Insa Schröder Mechanisms of heavy ion-induced damage in primary neuronal cells (NEURON)
7 IBER_008_Thielemann Univ. of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg (DE) /Christiane Thielemann Sylvia Ritter Human induced pluripotent stem cell derived in vitro models for space radiation biology - iRAD
8 IBER_009_Hespeels Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics and Ecology (LEGE), Namur (BE) / B. Hespeels Sylvia Ritter “Breaking bad?” Genomic evolution and protective mechanisms in asexual bdelloid rotifers exposed to charged particle beams
9 IBER_002_Moreels SCK•CEN Radiobiology, Boeretang (BE) /M. Moreels Burkhard Jakob Stability of Medicines After exposure to particle RadiaTion (SMART)
10 IBER_001_Thiel TU Darmstadt (DE) /Gerhard Thiel Claudia Fournier The effect of ionizing irradiation on the function of two cardiac ion channels in the context of a risk of sudden heart failure
11 IBER_004_Averbeck GSI Darmstadt (DE) /Nicole Averbeck --- Study on the molecular mechanism of break-end resection, a step in repair of heavy¬ion induced DNA-double-strand breaks suggested to be involved in cancer induction
12 IBER_003_Manda Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest (RO) /Gina Manda Nicole Averbeck Redox signalling and the transcription factor NRF2 as therapeutic target for counteracting the deleterious effects of spaceflight environment (ABEL-IBER 2017)

(Past) IBER-10 Program:

The European Space Radiation Research Program IBER-10 has been now approved. You will find all the information on this webpage.

ESA – IBER Meetings

  • IBER-17  Proposal Workshop
    GSI, Darmstadt, Germany, 26.9.2017
  • DLR Statusseminar Strahlen- und Astrobiologie
    GSI, Darmstadt, Germany, 15.-17.11.2011
  • 2nd IBER Investigators’ Meeting
    GSI, Darmstadt, Germany, 24.11.2010