The Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, the University of Rostock and national and international partners cooperate in the new Helmholtz Virtual Institute. They focus on the investigation of environmentally influenced diseases and seek to establish a long term scientific research initiative in this field.


Source: Fotolia

Prof. Ralf Zimmermann, the speaker of HICE, contributed to a TV report showing the health effects of cruise ships for passengers, crew and the people living in coastal areas. More...



HICE research in US science news

Source: Leonardo Franko/Fotolia

Inside Science, the news service of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), published an article on the research of HICE concerning ship diesel and wood emissions. Prof. Ralf Zimmermann presented the research results at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco in December 2016. Link to the article...

Experiments on wood combustion

Source: University of Eastern Finland (UEF)

October 2016. HICE searches for new insights into the health effects of burning wood in households. From 19 September to 7 October 30 scientists from Germany and Finland ran an experimental campaign at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) in Kuopio. The researchers burned spruce and pine logs as well as softwood pellets in wood stoves to see how the combustion directly affects lung cells. More...

Ship emissions affect lung macrophages

Source: Universität Rostock

Exhaust emissions from ships affect the health of people living nearby coasts. Scientists from the Helmholtz Virtual Institute HICE have shown the effects on lung macrophages. These are immunocompetent cells and play an important role concerning lung diseases like COPD. The results have been published in the renowned open access journal PLOS ONE. More

Wood and diesel experiments in 2016

Quelle: Helmholtz Zentrum München

March 2016. The annual HICE Consortium Meeting took place in Munich on the 25th and 26th of February. Over 40 scientists from 13 different partner organisations participated in the meeting and planned the activities of the upcoming year. In 2016 HICE will perform experiments with wood and diesel. The experiments will take place at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich as well as at the University of Eastern Finland. More...

Studies on gas and bio-fuel exhausts

Source: rdnzl/ Fotolia

October 2015. The current discussions on harmful exhausts emitted by cars shows that the research on the emissions from diesel and gas fuel has been not completed by far. In April and May 2015 the HICE scientists examined the effects of gasoline at the University of Rostock. They also investigated bio-ethanol as the current favored alternative to fossil fuels. More...

Ship emissions stress lung cells

Source: Paul Vinten/ Fotolia

July 2015. Emissions from ship fuels have massive impact on lung cells – these results were published by scientists of HICE in the journal PLOS one. Both Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Diesel have similar strong effect on the cells. This is especially interesting as the diesel is seen by regulation authorities as the “cleaner” fuel. Ships have to use it in areas close to harbors, while the use of HFO is only allowed on the open sea. More...

Summer School on data integration

Source: esinel_888/ Fotolia

July 2015. The young scientists in HICE learned about the challenges of data integration at the Summer School 2015 hosted by the University of Cardiff. Regarding the interdisciplinarity of the project the topic of integration is crucial for the common results. For that all students were given the opportunity to present their data from omics analyses as well as from chemical particle and gas phase analyses. More...

New Measurement Campaign

Source: Kara/Fotolia

October 2014. A measurement campaign on the characterization of ship diesel aerosols will take place at the University of Rostock in November. The experiments will especially focus on the ageing of aerosols and are going to apply online and offline mass spectrometry techniques. More

HICE Online Seminar

Source: Rawpixel/ Fotolia

September, 2014. HICE is offering an online seminar with lectures on aerosols and mass spectrometry during the winter term 2014/2015. The seminar is organized together with the Joint Mass Spectrometry Center at the University of Rostock and the Helmholtz Zentrum München. More

HICE Spring School 2014

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

April, 2014. From 2-4 April the HICE Spring School 2014 took place at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. 50 scientists, postdocs and PhD students attended the event. International experts in aerosol characterization, toxicological effects of aerosols and exposure scenarios presented the newest developments in their field. More

HICE Measurement Campaign Finland

Source: University of Eastern Finland

October, 2013. During three weeks of experiments at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio HICE investigated the effects of aerosols from wood combustion. The HICE partners studied the relationships between chemical and physical properties of the emissions as well as changes in metabolome, proteome and transcriptome of human lung cells. More

HICE Summer School and Workshop in Prague

August, 2013. The HICE PhD students and Post Docs presented their research topics at the HICE Summer School in Prague on 29 and 30 August 2013. The broad knowledge used in HICE was characterized by four groups: Chemistry, Aerosol Physics, Health and Biostatistics. More

Online Seminars

Source: ITMZ University Rostock

April, 2013. In the summer term 2013 HICE and the Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre (JSMC) offer an interdisciplinary seminar program. The lectures on mass spectrometry and particulate matter take place at the University of Rostock and are also transmitted online. 

Mobile biology lab

Examining the lung cell cultures at the ship diesel campaign in Rostock. © ITMZ University Rostock

November, 2012. HICE developed and built a mobile biology laboratory for the work with lung cell cultures. It has been initiated at the first HICE measurement campaign at the University of Rostock. Biologists from the Technische Universität München, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Max Delbrück Center Berlin and the University of Luxembourg examined lung cells that were exposed to aerosols from ship diesel.

HICE scientists analyze ship diesel emissions

Prof. Dr. Ralf Zimmermann erläutert Journalisten den Versuchsaufbau der HICE-Feinstaubforschung an der Universität Rostock.
Source: ITMZ University Rostock

November, 2012. The first HICE Campaign took place at the University of Rostock from Nov. 19th to 30th 2012. During the three weeks the HICE consortium analyzed the aerosols from ship diesel emissions. On Nov. 26th the press came to report on the experimental set-up. Rostock with its Baltic Sea harbor is particularly interested in the research of the HICE scientists.
Press release

Lab Training Course

Source: LCSB, University of Luxembourg

October, 2012. The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) offered a lab training course on profiling cellular metabolism from the 8th to the 12th of October. Together with the Metabolomics Group of the LCSB led by Dr. Karsten Hiller the HICE partners analyzed metabolic effects caused by wood combustion derived nanoparticles on human lung cancer cells. More


September, 2012. HICE participated in the European Aerosol Conference (EAC) in Granada from September 2nd to 7th. Our partners from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Rostock, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Eastern Finland attended the scientific congress. The conference provided an essential forum for the latest and most stimulating developments in the field of aerosol science.

HICE Inauguration

May, 2012.“HICE provides a bright and encouraging topic in the pioneering research field of humans, environment and health”, congratulated Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schareck, chancellor of the University of Rostock. Prof. Dr. Günther Wess, scientific manager of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, strengthened the collaboration between the scientists and especially emphasized the long-term perspectives for prevention. More

Contact / Organisation

Prof. Dr. Ralf Zimmermann
Spokesperson of the Virtual Institute HICE
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Tel.: +49 (0)89 3187 4048

Sorana Scholtes
Project Management HICE
Helmholtz Zentrum München

HICE-Clip (in German)

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