healing, teaching" was the mission Bernhard Nocht gave to the "Institute
for Marine and Tropical Diseases" he founded at the Hamburg harbourfront
over a hundred years ago. The motto is still valid. The "Bernhard Nocht
Institute for Tropical Medicine" - as it is known today - combines
state-of-the-art research with clinical practice and expert training, thereby
serving as Germany´s centre of competence for tropical diseases and
Research is the essence. The
Institute integrates high-technology laboratory work on the biology of pathogens,
their reservoirs and vectors with host genetics and immunology, clinical
trials, epidemiology and community-based intervention. Present studies focus
on malaria, haemorrhagic fevers and tissue worm infections. For work on
highly contagious pathogens such as Lassa and Ebola viruses, the Institute
is equipped with high-security laboratories of biosafety level 4.
Based on a State Agreement with the Republic of Ghana, West Africa, the
Institute allies with the national Ministry of Health and Kwame Nkrumah
University, Kumasi, to run the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research
in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), a research and training centre equipped with
modern laboratories, which, serving as a platform for joint Ghanaian-international
research projects, is open to scientists worldwide.
Services of the Institute in Hamburg comprise an outpatient department operated
by the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, a close collaboration on clinical
tropical medicine with the German Federal Armed Forces as well as consultations
of the medical and scientific communities, industry, politics and the public,
which greatly contribute to the national standing of the Institute. Its
laboratory diagnostics of tropical and rare diseases serve as the National
Reference Centre for tropical pathogens and, internationally, as Reference
Laboratory for SARS-corona virus and WHO Collaborating Centre for haemorrhagic
Training activities primarily adress postgraduates and include a 3-months
full-time course on tropical medicine, which is integral part of the training
scheme of the Federal Chamber of Physicians. Short-term courses are offered
in travel medicine, parasitological diagnostics, and other specialties.
The Institute is a member of the Leibniz Association, one of the four major
German science organisations. It operates under the auspices of the German
Ministry of Health and of the Government Agency for Science and Research
of the City of Hamburg.
Outstanding scientific achievements of the Institute are the discovery of
the SARS-corona virus in 2003 and the identification of a previously unrecognised
early blood stage of malaria parasites in 2006.