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Inspire, Equip, and Empower the next generation of life science experts

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Dec 6, 2018

Dr. Fischer is back! On his second trip to the show, Dr. Fischer reveals the inspiration behind “Discovery with Purpose”. How can life science innovate like tech? How is IBRI helping to combat midwestern “brain drain”? Why is it so important to focus on curing disease in addition to just finding the next treatment? Does the band U2 really hang out in Joshua Tree National Park?

Rainer Fischer, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Scientific and Innovation Officer

Rainer Fischer, PhD, joined the IBRI in April of 2017 as the Chief Scientific and Innovation Officer. In October that same year, he also was named Chief Executive Officer. Fischer spent 19 years building and leading the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Aachen, Schmallenberg, Muenster, Giessen, Frankfurt and Hamburg in Germany, and its subsidiaries in Newark, Delaware, USA and Santiago, Chile. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest applied science research organization in Europe, with applied research aimed at addressing issues of health, security, production technology, energy, materials, and the environment.

During his time at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Fischer grew the IME Institute from 40 to 680 employees, raised with his team almost one billion euro in extramural research funding, and established international collaborations with academia and industry in more than 25 countries. Those collaborations include many of the leading global companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food and chemical industries.

Fischer also served as Department Head of the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University where he was awarded a Distinguished Professorship in 2015. He created the department, co-establishing both undergraduate and graduate programs that have matriculated more than 500 students including 115 graduated PhD students. Fischer is a prolific presenter and has published more than 340 peer reviewed scientific papers that have been cited over 16,000 times.  In addition to his academic and leadership experience, he co-founded five biotechnology startups, holds over 60 issued patents and has more than 120 patent applications pending. Fischer also holds a second Professorship at Maastricht University, Netherlands where he co-founded the Aachen-Maastricht-Institute-of-Biobased-Materials (AMIBM) in 2015.