The Faculty of Biology will continue to deepen and hone its key research areas in the coming years. CRC 1439, ‘Multilevel Response to Stressor Increase and Release in Stream Ecosystems (RESIST)’, will constitute a major focus in the area of water and environmental research. Various research groups based at the University of Duisburg-Essen and its partner institutions will spend an initial period of four years studying the impact of individual and combined stressors in flowing bodies of water on biodiversity and its functions. The project is funded with 12.3 million euros by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and headed by its two CRC spokesmen, Professor Bernd Sures and Professor Daniel Hering. It will focus on the three most harmful stressors: rising temperatures, salinisation and hydromorphological degradation. Its insights may inform models for describing and predicting the degradation and recovery of flowing bodies of water.

In the area of medical biotechnology, a CRC initiative involving an interdisciplinary approach of biology, molecular oncology and chemistry aims to make conceptual progress in the understanding of cell state transitions. The diverse, switch-like trigger mechanisms of the critical transitions between these states play an important role in processes such as carcinogenesis and treatment resistance. The initiative has already strengthened the profile of biomedical research and intensified the partnership between the involved disciplines considerably.