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The new building of the Robert Koch Institute, area Seestraße. Source: © Manuel Frauendorf, skyfilmberlin/RKI

What we do – Departments and units at the Robert Koch Institute

Since its founding in 1891, the Robert Koch Institute has been dedicated to the investigation and prevention of infectious diseases. Today, the institute is also responsible for nationwide health monitoring – the collected data is included in the health reporting of the federal government. Furthermore, the RKI collects and interprets epidemiological data communicated to the institute as a result of the Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG). Its scientists conduct research in infectious disease epidemiology as well as sentinel surveil­lance projects and support the federal states in outbreak investigations. Since 9/11, the institute also has the mission to identify unusual biological events with highly pathogenic agents that might be used with bioterrorist intent. In addition, it assesses the health implications for the general public and works on pre­pared­ness and response for such incidents.

The Robert Koch Institute has three locations in Berlin – two of them in the district of Wedding, in the direct vicinity of the Charité university hospital and other research facilities – as well as a branch in Wernigerode in the Harz region. Around 1,080 people including 450 scientists are working at the RKI in five departments and more than 50 units, project and junior groups. Find out more about each units’ aims, tasks, projects and contacts.

Date: 28.10.2015