Indiana Biosciences Names Leading Researcher And Innovator Rainer Fischer, Ph.D., As Chief Scientific And Innovation Officer

- Current Senior Executive Director of the Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology at the Fraunhofer will start in early 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., October 4, 2016 – The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), a discovery and applied life sciences research institute, today announced the appointment of Prof. Rainer Fischer, Ph.D., as its Chief Scientific and Innovation Officer. Prof. Fischer brings extensive scientific leadership experience and a track record for innovation to the IBRI, most recently serving as Senior Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME). The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is the largest applied science research organization in Europe, with research aimed at addressing issues of health, security, production technology, energy, materials, and the environment.

For the past 19 years Prof. Fischer has built and led the Fraunhofer IME in Aachen, Schmallenberg, Muenster, Giessen, Frankfurt and Hamburg in Germany, and its subsidiaries in Newark, Delaware and Santiago, Chile. During this time, he grew the IME Institute from 40 to 680 employees, raised 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.

“I am extremely excited to be working alongside Rainer to build the IBRI into one of the leading research institutes in the world,” said David Broecker, President and CEO for the IBRI. “Rainer is an incredibly unique talent across a range of scientific disciplines and sources of innovation, and I am confident that he will attract others like him to the Institute.” Prof. Fischer also serves as Department Head of the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University where he was recently awarded a Distinguished Professorship. Prof. Fischer created the department, co-establishing both undergraduate and graduate programs that have matriculated more than 300 students. He is a prolific presenter and has published more than 330 peer reviewed scientific papers which have been cited almost 15,000 times. In addition to his academic and leadership experience, Prof. Fischer co-founded five biotechnology startups, holds 40 patents and has 64 patent applications pending.

“The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute represents an opportunity for me to apply all my experiences and passion for research and innovation and build something special,” explains Prof. Fischer. “Indiana has an impressive and diverse set of leading life science companies and a range of academic institutions that have all already contributed to the formation of the IBRI. In my experience, it is rare to see such commitment and support to a shared vision. I look forward to getting started early next year to work with with the team and the stakeholders to shape something unique and outstanding.” Prof. Fischer will be a keynote speaker at the BioCrossroads 2016 Life Sciences Summit on October 5. He will be speaking about his experiences at the Fraunhofer IME and providing perspectives about future areas of innovation emanating from breakthroughs in life sciences research.

“Prof. Fischer’s global perspectives will not only grow and enhance the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, but also enhance the State’s already strong life sciences community,” explains David L. Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads. “His decision to join us is ‘proof of concept’ that the IBRI will make Indiana an even more compelling destination for international innovation talent.”

“Under both David’s and Rainer’s leadership, we expect the Institute to accomplish great things and improve the lives of patients and their families,” added Daniel F. Evans, Jr., Chairman of the IBRI Board of Directors. “Talent is key to success, and we have two accomplished individuals leading the way.”

Prof. Fischer studied at the University of Tübingen where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and graduated summa cum laude with his Ph.D. He will maintain his professorship affiliation with RWTH Aachen University, and will be transitioning to a full-time role at the IBRI in early 2017.

About the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) is an independent, nonprofit discovery science and applied research institute focused on innovation targeting cardio-metabolic diseases, diabetes and poor nutrition. Inspired by the state and Indiana’s leading life sciences companies, research universities and philanthropic community, the IBRI is building a world-class organization of researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs that will catalyze scientific discovery and its application, resulting in improved health outcomes for patients. Initial funding was provided by the State of Indiana, Lilly Endowment, Eli Lilly and Company, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, Indiana University Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine. IBRI is looking to expand partnerships with life sciences companies and philanthropic organizations to increase the potential for research, discovery, and collaboration. For more information about IBRI and donation or collaboration opportunities, please visit

Contact: Christy Denault
Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, Suite 300
1345 W. 16 Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

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