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1910–2010 : 100 Years Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut

In October 2010, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI),  celebrated its 100th anniversary. The physician Friedrich Loeffler (1852 – 1915) founded the institute on the Isle of Riems in the Greifswalder Bodden to conduct research on foot and mouth disease. Based on his discovery of the foot and mouth disease virus he is considered to be one of the founders of the science of virology. On October 10, 1910, Friedrich Loeffler officially took up his research work on the Isle of Riems. Today, the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut works on a large variety of issues in the area of farm animal health. Research covers a broad spectrum from animal nutrition, animal welfare and husbandry to farm animal genetics and the protection of animals from disease.

Loeffler not only left traces on the Isle of Riems. He also taught as professor for hygiene at the University of Greifswald from 1888 to 1913. Meanwhile, his former Institute of Hygiene located in the Martin-Luther-Straße has become the University’s Institute of Medical Microbiology and has also been named after him. In the city of Greifswald, he was an active member of the city council, where he e.g. supported the implementation of a canalisation system. In 1913, he was declared an honorary citizen of Greifswald; he is buried in the city’s old cemetary.

At the occasion of the anniversary of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, the FLI, the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald and the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald provided interesting insights into the history and current work of the institute as well as into the achievements of its founder in Greifswald.

The events included a series of talks and exhibits in Greifswald. Furthermore, several publications have been issued: The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut brought out the book “The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut 1910-2010: 100 Years of Research for Animal Health“ by Annette Hinz-Wessels and Jens Thiel as well as a brochure on pieces of art on the Isle of Riems („Kunst auf der Insel Riems“) by Detlef Witt. In cooperation with Friedrich Loeffler’s grandson, Peter G. Loeffler, as well as Werner Seidel and Wolfgang Wittmann, the city archivist Uwe Kiel compiles the book "Friedrich Loeffler – Leben und Werk eines bedeutenden Greifswalder Mediziners" (Friedrich Loeffler – Life and Achievements of a significant Greifswald Physician).

At the occasion of the anniversary, the Federal Ministry of Finance had also issued a special stamp “100 Years Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut“.

On the day of the 100th anniversary, Sunday, October 10, 2010, the gates of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut on the Isle of Riems were opend to the public. Not only the changeful history, but also the future of the institute were a central theme of this Open House. The interested public had the opportunity to take a closer look at laboratories and animal houses of various safety levels in the new building. More than 8000 visitors crowded the smal island.