Cluster of Excellence »Balance of the Microverse«

The German government has established a funding stream for research Clusters of Excellence Balance to develop the international competitiveness and visibility of German science. In 2019, the cluster of excellence “Balance of the Microverse” was established based on the track record of the JSMC. It seeks to understand the dynamic balance of microbial communities from the molecular to the ecosystem level. By studying microbial consortia from different habitats – for instance, microorganisms in aquatic environments or human microbiomes – we aim to identify common and distinct patterns that determine balance of microbial consortia. How is microbial balance defined? Which factors disturb the equilibrium and how do systems regain balance?

With a holistic understanding of the functional interactions of microbial consortia, the vision is to develop technologies to create beneficial impact in health, agriculture and environmental stewardship.

The cross-disciplinary research approach of the Microverse Cluster calls for a fully interdisciplinary Early Career Program of life sciences that is provided by the JSMC in conjunction with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena as well as local research institutes of the Leibniz, Max Planck, Fraunhofer and Helmholtz societies.