The garlic group, the foundation of GENAWIF, and the farewell from the RWTH Aachen

April 27, 2022
The founding of GENAWIF is tightly linked to the history of the so called „garlic group“ which did its research in the plant physiology department at the RWTH Aachen university. Recently, the garlic group said good bye due to the


April 1, 2022
The course „Symbiotecture“ is offered by the Institute of Building Technology at RWTH Aachen University and is aimed at students of architecture and biology. The aim is to design building concepts that use plants as an integral part of the

A Marketplace to rent or borrow laboratory infrastructure?

März 17, 2022
Our Association ist still quite young, however, it was important for us to have the opportunity to workin our own labs to lettheory and practice do the trick inevaluating new ideas. But what if we weremissing special equipment that we

Review of the participation at the WFMG – Branchentreffpunkt für Getränke und Lebensmittelwirtschaft 

Februar 10, 2022
On January 27th we participated at the Branchentreffpunkt für Getränke und Lebensmittelwirtschaft, which was organized by the Wirtschaftsförderung Mönchengladbach (WFMG). Simplified, the WFMG is a limited liability company whose primary goal is to secure or create new jobs in the

Cooperation with Landgard

Februar 2, 2022
Climate change is one of the central challenges of our time. In the future, long periods of drought inparticular will negatively affect agricultural yields in the long term. With the kind support of theLandgard Foundation, we are working on a

Microbial coliseum and new natural products 

Dezember 6, 2021
In my function  as a scientist at RWTH Aachen University, I participated in the second Bio Natural Conference, which dealt with diverse topics related to natural products. At the conference I gave a presentation on the work of Dr. Jana


August 19, 2021
In order to present our association online to a larger audience we contacted Mrs. Elena Reinders from the city of Aachen. She found our association so interesting that she suggested to publish an article in the online magazine „FUTURE LAB

Review of eight months with BioBoosteRR

Juli 1, 2021
In October 2020, we began our cooperation with BioBoosteRR, which was initially planned to run until June 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to look back on this time together. To put it all in context, we still

The association

Who we are

We are scientists with many years of experience in the field of natural products and the elucidation of the mechanism of action of substances. In order to bundle this knowledge and experience and to make it usable in practice, we have founded GENAWIF on the basis of our expertise.


What is our mission?

We are convinced that the research of natural and active substances, especially with regard to their effects on cells and organisms, needs a deeper attention from both the public and the scientific community. Both possible hazards posed by chemical compounds that may not yet have been clarified and novel and surprising applications of natural and active substances require a competent and innovative perspective. Based on the understanding of biological effectiveness and the knowledge of chemical properties, we can research new applications and bring them to fruition together with partners, thus contributing to sustainable economic activity, new jobs, security of supply through agriculture and new approaches to treating diseases in human and veternary medicine.


How do we tackle these challenges?

Through our organisation as a non-profit association, it is clear that our goal is not to work in a profit-oriented way, but rather to work in a solution-oriented way. For this purpose, networking and information of the public as well as of experts, scientists and political decision-makers is important. In addition, we would like to make our experience and expertise available through consulting and contract research in order to prepare and carry out a basis for the implementation of our own research projects in cooperation with local, national and international actors. Due to our corporate tax-exempt organisational form we have access to private and public research funding, but due to the economic part of our work (consulting, training, events, etc.) we ourselves can make a fundamental contribution to the financing of our vision.


Martin Gruhlke
Dr. Martin Gruhlke
Dr. Martin Gruhlke, born in Heidelberg in 1983, studied biology with a focus on plant physiology and biochemistry at the RWTH Aachen University. He already dealt with the antimicrobial effect of allicin from garlic in his diploma thesis, which he continued during his doctoral and post-doctoral periods at the RWTH. His interest in researching natural products with regard to their cellular mode of action and the knowledge gained from this for application in agriculture and medicine led him to found the Society for Natural and Active Ingredient Research.

Jana Foerster
Financial administration
Dr. Jana Foerster
Jana Foerster, born in 1987 in Volgograd/Russia, studied Biosciences (B. Sc.) at TU Kaiserslautern and subsequently Biology with a focus on Plant Sciences (M. Sc.) at RWTH Aachen University.
After her master’s thesis on a proteome analysis of the allicin-resistant bacterium Pseudomonas (2014), she continued her work in Prof. Slusarenko’s research group at RWTH Aachen University as a doctoral student, researching the antimicrobial effect of allicin from garlic on lung pathogenic bacteria and investigating whether the medical treatment of lung infections with allicin is possible in principle using a newly developed lung model.
Since her doctorate (2020), she has taken part in various training courses, project and quality management and clinical data management. 

Jan Borlinghaus
Scientific advisory board
Dr. Jan Borlinghaus

Jan Borlinghaus, born 1985, started studying biology at RWTH Aachen University in 2005. He completed his diploma thesis (2012) at the Department of Plant Physiology in the field of plant sciences, where he developed a passion for molecular biology.
This was followed by a PhD in the same institute with a molecular biology question on the resistance mechanisms of an allicin-resistant bacterium Pseudomonas.
Since 2019, Jan has continued as a postdoc working on open questions related to the natural product allicin, but his interest has also shifted to synthetic biology and bioassays using baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a model organism.

Michael Ries
Public relations
Michael Ries
Michael Ries, born in Schweinfurt in 1993, began his biology studies at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2012. The main focus of his studies was on pharmaceutical biology and biotechnology. In his Bachelor’s thesis, he researched the synthesis pathway of cardenolides in foxgloves, which are still used in medicine today.
After his B. Sc. degree (2016), Michael moved to RWTH Aachen University, where he gained insight into plant sciences in a research internship under Jan Borlinghaus at the Institute of Plant Physiology. As part of his Master’s thesis at the same institute , he developed a luciferase-based measurement system in baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae).
After his M. Sc. degree (2020), he then moved to a biotechnology company in Monheim/Rhine to take over marketing there. Due to his successful way of working, he has since been able to recruit three more employees to support him in marketing.

Contact us!

If you have any ideas to collaborate with us or want to join the association just write an E-Mail to!