Exploring Nature’s Mysteries! 🌿

February 26, 2024
In a breathtaking exploration, scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have identified 74 new plant species and 15 fungi over the past year. These groundbreaking discoveries range from an underground “forest” to spectacular orchids and were found in unlikely

Prestigeous award for Genawif collaborator Dr. André Bachmann

May 17, 2023
Dr. André Bachmann, Professor of Pediatrics at Michigan State University and a collaborator with Genawif, has been honoured with the 2023 NYIPLA “Inventor of the Year Award” for US Patent No. 11,273,137 B2. The New York Property Law Association makes

Bio4MatPro – Competence Center for Biological Transformation in Materials Science and Production Engineering

February 8, 2023
Our chairman Dr. Martin Gruhlke gave a presentation on the topic of utilization options of stinging nettle at the conference organized by the Aachen Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Bio4MatPro project at RWTH Aachen University on February 07,

New research work by GENAWIF members

January 26, 2023
Selenium is an element very similar to sulfur. The redox activity that makes sulfur so biologically significant is also present in sulfur. Many sulfur compounds, such as those found in onion or cabbage plants, are also extremely antimicrobial. In a

Allicin from garlic inhibits the essential bacterial enzyme DNA gyrase, a common target for medical antibiotics

November 13, 2022
For non-experts, we recommend to have a look at our article “Size matters – the importance of DNA packaging and the bacterial DNA Gyrase” first. The article introduces the importance and principles of DNA packaging by comparing the size of

International Conference of our German Society for Plant Sciences

September 27, 2022
At this year’s botanical meeting, hosted by the German Botanical Society ( at the University of Bonn, our chairman Dr. Martin Gruhlke gave a lecture on “Thioallylation as the basis for the physiological effect of allicin in garlic” and was

Size matters – the importance of DNA packaging

September 13, 2022
Summary The following article introduces the importance of DNA size management due to limited cellular space, as it is demonstrated with the DNA and cell size of the Escherichia coli bacterium. The very principles of DNA packaging are discussed using

Powerful new analytical technique makes the smell of garlic and other plants visible.

August 24, 2022
When you investigate something, your method can distort your results. This is a problem in lots of research and a case in point is trying to analyse the molecules that make up the smell of garlic. Many analytical methods actually

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.

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