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Dear colleagues and friends of the Institute of Environmental Research,
My co-workers and I would like to invite you to share some of our scientific highlights of the last two years. These cover the results of our ongoing DFG research group “Veterinary Medicines in Soils: Basic Research for Risk Analysis” subproject: “Fate,  metabolism and plant uptake of selected veterinary medicines in the rhizosphere”, as well as the isolation of new endophytic fungi producing bioactive compounds such as camptothecin or deoxypodophyllotoxin which are potential prodrugs, the detection of mycotoxins in cereals by a new analytical multi-method, biochemical studies on the occurrence of endogenously produced morphine in mammals, the synthesis of new materials with non linear optical properties, new applications in the field of imprinted polymers and a network for second-hand furniture. As you can see from these activities, the institute has taken measures to strengthen its profile within its priority area ”chemical biology and biotechnology” using the latest physical chemical methods.

Most of our projects follow an interdisciplinary approach with partners not only from the EU area but also from outside. These projects have attracted many scientists from all over the world to join us as short-term and long-term fellows. At the end of the year 2008 the institute with six other groups out of the 38 applicants entering the competition “Ernährung.NRW” was awarded the task of performing a comprehensive survey study on the reduction of mycotoxins in cereals and fodder. We were also been engaged
in teaching graduate students from two faculties in modern analytical methods and have continued with our international summer schools in Novi Sad, Skopje and Sofia.

Let me express my sincere thanks to all our partners and funding organizations specifically the German Research Foundation (DFG), The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF-DLR), the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the Fund of the Chemical Industry, the Technische Universität Dortmund, the Ministry for Environmental, Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (MUNLV) and the Ministry for Innovation, Science, Research and Technology (MIWFT). Last, but not least, I would also like to thank all the members of the institute for their strong efforts and enthusiasm.

I look forward to your response and remain with best wishes for your good health

Michael Spiteller