The Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience

On 12 September 2008, Dr. Andreas and Dr. Thomas Strüngmann founded the Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI). The ESI has the legal form of a “gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (gGmbH)”, i.e. a non-profit corporation, with the Strüngmann brothers as “Gesellschafter” (partners). To finance the ESI, Dr. Andreas and Dr. Thomas Strüngmann founded the Ernst Strüngmann Foundation (ESF).

ESI’s founding directors are Prof. Wolf Singer and Prof. Pascal Fries. Mid July 2009, Prof. Fries became ESI’s first director and managing director. On 1 April 2011, when Prof. Singer assumed emeritus status at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, he joined the ESI as Senior Research Group leader. On 1 October 2011, Dr. Ilka Diester joined the ESI as Research Group leader. On 1 August 2014, Ilka moved to a professorship at Freiburg University. On 1 May 2012, Dr. Michael Schmid started his Emmy Noether group at the ESI. Currently, the ESI comprises the department of Prof. Fries (Fries Lab), the Senior Research Group of Prof. Singer (Singer Lab), the Research Group of Dr. Hermann Cuntz(Cuntz Lab), the Research Group jointly led by Dr. Martha Havenith und Dr. Marieke Schölvinck (Havenith & Schölvinck Lab), the Research Group of Dr. Jean Laurens (Laurens Lab) and the Research Group of Dr. Martin Vinck (Vinck Lab) as well as the Research Groups of Dr. Helene Schmidt (Schmidt Lab) and Dr. Rosanne Rademaker (Rademaker Lab). In April 2021 David Poeppel (Poeppel Lab) took on the position of managing director.

Animal Research

Insights gained in basic research Ever since their existence, humans have been seeking knowledge. Knowledge enables us to evaluate the possible consequences of our actions and, where appropriate, look for alternatives.

read more »


Dr. Andreas and Dr. Thomas Strüngmann The twins Drs. Andreas and Thomas Strüngmann were born in 1950. They both did a university study and obtained PhDs; Andreas as a medical doctor, Thomas as an economist.

read more »

Consultative Board

The ESI consultative board is a central element in linking the institute to the public and society. It is composed of representatives of regional politics, university, economy, media and foundations.

read more »

ESI Board

The ESI Board decides on all overarching scientific questions. It consists of eight members appointed by the Max Planck Society (two members of which one is the chairman) and the benefactors Drs.

read more »

Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization. It was founded on February 26, 1948, and is the successor organization to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, which was established in 1911.

read more »

Mission Statement

The ESI’s mission is to conduct excellent fundamental brain research. The focus lies on the systems neuroscience level, at which we try to understand how the many neurons of the brain work together to bring about our conscious experiences and our behavior.

read more »

Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board will be involved in the scientific evaluation of ESI. Its members are appointed for six years. The Scientific Advisory Board visits ESI every two to three years.

read more »

Dr. Ernst Strüngmann

Dr. Ernst Strüngmann was born in 1914 in Duisburg. After the war he settled as an ophthalmologist in Mühlheim/Ruhr and, in parallel, founded the company Durachemie.

read more »