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Matthias Greiner appointed Head of Department at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and Professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation

28/2011, 04.08.2011

First joint appointment of BfR and TiHo Hannover

Risks which can be involved in foods and articles of daily use are diverse and complex. In order to determine a possible risk for consumers, information about the intake amounts of pathogens and contaminants are necessary. A focal area or research at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is, therefore, the development of methods to collect data within the framework of risk assessment and exposure evaluation. This research area has now been strengthened by BfR through a joint appointment with the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo). Private lecturer Dr. Matthias Greiner is appointed as both a university professor at TiHo Hanover and will take over the lead of the Department Scientific Services at BfR. "With Dr. Matthias Greiner BfR has enhanced its research competency in an important area with consumer relevance", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. The President of TiHo, Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Greif, stresses: "The scientific exchange between BfR and TiHo Hanover is reinforced through this appointment."

As a veterinary medical scientist and statistician Matthias Greiner has been working at BfR in the fields of epidemiology, biostatistics and mathematical modelling since 2006. He regularly acts as an expert for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and is also involved in the promotion of junior scientists as the upcoming President of the European College for Veterinary Public Health. Greiner's professional career shows that he has acquired the relevant scientific and administrative competency as an inter-disciplinarily researcher.

Greiner graduated as a Veterinary Medical Scientist from the Free University (FU) of Berlin and obtained a PhD in a medical laboratory about the diagnostic detection of mycobacteria. After his Master of Science in Statistics at the Hallam Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, he habilitated in veterinary medicine at the FU Berlin in the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics. Between 1989 and 2002 Greiner was head of the serological laboratory at the Institute for International Veterinary Medicine and the Institute for Parasitology at the FU Berlin. After four years as Head of the International Research Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology (International EpiLab) at the then Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research (DFVF) in Copenhagen he started his activity with BfR. Greiner's research focus is on the validation of diagnostic processes and the methodological developments for risk assessment and exposure evaluation.

The Department Scientific Services currently includes six units: international chemicals programmes, poisoning and product documentation, epidemiology, biostatistics and mathematical modelling, exposure assessment and standardisation, information technology and the GLP Federal Bureau and quality management. The inter-connection of the different areas within BfR and the scientific consulting of federal authorities constitute challenging tasks. Greiner will represent BfR in the relevant national and international bodies.

As a Professor for quantitative risk assessment and exposure modelling at the TiHo Hannover Greiner will act both as a lecturer and extend scientific research.

This first joint appointment of BfR and the University targets an even closer intertwinement in the fields of research and support of young scientists. In this way the joint appointment of Greiner to BfR and TiHo Hannover serves as a model for science-based consumer protection in Germany.

About BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. BfR engages in own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

About TiHo

The University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation was founded as Roß-Arzney-Schule in 1778 and is the only veterinary medical education centre in Germany which has preserved its independent status. Around 2,300 students study at TiHo. They include students in veterinary medicine, master students in biology as well as PhD students.