Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

Germany’s largest institute for tropical medicine, dedicated to treatments and therapies for tropical and infectious diseases.

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine

The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine was founded in 1900 following a large cholera outbreak in the city. Under the initial guidance of naval doctor Bernhard Nocht, the institute has grown to be considered as one of the most important institutes for tropical medicine in Europe. The institute also runs the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in Ghana.


Pioneering research at the Bernhard Nocht Institute is split into several areas; parasitology, immunology and virology, as well as epidemiology. Areas of particular interest to the institute are Malaria, hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola; tuberculosis and tissue nematodes. With some of the most secure biological labs in the world, the institute has the facilities to research some of the deadliest viruses and diseases to humans. In collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute, it looks into the wide spectrum of viral, parasitic and bacterial infections that threaten human health. The Bernhard Nocht Institute also collaborates with the World Health Organisation to focus on Arboviruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses. The Institute also has the largest reference collection in Germany of rare and tropical virus strains.


The Bernhard Nocht Institute also offers courses on all aspects of tropical medicine. There are different courses for physicians and PhD students, and even refresher courses for the latest information on tropical medicine, as well as a structured programme for education related to travel medicine and international health. The Institute also prides itself on being active and up to date with current events in the area of health, even offering courses on refugee health.

There is also a graduate school, which has possibilities for doctoral research in collaboration with the University of Hamburg.


The Bernhard Nocht Institute also offers many services, such as lab diagnosis of diseases and even travel advice and vaccination clinics, including a walk-in clinic in the Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf (UKE). Close co-operation with the German Army allows the institute to ensure a good standing in both political and scientific circles. There is also a well-stocked library on site, which is open to everyone, and contains both specialised books, as well as publications from the Institute itself.