The Extremophile Center launched in 2013 with the status of a special unit of the University of Natural Resources Life Sciences Vienna and is scientifically integrated in the Vienna Institute of Biotechnology (VIBT). The Extremophile Center was funded by the EQ-GmbH and the Center of Innovation and Technology (Vienna).

The Extremophile Center is specialized on a group of fungi, which are small, black and strong:

"Black yeasts" and "Microcolonial fungi" resist extreme situations; the UV-radiation and dehydration in desert just like the radioactivity or extreme ozone pollution.

We examine the molecular and cellular mechanisms of stress resistance in fungi and other microorganisms with the aim to make them useful for biotechnological applications.


Our research aims to have biotechnological applications:

  • Development of antioxidants and other cell-protectants for medical and cosmetic applications in relation to UV-stress and free radicals as well as in terms of application in radiotherapy. 
  • Development of novel anti-fungal therapies.
  • Biotechnological use of novel degradation processes for biological purification of waste gases (biofilter), water and soil as well as the bioconversion of pollutants and other waste products into usable energy resources.
  • The optimization of fermentation process by increasing the resistance of the producer-strains.