Welcome to German Genetics Society

Welcome to the GfG!

The German Genetics Society (GfG; see also “History” (LINK) is a cosmopolitan community of scientists that advocates diversity and freedom of research and teaching but is against nationalistic and anti-democratic approaches. We hereby support the corresponding declaration “Wissenschaft verbindet; Science connects” (LINK) of the mathematical and scientific societies and the VBIO.


The GfG welcomes all scientists who work on genetic questions and/or genetic methods.


In addition to, for example, classic breeding experiments, the use of DNA-modifying techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9, the establishment and analysis of high-throughput sequencing, researchers with epigenetic approaches and questions also find a home in the GfG.


What is “Genetics”?

The wonderful world of Genetics! Postcard designed by Mona Schreiber in 2020.
The wonderful world of Genetics! Postcard designed by Mona Schreiber in 2020.

Genetics is a branch of biology that deals with the inheritance and variation of genetic material in organisms. It examines the structure, function and inheritance of DNA.


The genome consists of all genetic information organized in the form of DNA plasmids (in bacteria; prokaryotes) or long strands of chromosomes made of DNA (in eukaryotes containing a cell nucleus).


In order to inherit the genetic information, DNA needs to be faithfully duplicated (replication), with the exact copy then transmitted to daughter cells. Through the process of meiosis and associated recombination, genetic traits are passed from parents to their offspring, supporting genetic diversity and adaptability within a population. Failure in this process (mutations) can lead, when not repaired, to evolutionary advances or to diseases.


Within DNA are coding regions, so called genes, that are copied into RNAs (transcription), which provide the instructions for making proteins (translation). In addition to genes, there are also regulatory genomic regions (promoters, enhancers, silencers, insulators) and other elements that control the activity of genes by regulating transcription. In addition, (mostly in eukaryotes) there are non-coding regions of DNA that do not directly code for proteins, but can still have important functions, such as for the production of non-coding RNA molecules such as miRNAs and lncRNAs. Overall, this complex organization of the genome forms the basis for the regulation and execution of genetic processes in an organism.


Epigenetics expands this understanding by addressing changes in gene activity that are not due to changes in the DNA sequence itself. It deals with the regulation of genetic material through its packaging material: the chromatin. This is controlled during embryonic development and by environmental factors using chemical tags that can influence gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence. Overall, genetics and epigenetics look together at the complex interactions between genes and at the environment that contribute to the development, health and diversity of living beings.


Both genetic and epigenetic changes contribute significantly to the development of a variety of diseases. Therefore, research into the basic processes that are changed by these (epi) mutations is immensely important in order to better understand the genesis, diagnosis, therapy development and treatment of a plethora of diseases.


What are our tasks?

The GfG offers its members many advantages and help!


We see our tasks primarily in...


  • Promoting research and teaching in the field of genetics and epigenetics. We are particularly committed to this through lobbying, statements on current education and science policy issues as well as public relations work.
  • Support and promotion of young scientists through networking, mentoring, the annual awarding of the highly prestigious Elisabeth Gateff Doctoral Prize worth €3,000 (see LINK), the workshop “On the way to a professorship” (see LINK) and conference grants.
  • Networking of GfG members through the formation of scientific networks (GEN-AGs (see link) and the organization and support of international and national conferences (see LINK).

Advantages of membership in the GfG?


A small annual membership fee (see LINK) allows:


  • Free participation for doctoral students in selected conferences and meetings
  • Eligibility of doctoral students to apply for the Elisabeth Gateff Prize
  • Free participation of junior group leaders in the “Paths to Professorship” workshop
  • Free/reduced participation in the major annual meeting
  • Participation in GEN-AGs for networking
  • Mentoring
  • Public relation
  • Free subscription to the journal “BIOspektrum” with the option of to publish in this journal
  • Collaboration with other related scientific societies, e.g. GBM, VAAM, DGHM, GASB and the VBIO
  • Participation in national committees and commissions