IWW Water Centre

The IWW is a water research institute affiliated with the University of Duisburg-Essen with the headquarter in Mülheim/Ruhr (Germany). It conducts interdisciplinary, national and international research related to water. The fields of activity reach from basic research to practical application development, with a focus on applied research, practice-oriented consulting, training courses and seminars.

The working fields of IWW cover the whole water supply with water resource management, water technology, water networks, water quality analysis, applied microbiology/toxicology, analytics, water economy and management. The research activities are based on four strategic research areas: ‘Water Economics and Society’, ‘Water Technology and Assets’, ‘Water Resources and Environment’ and ‘Water Quality and Health’.

The business field of Toxicology is established at the IWW since 2010. The focus of the toxicological field at IWW is the risk assessment of anthropogenic trace substances and the detection of biological effects (cytotoxicity, endocrine effects, genotoxicity, mutagenicity) in cell based systems (bioassays) to allow a toxicological risk assessment.

Link to the website of toxikology: toxlab

Elke Dopp (Prof. Dr. agr. habil.) is scientific advisor of the department Toxicology at IWW Mülheim/Ruhr. The research activities of her group are focused on toxicological analyses and detection of biological effects of water pollutants at the cellular level. Prof. Dopp received the venia legendi for Environmental Toxicology in 2002 from the University of Rostock and for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine in 2005 from the University of Duisburg-Essen. She is teaching Environmental Hygiene and Environmental Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine as well as at the Faculty of Biology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She supervises Helena Pannekens (nee Bielak) and Cora Schmid. Her mentee Dr. Oliver Knoop has already successfully completed his Ph.D. project.


Cora Schmid is an associated FUTURE WATER member. She completed her Bachelors degree in Environmental Science at the University of Freiburg and specialized in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In her master thesis she already collected knowledge about the risk assessment of micropollutants. In her PhD, she focuses on the pollution of raw water, elimination rates of organic pollutants and the changing toxicity of water during drinking water treatment in China.


Helena Pannekens (nee Bielak) finished her bachelor and master program in “Water Science” at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In her bachelor thesis she analyzed the toxicity of pharmaceutical residues in waste water during the oxidative waste water treatment. She conducted her master thesis at the Florida International University (Miami, USA) where she investigated possibilities for the chemical analytical detection of lipopolysaccharides of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa and their toxic effects in the zebrafish embryo model. Since July 2013 she has been active in the in the field of toxicology (department of water quality) at the IWW.