Water Research Laboratory

What is this project about?

The Water Research Lab (WRL) explores the physics of water, using state of the art experimental techniques.

The expected findings from this project will have a wide range of potential applications, but HRI’s reason for co-funding WRL is that the 5-year research programme may well uncover the mode of action of homeopathic medicines.

Techniques such as Near-Infrared spectroscopy, Nuclear-Magnetic Resonance, Conductivity measurements and Mass-spectrometry will be used to probe the underlying physics of the properties of water, potentially telling us how homeopathic high-dilutions (beyond Avogadro’s number) can contain information and be biologically active.

The research team is led by Dr Alexander Tournier, collaborating at an international level with world experts in the various techniques being used.

The laboratory, located in Heidelberg, Germany, was officially launched and began conducting experiments in June 2018.

Lead researcher

Alexander Tournier BSc DIC MASt Cantab PhD

Dr Tournier studied physics at Imperial College, London, and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge. He wrote his PhD on the biophysics of water-protein interactions at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. For the last 10 years he has been conducting interdisciplinary research at the boundaries between mathematics, physics and biology, as an independent researcher for Cancer Research UK (5th institute worldwide for molecular biology).

Why is this project important?

Confirming the existence of structured phase of water would have considerable ramifications not only for homeopathy, but could also lead to completely novel therapeutic and diagnostic techniques. 

 Dr Alexander Tournier PhD

Learn more about this project

Water Research Lab

Click here to visit the official website for WRL.

Author publicationsLess

Matrix geometry determines optimal cancer cell migration strategy and modulates response to interventions
Tozluoğlu M, Tournier AL, Jenkins RP, Hooper S, Bates PA, Sahai E
Nature Cell Biology. 2013, 15(7):751-62

Differential proliferation rates generate patterns of mechanical tension that orient tissue growth
Mao Y, Tournier AL, Hoppe A, Kester L, Thompson BJ, Tapon N
EMBO J. 2013, 32(21):2790-803

Planar polarization of the atypical myosin Dachs orients cell divisions in Drosophila
Mao Y, Tournier AL, Bates PA, Gale JE, Tapon N, Thompson BJ
Genes Dev. 2011, 25(2):131-6

Mathematical modeling identifies Smad nucleocytoplasmic shuttling as a dynamic signal-interpreting system
Schmierer B, Tournier AL, Bates PA, Hill CS
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008; 105(18):6608-13

Temperature and timescale dependence of protein dynamics in methanol : water mixtures
Tournier AL, Réat V, Dunn R, Daniel R, Smith JC, Finney J
Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2005, B(7):1388-93

Principal components of the protein dynamical transition
Tournier AL, Smith JC
Phys Rev Lett. 2003; 91(20):208106

Translational hydration water dynamics drives the protein glass transition
Tournier AL, Xu J, Smith JC
Biophys J. 2003, 85(3):1871


  1. Montagnier, L., Aïssa, J., Ferris, S., Montagnier, J.-L. & Lavalléee, C. Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA sequences. Interdiscip. Sci. Comput. Life Sci. 2009, 1, 81–90. | Pubmed
  2. Montagnier, L. et al. DNA waves and water. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 306, 012007 (2011). | Link
  3. Davenas E, et al. Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE. Nature. 1988 333(6176):816-8. | Pubmed
  4. Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, Weisshuhn TE, Baumgartner S, Willich SN. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies–a systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):128-38. | Pubmed
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