Research Projects (Third party funds)


TI Natural Compound Library

The Translational Infrastructure “Natural Compound Library” (TI NCL) of the DZIF has been set up to accomplish the following goals, thus providing support for all Thematic Translational Units (TTUs) of the DZIF dealing with drug research and screening

  • High throughput sequencing, assembly and mining of the genomes of promising strains, e.g. from myxobacteria, actinobacteria and planctomycetes
  • Analysis of the antibiotic biosynthesis potential of untapped microbial communities 
  • Setup and continuous extension of a DZIF natural compound library 
  • Implementation of a screening platform, a compound storage unit and a corresponding database to serve as expert system for accelerated evaluation of screening hits. 
  • Efficient and sustainable production (e.g. by fermentation) and down-stream processing of selected compounds to achieve optimal yields and purity

The rationale for implementation of the TI NCL is the need for novel anti-infectives in various indications, and in particular as future remedies against multi-resistant bacterial pathogens. The NCL currently comprises about 800 - 1,000 pure natural compounds as lead identifying material. The value of the library is in broad diversity representation of selected natural material available in screen-ready format, which can be distributed to all interested research groups that want to make use of this broad-spectrum array of substances to address their individual research question such as finding novel activities against known or unknown targets. 

Compounds are primarily sourced from myxobacteria, actinobacteria, fungi and further natural producers. Considering that the vast majority of antibiotics are derived from these sources, substantial efforts were dedicated to the exploration of hitherto neglected groups of the above organisms by “classical” screening approaches, as well as by innovative technologies including genome and metabolome mining. 

The TI provides an infrastructure that aims to translate novel bioactive candidates into small molecule therapeutics. Hence, it is a key element that helps DZIF to maintain a sustainable pipeline of new biosynthesis gene clusters, hits and lead compounds, leading to further optimized frontrunners during future preclinical and clinical development.


Funding agency

DZIF - German Centre for Infection Research

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