Research Foci

Based on challenges of high clinical and societal relevance and the special competencies of its cooperation partners, HZI has established Research Foci (RF), providing a synergistic, dynamic and flexible framework for the programme.

The Research Foci integrate know-how from different areas of HZI’s research, namely from all three Topics, and can thus address research questions using expertise on pathogens, immune systems and anti-infectives. They offer the flexibility to meet new challenges, e.g. by establishing a new Research Focus when a new urgent problem emerges. Within each Research Focus, HZI scientists pursue the transfer of knowledge from the lab to clinical or pharmaceutical application.

Currently, researchers at HZI and its partner institutions cooperate in five Research Foci addressing the clinically relevant fields of:

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Increasing occurrence of antimicrobial resistance is a severe challenge, particularly in the light of the scarcity of new candidates in drug discovery. Scientists in the research focus AMR combine expertise in various fields and long-standing experience in industry or industrial-academic collaborations to address these challenges, pursuing a multi-pronged strategy. They investigate the molecular mechanisms causing resistances and explore innovative strategies against pathogens, in particular by identifying and optimizing novel anti-infective compounds.

The most important questions that scientists in RF AMR want to solve are:

  • Can antimicrobial resistance be detected early enough to take countermeasures in time?
  • How can we find novel drugs against resistant pathogens?
  • Can we optimize treatment regimens and use approved antibiotics more effectively?
  • How can antimicrobial compounds reach their targets more efficiently?

Speaker RF AMR: Prof Dr Anna Hirsch
Deputy Speaker RF AMR: Prof Dr Mark Brönstrup

Most relevant publications

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Kordes,A., Preusse,M., Willger,S.D., Braubach,P., Jonigk,D., Haverich,A., Warnecke,G., and Häußler,S. (2019). Genetically diverse Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations display similar transcriptomic profiles in a cystic fibrosis explanted lung. Nat. Commun. 10, 1-3397.

Sikandar,A., Franz,L., Melse,O., Antes,I., and Koehnke,J. (2019). Thiazoline-Specific Amidohydrolase PurAH Is the Gatekeeper of Bottromycin Biosynthesis. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 9748-9752.
Sommer,R., Wagner,S., Rox,K., Varrot,A., Hauck,D., Wamhoff,E.C., Schreiber,J., Ryckmans,T., Brunner,T., Rademacher,C., Hartmann,R.W., Brönstrup,M., Imberty,A., and Titz,A. (2018). Glycomimetic, Orally Bioavailable LecB Inhibitors Block Biofilm Formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 140, 2537-2545.

Ferreira,K., Hu,H.Y., Fetz,V., Prochnow,H., Rais,B., Muller,P.P., and Brönstrup,M. (2017). Multivalent Siderophore-DOTAM Conjugates as Theranostics for Imaging and Treatment of Bacterial Infections. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed Engl. 56, 8272-8276.

Hüttel,S., Testolin,G., Herrmann,J., Planke,T., Gille,F., Moreno,M., Stadler,M., Brönstrup,M., Kirschning,A., and Müller,R. (2017). Discovery and Total Synthesis of Natural Cystobactamid Derivatives with Superior Activity against Gram-Negative Pathogens. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 56, 12760-12764.

Kling,A., Lukat,P., Almeida,D.V., Bauer,A., Fontaine,E., Sordello,S., Zaburannyi,N., Herrmann,J., Wenzel,S.C., Konig,C., Ammerman,N.C., Barrio,M.B., Borchers,K., Bordon-Pallier,F., Brönstrup,M., Courtemanche,G., Gerlitz,M., Geslin,M., Hammann,P., Heinz,D.W., Hoffmann,H., Klieber,S., Kohlmann,M., Kurz,M., Lair,C., Matter,H., Nuermberger,E., Tyagi,S., Fraisse,L., Grosset,J.H., Lagrange,S., and Müller,R. (2015). Targeting DnaN for tuberculosis therapy using novel griselimycins. Science 348, 1106-1112.

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