Bacterial and viral pathogens

The Topic "Bacterial and Viral Pathogens" focuses on the role of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in infectious disease processes. Scientists in this Topic study pathogens and their dynamic interplay with the host. They aim to understand the molecular bases of virulence, persistence and resistance, and to determine risk factors for the spread of diseases.

Immune Response and Interventions

The focus of Topic "Immune Response and Interventions" is the response of the immune system to infections. Scientists in this Topic study the recognition of bacteria and viruses by the immune system, the reasons for individual susceptibility towards infections and the mechanisms pathogens use to circumvent the host’s immune system. They explore the immune system’s ageing, the influence of microbial communities in the body on the course of infections and the impact of infections on neurodegenerative diseases.


In the Topic "Anti-Infectives" (Topic 3), researchers are discovering and developing new anti-infectives. Drug research at HZI is concentrating in particular on natural products – substances that are produced by organisms like bacteria and fungi in great variety. Some of these compounds have medical effects. At HZI, interdisciplinary teams of leading experts with both academic and industry backgrounds develop innovative methods to identify, characterize and improve natural products which could be used against bacteria and viruses.

Technology Platforms

To support innovative research, platforms offer services for scientists and partners of the HZI, thus enabling them to concentrate on their own core competencies.