Biological Barriers and Drug Delivery

While considering the confusing flood of drugs in the pharmacies it is hard to believe in a lack of medication. But there are still many infectious diseases and also cancer that cannot be treated sufficiently. During a medical treatment it is essential that the drug arrives at the envisaged body region. Read more about the research of the department “Biological Barriers and Drug Delivery” on techniques for the correct distribution of novel drugs. This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS).


Prof Dr Claus-Michael Lehr

The transport of active agents from the application site to the site of action plays an essential role in the successful development of new drugs. Personally, I am fascinated by the multidisciplinarity of the research approach, which reaches from molecular cell biology to macromolecular chemistry and nanotechnology.

Claus-Michael Lehr

Claus-Michael Lehr is Professor at Saarland University as well as cofounder and head of the department “Drug Delivery” at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), which was established as a branch of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) Braunschweig in 2009. Prof. Lehr has also been cofounder of Across Barriers GmbH and acts as CEO of PharmBioTec GmbH, a non-for-profit contract research subsidiary of Saarland University.

The research theme of Prof. Lehr's team is non-invasive drug delivery across biological barriers, in particular the epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract, the skin and the lungs. Recently, this has been expanded to microbial barriers, such as the bacterial cellular envelope, biofilms and host cell membranes. A substantial part of the lab’s activities is dedicated to innovative carriers systems, often based on nanotechnology, capable of safely and efficiently delivering drugs and vaccines across the barriers. In this context, the lab systematically investigates predictive cells and tissue models, preferentially human-based, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel therapeutic concepts and to facilitate their translation into the clinic.

Prof. Lehr is (co)author of more than 400 papers with >12.000 citations (h‐index = 70). He is co‐editor of the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics and has been the initiator of the International Conference and Workshop “Biological Barriers”, which takes place biannually at Saarland University. Recently, the British magazine “The Medicine Maker” rated him, for the third time, as one of the top 100 most influencing drug researchers in the world.

Further Information

A current overview of the team and further information about the research group can be found on the HIPS page.

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Audio Podcast

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