Human-Microbe Systems Bioinformatics
The human body encompasses fewer human cells than microbes. They constantly interact with each other and the host and greatly affect an individual's health and well-being. In our group, we develop and apply state-of-the-art bioinformatics software to study the human-microbe systems and aim to discover natural products involved in communication between the two realms. This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS).
Natural products are a promising source of new pharmaceuticals, such as anti-infectives. They also mediate human-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions and could serve clinicians as biomarkers of health and disease. Breakthroughs in omics technologies enabled the rapid acquisition of voluminous data on natural products and their producers, but the computational analysis and interpretation of these data remain a bottleneck.
We aim to turn natural product discovery into a high-throughput technology by developing and applying specialized computational tools. The close interaction with computer scientists and natural product experts makes the created software robust, efficient, and genuinely suitable for the local and international research community. The access to unique single- and multi-omics datasets available within collaborative projects represents a gold mine for tools’ validation and fine-tuning and ultimately leads to biomedically important discoveries and enhanced understanding of the complex human-microbe systems.
A current overview of the team and further information about the research group can be found on the HIPS page.