Microbial Natural Products

This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)

Even today efficient drugs against many diseases are missing but finding new active substances is very complex. Support comes out of the ground. Myxobacteria are soil-living microorganisms that produce many active agents. Here you learn more about the search for new compounds with biological activity.


  • Prof Dr Rolf Müller

    Rolf Müller

    Managing Director of the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Head of the Department Microbial Natural Products

    +49 681 98806-3000

    +49 681 98806-3009

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Prof Dr Rolf Müller

We mainly focus on the discovery of microbial natural products in order to develop new antibiotics to combat infectious diseases.

Rolf Müller

Rolf Müller studied pharmacy at Bonn University and obtained his PhD at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology. In 1996, he went to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA . This was when he began to investigate the production of antibiotics in bacteria. Two years later he returned to Germany as a junior group leader at the German Research Centre for Biotechnology (GBF, now the HZI) in Braunschweig. In 2000, he completed his habilitation thesis at the Technische Universität Braunschweig on the biosynthesis of antibiotics in actinomycetes and myxobacteria.

Since October 2003, Rolf Müller has held a chair as professor of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at Saarland University. In 2009 Rolf Müller became the managing director of the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), heads the Department of “Microbial Natural Products” (MINS) and co-founded the PharmBioTec GmbH in Saarbrücken. Within the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) Rolf Müller coordinates the thematic unit “Novel Antibiotics.”

His research has already earned the Phoenix-Pharmacy Research Award three times (2001,2007,2016) the DECHEMA Award for the Natural Products Research (2002), the BioFuture Award of the GermanFederal Ministry for Education and Research (2003), and the DECHEMA Award of the Max-Buchner Research Foundation (2010).

Since 2012 he has been a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. In 2016 he also become elected member of National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)

Further Information

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

Bachelor & Master
Are you interested in a bachelor or master thesis? We are looking forward to your request!


  • KrankheitsErregend - Antibiotika

    Zufall und Unordnung im Labor führten dazu, dass der schottische Wissenschaftler Sir Alexander Fleming 1928 eine Wunderwaffe gegen bakterielle Infektionskrankheiten entdeckte. Das von einem Schimmelpilz hergestellte Penicillin hindert Bakterien am Wachsen und wurde erfolgreich als erstes Antibiotikum eingesetzt. Danach fanden Forscher weitere, von Mikroorganismen produzierte Stoffe, die für Bakterien giftig sind. Sie zählen zu den effektivsten Mitteln gegen bakterielle Infektionen. Durch häufigen Antibiotika-Einsatz sind heutzutage viele Mikroorganismen resistent gegen die Medikamente. Im Rahmen der zweiten Veranstaltung der Vortragsreihe „KrankheitsErregend – Meilensteine der Medizin“ ging es sowohl um die Geschichte des Wundermittels als auch um die heutige Forschung und die Probleme in der klinischen Praxis.

  • Paper of the month Juni 2015

    The prize "Paper of the Month" for June 2015 was awarded to Angela Kling from the department Mikrobielle Naturstoffe at HIPS in Saarbrücken. The prize was handed to Peer Lukat, the other first author of the paper, because Andrea Kling was not present at the day. Her publication "Targeting DnaN for tuberculosis therapy using novel griselimycins" was released in the journal Science. Find out more about their research in this videopodcast.

  • HIPS Infofilm (English)

    Resistance to antibiotics has become one of the major global challenges regarding infectious diseases. This is specifically the issue that is being tackled by the new Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS).

  • How do researchers at the HZI and HIPS develop antibiotic candidates from natural products?

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