Chemical Biology

In their ongoing quest for new therapies against pathogens, scientists are focusing primarily on chemical and biological agents. These can function as antibiotics or stimulate the immune system. Discovering new drugs, characterising their functionality and optimising their properties are the three main goals of the department “Chemical Biology” at the HZI.  

1. Screening for novel anti infectives

The HZI S3-facility offers the opportunity to investigate the properties of pathogenic viruses and bacteria. One task addressed by the Department of Chemical Biology is the screening of (natural-) compound libraries for new anti-viral-agents. This is accomplished by an automated pipetting robot which can be operated under S3-safety conditions. In an ongoing project, the malignant hepatoma cell-line Huh-7 is cultivated in 96-wells and subjected to Dengue Virus. After addition of compounds and viral infection, cells are fixed and immunostained for viral epitopes. Finally, the percentage of infected cells is determined by automated fluorescence microscopy.

By applying different modifications to this high-content screening approach, our group intends to identify new anti-viral compounds blocking virus/host-interactions or interfering with viral replication and viral maturation.


  • Prof Dr Mark Brönstrup

    Mark Broenstrup

    Head of the department chemical biology

    +49 531 6181-3400


Bachelor & Master
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