Compound Profiling und Screening
The skin and mucosa of all humans are colonized by a large number of different microorganisms. Among them are opportunistic pathogens, which switch from harmless commensal organisms into life-threatening pathogens in particular when the immune system is compromised, e.g. as consequence of a severe disease or of therapeutic interventions, such as chemotherapies or antibiotic treatment. Thus, these infections frequently develop on top of another severe disease causing complications and extended stays in critical care units of hospitals. To avoid the outbreak of those infections, antibiotics are prophylactically applied, which supports the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Hence, new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed.
Prof Dr Ursula Bilitewski
Head of the Research Group Compound Profiling und Screening
+49 531 6181-1010
Education and Employments
* 1977 – 1983
Chemistry; University of Münster
* Oct. 1983
* 1983 – 1987
Ph.D. thesis at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Münster
* 1987 - 1988
Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Münster
* Feb. 1987
* since 1988
Project manager at the GBF mbH, Braunschweig
Habilitation in Biochemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig
* since 1994
Professor for Biochemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig
* since 2000
Chair of the Working group “Biochemical Methods” of the Waterchemical Society of the GDCh
Research Interests and Achievements
Ursula Bilitewski has many years of experience in bioanalytical methods. She has started with the development of enzyme electrodes based on screen-printing technology, which is nowadays one of the most frequently used technologies for the industrial production of glucose test strips. This work was complemented by the development of optical affinity sensors using antibodies, receptors and oligonucleotides as binding molecules. Besides the development of suitable surface and immobilisation chemistries, demonstrators and miniaturised systems for the application to food, environmental and bioprocess analysis she became interested in the biological sensing mechanisms and corresponding signal transduction mechanisms.
This led to projects on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of potential therapeutic or toxic agents, which is now the major focus of her research. Test organisms, such as bacteria, fungi or human or animal cell lines, are treated with the compounds under investigation and the response of the organism is analysed on a molecular level, considering metabolites, proteins and nucleic acids using specific enzyme or immunoassays, gel electrophoresis and DNA-chips. These investigations will be supported by analysis of the dynamics of the intracellular networks using methods of systems biology and lead not only to a molecular understanding of toxic or therapeutic mechanisms but also to new screening assays, as new markers for the activity of compounds will be identified.
Since her habilitation Prof. Bilitewski was main supervisor of more than 20 PhD students. She is principal author of approx. 70 original publications and 40 review articles.