Microbial Drugs

The majority of the medically important antibiotic drugs (including e.g., penicillins, cephalosporins, erythromycin, vancomycin, and daptomycin) are derived from secondary metabolites, which are produced by bacteria and filamentous fungi. Despite intensive world-wide efforts using alternative approaches based on synthetic chemistry, no other concept could so far surpass the historically successful strategy to exploit biologically active natural products as candidates for anti-infective drugs. The recently observed, increasing resistance of the human pathogens against antibiotics has prompted us to intensify our search for novel lead structures from microorganisms and fungi, which can be used as anti-infective drugs.


Prof Dr Marc Stadler

In fungi and bacteria, the production of antibiotics and other biologically active agents , i.e., the chemical diversity is very strongly correlated their biological diversity). Therefore, we are consistently using modern methods of taxonomic and ecological biodiversity research, in order to increase the probability of success in our search for new drug candidates.

Marc Stadler

Marc Stadler studied biology at the University of Kaiserslautern and received his PhD in 1993 the subject of new antibiotics and nematicides from predacious fungi. His PhD project was supported by a grant from the German National Scholarship Foundation. After a post-doctoral stay funded by the DFG at University of Lund/Sweden in natural product chemistry, Marc Stadler joned the pharmaceutical industry in 1995 and worked in the natural products department of Bayer Healthcare (Pharma Division). 

Together with other Bayer researchers, he co-founded the company InterMed Discovery GmbH in 2006, where he worked as Department Head until April 2012. During his industrial career (17 years in total) he was responsible for the fungal and microbial culture collections , the fermentation and biotechnological process development, as well as a natural product chemical laboratory.

Concurrently, he was teaching at University of Bayreuth, where he completed his habilitation in 2009 and received the venia legendi in Mycology.

Marc Stadler is a globally recognized expert in industrial microbiology and mycology, as well as fungal biodiversity research and natural product chemistry. He acts on the Editorial Boards of leading mycological journals such as Studies in Mycology and Fungal Diversity, and is President-Elect of the International Mycological Association (IMA).

He took over his current position at HZI in 2012 and is teaching biology and biotechnology at Technical University of Braunschweig. In 2013, he was also appointed as Visiting Professor at CAS Institute of Microbiology, State Key Laboratory of Mycology and Lichenology, Beijing, P.R. China.

Story: New drugs from fungi

HZI researchers traveled to Yaoundé, Cameroon, for a workshop on the collection, culture and identification of fungal strains. A new research hub will strengthen natural product research in fungi in the country. [read more]

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

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