Structural Infection Biology

To understand and eventually manipulate pathways that control the interaction of pathogens (e.g. bacteria, virus, parasite) with their hosts (e.g. human, plants) requires an interdisciplinary research approach, which often combines different fields of research such as cell biology and microbiology. In our laboratory, however, we take a closer look at the processes occurring during an infection at the cellular and atomic level by harnessing a variety of modern biophysical methods that allow addressing the spatio-temporal dynamics of an infectious disease at a high resolution.

The department is located at the Center for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) at the heart of the Germany’s largest accelerator center DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg.

Selected publications

Human aryl hydrogen receptor detects virulence factors from bacterial pathogens

Moura-Alves P et al, Aryl hydrogen receptor senses bacterial pigmented virulence factors and orchestrates antibacterial defenses, Nature, 512: 387-392 (2014)

Shigella flexneri type 3 secretion system caught in the act

Dohlich K, Brotcke Zumsteg A, Goosmann C, Kolbe M, A Substrate-Fusion Protein is Trapped inside the Type III Secretion System Channel in Shigella flexneri, PLoS Pathogens, e003881 (2014)

3-dimensional model of the type 3 secretion needle in Salmonella typhimurium

Loquet A Sgourakis NG, Gupta R, Giller K, Riedel D, Goosmann C, Griesinger C, Kolbe* M, Baker D, Becker S, Lange* A, Atomic model of the type III secretion system needle, Nature, 486: 276-279 (2012)

Structure and mechanism of type 3 secretion system needle assembly

Poyraz O, Schmidt H, Seidel K, Delissen F, Ader C, Tenenboim H, Goosmann C, Laube B, Thünemann AF, Zychlinsky A, Baldus M, Lange A, Griesinger C, Kolbe M, Protein refolding is required for assembly of the type three secretion needle. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 17: 788-792 (2010)

Structural based prediction of a conserved effector-chaperone motif for type 3 secretion

Lunelli, M, Lokareddy, RK, Zychlinsky, A, Kolbe, M, IpaB-IpgC interaction defines binding motif for type III secretion translocator. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 106: 9661-9666 (2009)




  • Prof Dr Michael Kolbe

    Michael Kolbe

    Head of the department Structural Infection Biology

    +49 30 28460332


Bachelor & Master
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