Sites of the Helmholtz Centre
The Sites of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research are distributed all over Germany. In addition to the main campus in Braunschweig, there are facilities in five other cities: Hamburg, Hanover, Saarbrücken, Würzburg and Greifswald.
The Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) is the first institution worldwide to combine ribonucleic acid (RNA) research with infection biology. Based on novel findings from its strong basic research program, the institute’s long-term goal is to develop innovative therapeutic approaches to better diagnose and treat human infections.
HIRI is a joint venture of the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) and the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg (JMU) and is located on the Würzburg Medical Campus.
Due to its unique expertise, HIRI is in high demand for international research collaborations. Its research areas include single cell sequencing, RNA-based antibiotics and virus-host interactions, e.g. in SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Research at HIRI focuses on four areas—bacterial infections, viral infections, host response, and RNA delivery—complemented by the strategic pursuit of emerging topics in RNA research. Collaboration between groups is core to our mission, and the tight interconnections between our four research areas provide a vibrant research environment for our scientists and trainees.
Prof Jörg Vogel
RNA Biology of Bacterial Infections
Prof Chase Beisel
RNA Synthetic Biology
The lab of Prof Chase Beisel (formerly North Carolina State University, USA) will investigate and harness the functional diversity of CRISPR-Cas immune systems for the development of new foundational technologies. They aim to develop a new generation of CRISPR technologies that can be employed to better understand, diagnose, and combat human infections.
Dr Antoine-Emmanuel Saliba
Jun Prof Neva Caliskan
Recoding Mechanisms in Infections
Jun Prof Lars Barquist
Integrative Informatics for Infection Biology
Jun Prof Alexander Westermann
The group of Alexander Westermann focuses on investigating molecular RNA-based mechanisms that allow infecting pathogens to outcompete the resident microbiota. Their research centers on the identification and functional characterization of noncoding RNA molecules in pathogens, microbiota members and the host, to identify those RNAs that may serve as biomarkers for diagnostics or as therapeutic targets.