Novel Antibiotics

The bacterium E. terrae produces a new antibiotic, which is effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens.© William Fowley, Northeastern University, USA

Antibiotics have highly increased human life expectancy. However, multidrug-resistance has become a common problem and conventional antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective owing to their unbridled use. Although medicine urgently requires new drugs, hardly any new agent candidates are being developed, as the quest for new substances is economically unattractive for pharmaceutical companies.

DZIF scientists in the research field “Novel Antibiotics” intend to bridge the gap between basic research and current drug development activities in the industry. They are involved in screening new agents and developing methods for treating multidrug-resistant pathogens effectively.

Central Themes

  • Screening and optimisation technologies for new agents
    Existing agents are to be improved on the one hand and screening is to help discover and further develop new target sites and agents on the other.
  • Preclinical and clinical development of novel antibiotics and treatment strategies
    DZIF scientists have already brought several new agents into preclinical development. Examples are corallopyronin A for worm infections and aminochelocardins for urinary tract infection.

Working Groups

  • Natural Compound Library
    Contact: Rolf Müller, HIPS Saarbrücken

  • Professorship "Applied natural product genome mining"
    Contact: Nadine Ziemert, University of Tübingen

  • Junior Research Group "Synthetic biology of antiinfective compounds"
    Contact: Leonard Kaysser, University of Tübingen

  • Junior Research Group "Medicinal chemistry with focus on natural products"
    Contact: Alexander Titz, HIPS Saarbrücken

  • Junior Research Group “Pre-clinical and clinical development of antiinfectives”
    Contact: Ute Klarmann-Schulz, University of Bonn

  • Professorship '"Medicinal chemistry of novel antiifective agents"
    Contact: Ralph Holl, Universität Hamburg

Participating Sites



Interview with Hans-Georg Sahl, TTU "Novel Anti-Infectives" [in German]

Rolf Müller, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland/HZI

Achim Hörauf, University Hospital Bonn
Wolfgang Wohlleben, University of Tübingen

Project manager
Claudia Wagner

Marcus Miethke