Current projects

DZIF - Functional genomics of microbial producers

Extending the database of microbial sequence space is a central measure for improving the discovery of novel antibiotics in DZIF. We apply high-throughput next generation genome sequencing of potential microbial producers and systematic microbial genome analyses for genome mining, to identify new types of natural producers outside of common bacterial groups. We integrate genome and transcriptome sequence analyses with metabolomics to investigate the genetic regulation of bacterial natural product biosynthesis, with the goal to discover novel antibiotic compounds and specifically induce and control their production. Presently, we focus on the biosynthetic potential of myxobacteria, in close collaboration with the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller).

DZIF is funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. 
Duration: 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

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The central goal of DUSTRISK is to evaluate the health effects of dust and its associated microorganisms on respiratory diseases and to develop an advisory dust-health-risk index. Specific objectives are (1) the identification of source regions of mineral dust, (2) the characterization of dust physicochemical and microbial compositions and the assessment of toxic effects on pulmonary cells, (3) the investigation of effects on respiratory diseases. To this end, a transdisciplinary team of atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, physicians, epidemiologists, toxicologists, biophysicists and microbiologists performs collaborative field, laboratory, clinical, epidemiological and modelling studies. Field measurements are carried out at the Cape Verde islands.

DUSTRISK is coordinated by the TROPOS institute and funding is provided by the Leibniz Association.
Duration: 01.07.2020 - 31.12.2024

Leibniz Research Alliance INFECTIONS: Infections in an urbanizing world - humans, animals, environments

The Leibniz Research Alliance INFECTIONS (Leibniz Infections) is a consortium of 18 Leibniz Institutes that share their expertise to launch interdisciplinary studies on the emergence, persistence, transmission and control of antimicrobial resistance along environmental gradients. Collaborative projects are aligned along a virtual transect bridging natural, agricultural, and urban habitats.


INFECTIONS is coordinated by the Forschungszentrum Borstel and funded by the Leibniz Association.

Duration: 01.04.2021 - 31.12.2025


Mastitis (udder inflammation) is the most costly and most frequent disease in dairy farming. The joint German-Irish project MEDICow develops an improved mastitis risk assessment model for dairy cows by using an innovative multisensoric approach, digitalization and artificial intelligence. This will enable an animal-individual and highly sensitive mastitis risk estimation, time shortening between mastitis infection and treatment, and reduction of antibiotic usage. MEDICow will improve animal welfare and health, and milk production profitability.

MEDICow is coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB). Funding is provided by the Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft.

Duration: 01.11.2021 - 31.10.2024



The PANGenS project will use genomic epidemiology of tuberculosis, malaria and emerging and re-emerging pathogens in Africa to better understand disease etiology, the dynamics of disease transmission, and the evolution of drug resistance. A collaborative consortium of 13 partners in Europe and in sub-Saharan Africa will increase Africa’s capacity in bioinformatics, genomics, and biobanking, and will promote data sharing.

PANGenS is funded by the European Union (HORIZON programme) and the Global Health EDCTP3.

Duration: 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027