Current projects

DZIF - Functional genomics of microbial producers

Extending the database of microbial sequence space is a central measure for improving natural product discovery in DZIF. We apply high-throughput next generation genome and transcriptome 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. 
Presently, we focus on the biosynthetic potential of myxobacteria, in close collaboration with the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS, Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI, Prof. Dr. Joachim Wink). 

DZIF is funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. 
Duration: 01.06.2014 - 31.12.2020 

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SOARiAL - Spread of antibiotic resistance in an agrarian landscape

The SOARiAL project is an interdisciplinary cooperation of four Leibniz-Institutes (ATB, ZALF, TROPOS and DSMZ) and the FU Berlin. As a team of microbiologists, veterinarians, meteorologists and agricultural engineers, we investigate the wind-driven emission of pathogenic antibiotic-resistant bacteria from agricultural soils. 

Research work in this consortium is coordinated by the Leibniz Institute DSMZ (Prof. Dr. Ulrich Nübel) and funding is provided by the Leibniz Association.  
Duration: 01.02.2017 - 31.01.2021 

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Short-term evolution and spatial spread of Clostridium difficile

Based on sequencing the genomes from multiple clinical C. difficile isolates, we investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of C. difficile spread within a network of hospitals, and compare the results to patient referral patterns. By comparing isolates from hospital patients to those from community-associated C. difficile infections and from colonized inhabitants of long-term care facilities, respectively, we assess the significance of the community outside of healthcare institutions for providing C. difficile reservoirs. Collaboration with University Medical Center Göttingen (Prof. Dr. Uwe Groß), Christophorus-Kliniken Coesfeld (Prof. Dr. Lutz von Müller), and Alphaomega Labor (Dr. Henning Zaiß). 
To accelerate comparative analyses of many thousands of genomes from C. difficile isolates, we develop a genome database within the framework of EnteroBase, in cooperation with the University of Warwick (Prof. Mark Achtman). 

In collaboration with the Technical University Braunschweig (Prof. Stefan Dübel, Prof. Michael Hust), we study factors that cause susceptibility or protection against recurrence of C. difficile infections. To this end, we investigate the interaction of acquired host immunity and colonization resistance mediated by the microbiome. 
Project within the consortium 'Epidemiology and systems biology of the bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile'. Research in this consortium is coordinated by the Technical University Braunschweig (Prof. Dr. Dieter Jahn) and funded by the Federal State of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Vorab) 
Duration: 01.07.2018 - 30.06.2020 

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COMPARE

COMPARE aims to harness the rapid advances in molecular technology to improve identification and mitigation of emerging infectious diseases. We are involved with Work Package 2 ('Harmonised standards for sample processing and sequencing'), developing bioinformatic pipelines, and Work Package 3 (Analytical workflows for frontline diagnostics), developing standardized protocols for detection of clusters of healthcare-associated infections based on bacterial genome sequences. 

COMPARE is coordinated by the Technical University of Denmark (Prof. Dr. Frank Aarestrup) and funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program (grant agreement no. 643476). 
Duration: 01.12.2014 - 31.11.2019 

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