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MICROBIOLOGY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Research areas

Our research aims to elucidate the pathobiology of A. fumigatus, including the areas of physiology/biochemistry, signal transduction, improvement of genetic techniques, genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, glycoconjugates, pathogen/host interaction and an animal model. Fungi produce numerous of secondary metabolites. Some of these compounds are used as antibiotics or as immunosuppressants. Besides the identification and characterisation of novel microorganisms producing secondary metabolites, recent research has aimed at elucidating the molecular regulation of the biosyntheses of secondary metabolites. Prof. Brakhage's research focuses on all aspects of the pathobiology of Aspergillus fumigatus and on the molecular biology/ biotechnology of fungal secondary metabolites and related microbial communication, including:

  • pathogenicity determinants, interaction with the immune system, immune evasion, proteome and transcriptome analyses
  • transcription factors, the activation of silent gene clusters using genetic engineering, drug discovery and antibiotics
  • fungal transcription factors, epigenetics related to histone modifications
  • microbial communication; interaction of fungi and bacteria leading to the activation of silent gene clusters with the production of novel compounds; molecular mechanisms of cross talk
  • systems biology of fungal infection

Teaching fields

Prof. Brakhage's teaching is devoted to the early involvement of young scientists in research, as well as to the education of postgraduates. He gives courses in:

  • applied microbiology and molecular biology
  • molecular biotechnology/ infection biology of lower eucaryotes

Research methods

The laboratory led by Prof. Brakhage offers methods for the characterization of immune effector cells, the molecular biology of fungi, biochemistry and biotechnology:

  • 2D-gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF/ TOF mass spectrometry, proteomics
  • fluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy
  • plasmon resonance spectroscopy
  • murine infection models, isolation of compounds, transcriptome analyses

>> link to the Microbiology & Molecular Biology Group

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