Core Research Area Infection Research
New pandemics like influenza, continental epidemics like Ebola, the threat of bioterrorism and the global rise in resistance to antibiotics are issues of great public concern. Climate change and the increase in the world’s population have also increased the significance of pathogens that attack plants. Extensive research into the numerous facets of infections and their spread is thus of utmost importance for both governments and science.
The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is in a unique position to be at the international forefront in infection research. Hamburg is already home to academic research groups at Universität Hamburg and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, both of which make significant contributions to a better understanding of infections. In addition, Hamburg has excellent non-university research institutions like the Leibniz Institutions HPI (Heinrich Pette Institute) and BNITM (Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine), which, together with the Research Center Borstel (FZB), form the Leibniz Centre Infection (LCI), and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).
Unique to Hamburg is the access to Europe’s most modern radiation sources, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton (DESY) and the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility (XFEL), and the broad host-pathogen spectrum (human, plant, animal) provided by the diversity of research activities at the different institutes. These advantages make it possible to study and understand the mechanisms of infections in their entire breadth and structural depth.
In the field of structural biology, the Bahrenfeld Campus provides the technical requirements needed to observe cellular processes dynamically and in high resolution. The high-end cryo-electron microscopy technique at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) can also depict the smallest molecular structures in 3D. The CSSB collaborative project aims to explain the modes of action of disease down to the atomic level. Findings generated by basic research at CSSB are utilized in applied research at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), for example in the development of medicines. Universität Hamburg, together with other university and non-university research institutions, has been one of the 7 DZIF sites since 2012.
Participating faculties and research centers
- Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)
- Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB)
- Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
- German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
- Heinrich Pette Institute (HPI), Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology
- PIER – Partnership for Innovation, Education and Research
Key programs and collaborative projects
- CRC 1328: Adenine Nucleotides in Immunity and Inflammation
- CRC 841: Liver Inflammation: Infection, Immunity Regulation and Consequences
- CRC 1192: Immune-Mediated Glomerular Diseases—Basic Concepts and Clinical Implications
- KFO 296: Feto-Maternal Immune Cross Talk: Consequences for Maternal and Offspring’s Health
- KFO 306: Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
- FOR 1805: Ribosome Dynamics in Regulation of Speed and Accuracy of Translation
- Infections Control: Structure and Dynamics in Infections Processes
- Pregnancy-Acquired Health and Disease in Mother and Child
- Mechanisms of Cell Communication in Infection
- Cellular Mechanisms of Infection
- Interactions Between Metabolism and Inflammatory Processes: Molecular and Cellular Signals in Organs and Organoids
- Liver: Tolerance and Autoimmunity
- EPILOG, Epigenetic Long-Term Consequences of Viral and Bacterial Infections