Infection Biology

Inflammation signaling during Shigella infection.

The main objective of Infection Biology is to understand infectious diseases at both a cellular and molecular level in order to better control them in the future. The research groups at the Biozentrum involved in this field complement each other with their specialized skills and interests. The diversity of approaches to a common theme - the host-microbe interaction - generates a synergistic effect based on an intense exchange of scientific and technological expertise and experience.

The major research focus is on bacterial infections, in which currently nine pathogens are being studied. These represent archetypes for a range of virulence mechanisms such as intracellular replication, immune evasion, the injection of bacterial effectors into host cells, biofilm formation and persistence. The impact of this research goes beyond the field of microbial pathogenesis, addressing also basic principles in cell and molecular biology including pro-inflammatory signaling, intracellular traffic, regulation in bacteria, nanomachines, and in vivo microbial metabolism.

Several groups within Infection Biology have introduced systems biology as a new approach to investigating host-pathogen interactions and collaborate closely with their colleagues from other research areas, in particular from Structural Biology & Biophysics and Computational & Systems Biology.