Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)

The focus of the work at HZI is the study and investigation of pathogens which are medically relevant or can be used as models for researching infection mechanisms.

The topic “Bacterial and Viral Pathogens” focuses on the investigation of infectious processes in medically relevant pathogens and important model organisms. The aim is to identify structures and mechanisms that enable a pathogen to infect a host. These weak points of the pathogen are promising targets for new therapies and drugs.

The projects within the topic “Immune response and immune intervention“ concentrate on the reactions of the immune system during an infection. Scientists develop new models that are adapted to the human immune system and investigate the mechanisms of an immune response. Furthermore, they explore the immune system’s ageing and develop adjuvants that increase the effectiveness of vaccines.

The focus of the topic ”Anti-Infectives“ is on the investigation of natural products – substances that are produced by microorganisms in great variety. Some of these substances have medical effects. The researchers aim to characterize these agents and, in cooperation with industrial partners, to further develop them until their application to patients.

Platforms offer services for scientists and partner of the HZI. At the Central Animal Facilty, zoo keeper care for laboratory mice. Breeding also takes place here. The research groups “Recombinant Protein Expression” and “Biophysical Analysis” offer high-amount production of protein for structural biological questions as well as the biophysical analysis of those proteins.