Synthetic Chemistry

Progress in the field of Chemical Biology very much depends on a symbiotic research approach based on advancing Chemistry and its combination with Biology. The focus of this priority topic lies on the targeted manipulation of biomacromolecules like proteins, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates as well as on the development of new methodologies for generating synthetic molecules and systems to study and manipulate the structure and function of biomolecules.

Research groups active in the area of Synthetic Chemistry:

Cellular Biochemistry

A key characteristic of living organisms is their ability to adapt their metabolism to changes in environmental conditions. This challenge is accomplished by a complex network regulating gene expression, protein folding and localization, posttranslational modifications, and selective protein degradation. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this complex regulatory network, this priority topic combines biology- and chemistry-based approaches such as the use of synthetic polypeptides, small molecule inhibitors, and unnatural amino acids to investigate involved components and their regulation in different biological model systems.

Research groups active in the area of Cellular Biochemistry:


Elucidating the basic molecular mechanisms and general principles in disease biology relies on chemical tools and approaches to dissect pathological processes and to open up avenues for therapeutic treatments. Using a wide range of chemical and biological methods such as the generation of transgenic animals, genomics, expression profiling and proteomics, use of new chemical probes for addressing biological questions, and a wide array of chemical analytical methods, this priority topic addresses key biomedical issues, comprising infection, neurodegeneration, tumour biology, and autoimmunity.

Research groups active in the area of Biomedicine:


Information derived from structural and dynamic investigations of proteins and their interaction with other molecules form the basis for an understanding of their biochemical and physiological functions. In this priority topic, physical techniques including analytical ultracentrifugation, crystallization, spectroscopy, and advanced microscopy are employed and further developed to analyse the structure and function of biomolecules with sizes ranging from small peptides to membrane proteins in vitro, as well as in live cells at high spatial and temporal resolution.

Research groups active in the area of Biophysics:

Computational Life Science

In the past years, the fields of Cell Biology, Structural Biology, Proteomics, and Genomics have witnessed a deluge of data generation that begun to outpace their analytical capabilities. This resulted in the circumstance that analysis and not production of bioinformatics information is the bottleneck to scientific progress; a problem that is particularly apparent when it comes to the analyses of large-scale phenotype-based cellular screens. Within this priority topic, methods, algorithms, and computational resources are used and developed, e.g. for the comparative analysis of genomes and proteomes, protein structure prediction, image analysis, and prediction of biomolecular interactions. Furthermore, a computational infrastructure provides all KoRS-CB groups with state-of-the-art computational analysis tools.

Research groups active in the area of Computational Life Science: