Microbial research in the spotlight
As “hidden majority” on earth, microbes impact all life forms: They are involved in biomass conversion, bioremediation, photosynthesis, and promoting plant growth, they produce of greenhouse gases, lead to diseases and biofouling. They are present in almost every ecological niche, and their immense biochemical and physiological diversity creates great potential for biotechnology and synthetic biology.
Given the changing climate, it is more important than ever to explore all the opportunities that microbial research can provide. To harness the benefits of microorganisms and combat their detrimental effects, it is essential to understand how they function at an integrated level involving ecological, cellular, molecular, and quantitative aspects. This requires a basic multidisciplinary research approach with researchers covering the entire spectrum of microbiology, from molecular biology to microbial communities to quantitative and synthetic biology.
The IMPRS-µLife aims to study the fundamental principles of microbial life and their interaction with the environment. The research school focuses on these key areas of microbial research:
- Cellular organization & architecture
- Microbial communities & host-microbe interactions
- Natural products & chemical biology
- Physical biology
- Physiology & metabolism
- Signal transduction & information processing
- Systems & synthetic biology.
By understanding the fundamental working principles of microorganisms, our scientists can manipulate these living systems. With the advent of synthetic biology, they design proteins, networks, and completely rewrite genomes to generate microorganisms and microbial communities that have new-to-nature functions. These alternative biological solutions can be used in basic research to test the plasticity and limitations of biological systems and in potential applications that raise important questions of societal relevance. To achieve this ambitious goal, IMPRS-µLife brings together researchers covering the entire spectrum of microbiology, from molecular biology to microbial communities to quantitative and synthetic biology.