Four Microverse professorships

We have established four Microverse professorships to set innovative research focuses within our Cluster:

  • Theoretical Microbial Ecology | Rosalind Allen
  • Viral Ecology and Omics | Bas Dutilh
  • Biostructural Interactions | Ute Hellmich
  • Microbiome Dynamics | Gianni Panagiotou

Theoretical Microbial Ecology

Understanding how bacteria grow, survive or die in different environments can be a real game-changer in the way bacterial infections are dealt with. “It is important to use antibiotics in a smart way, because too many mistreatments can lead to resistance”, explains Prof. Rosalind Allen. She is Professor for Theoretical Microbial Ecology at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and is based with her team within the Cluster of Excellence “Balance of the Microverse”.

Link to press release "Controlling bacteria with mathematical equations"

Link to professorship website

Viral Ecology and Omics

Viruses play a large role in the dynamics and balance of the Microverse, but only a small fraction have been discovered so far. “I don’t know if it’s accurate yet, but there is an estimate of 10 viruses for every microorganism. This shows how important it is to characterize these tiny evolving particles, in order to understand their functionality and interactions with their hosts,” says Prof. Bas Dutilh.

Link to press release "Alexander von Humboldt Professorship awarded to Prof. Bas E. Dutilh"

Link to professorship website

Biostructural interactions

For infectious diseases to be combated effectively, they must be understood as precisely as possible - down to the molecular level. "We want to know how, in the context of infections, certain proteins interact with other molecules. And we want to learn what such proteins look like at the atomic level and how they move, in other words, what their dynamics are like," says Ute Hellmich, new professor for Biostructural Interactions at the University of Jena, located within the Jena Cluster of Excellence "Balance of the Microverse".

Link to press release "Wir haben als Forschende die Verantwortung, auch links und rechts des Wegesrands zu schauen"

Link to professorship website

Microbiome Dynamics

Gianni Panagiotou researches microbial communities, with a particular focus on the human gut microbiome. "We integrate microbiome, mycobiome and metaomics data with biochemical and clinical data, construct state-of-the-art genome-scale metabolic models, and apply machine learning methods to understand the dynamics between the host and its associated bacteria and fungi," says the professor for Microbiome Dynamics.

Link to press release "Tiny organisms, huge amounts of data"

Link to professorship website