Annual GRK2158 Symposium in May 2019

Symposium 2019 (photo taken by M.Holz)

From 27 to 28 May, this year's symposium took place at the Haus der Universität in Düsseldorf. A highlight was the lecture by Prof. dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Proksch on "Tales from Chemical Ecology" which was open to public.
More information about the symposium can be found undefinedhere.

Excursion to Merck

As a part of the qualification program of Research Training Group 2158 our doctoral students can visit companys which are active in the fields of pharmaceutical research with the focus on natural products, anti-infectives, anti-cancer therapies etc.

In February 2019 our doctoral student had the opportunity to visit the big company Merck in Darmstadt where they got insights in Drug Descovery Technologies, the Merck Oncology Platform and the career options at Merck. This excursion was not only a good chance to get to know the research and development strategies from the industrial point of view (in comparison to the academic research), but also to get in touch with a potentional future employer. 

Congratulations to Julia Sperlich!

Congratulations to Julia Sperlich who defended her thesis on December 17th 2018 successfully. Julia worked in the research group of Prof. Dr. Nicole Teusch at the TH Köln. The main aim of her work was the "Pharmacological characterization of pseudoptrosin, azaphilone and teleocidin as novel drug candidates for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer". Julia enriched our GRK not only by her topic, but also through close cooperation with other groups within the GRK, which can also be proven by publications (see undefinedpublication list of GRK).

We wish Julia all best for her future career!


Isolation and Characterization of new bioactive fungal natural products

In a close collaboration of of several groups of research training group GRK2158 (undefinedInstitute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology, P. Proksch, and undefinedTechnische Hochschule Köln, N. Teusch) as well as further international cooperation partners from University of Debrecen, Hungary, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences and China Three Gorges University, China, seven new bioactive fungal natural products were isolated from the fungus Coniella fragaria and characterized.

The isolation and structure elucidation of these new azaphilone derivatives, Coniellins A - G, the promising results of the investigations of their cytotoxic and NF-κB inhibitory activities as well as their effects in tumor cell migration were reported in the Journal of Natural Products by Yu et al., recently.

The article was published in Journal of Natural Products:

Yu, H., Sperlich, J., Mándi, A., Kurtán, T., Dai, H., Teusch, N., Guo, Z.-Y., Zou, K., Liu, Z., Proksch, P. (2018) Azaphilone derivatives from the fungus Coniella fragariae inhibit NF-κB activation and reduce tumor cell migration. J Nat Prod DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00540

undefinedLink to publication

GRK2158 Symposium 2018 in Beijing, China

The long-standing cooperation between Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Proksch of undefinedInstitute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Duesseldorf and Prof. Dr. Wenhan Lin of the undefinedState Key Laboratoty of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs of Peking University is not only a basis for a fruitful exchange of knowledge about natural products and new natural products themselves, but has now led to the joint organization of this year's symposium about “Natural products and analogs against therapy resistant tumours and microorganisms” from Sept 17 till 21 in Beijing, China. Together with Prof. Dr Wenhan Lin, who is participated in GRK2158 as a Mercator fellow, GRK2158 provided an excellent platform for all German and Chinese doctoral students and principal investigators for presenting and discussing their research concerning natural products as well as for the establishing of new research cooperations.

The second symposium of Research Training Group 2158 (GRK2158) on Natural compounds and analogs against therapy resistant tumours and microorganisms took place from September 17th till 21st 2018 in Beijing, China.

More information about the programm etc. you can find undefinedhere

The official press release of Heinrich Heine University is available on the undefinedUniversity Website

GRK2158 Symposium, Peking, China

Haiqian Yu wins Poster Prize!

Haiqian Yu, 3rd PSE Meeting on Natural Compounds in Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Naples, Italy

Our doctoral student Haiqian Yu has been awarded the Elsevier Best Poster Prize at the 3rd International PSE Congress on Natural Compounds in Cancer Prevention and Therapy. Haiqian is working in the undefinedInstitute of Pharmaceutical Biology under supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter Proksch. At the PSE Congress Haiqian presented a poster of his work concerning "Azaphilone derivatives from the fungus Coniella fragariae inhibit NF-κB activation and reduce tumor cell migration".

Congratulation to Haiqian!

The congress of the Phytochemical Society of Europe [PSE] took place in Naples, Italy, from Sept 4 to 7 2018. More information on this conference you cann find undefinedhere

Congratulations Gereon!

At the beginning of May 2018 Gereon Sommer defended his doctoral thesis successfully. Gereon worked in the group of Thomas J.J. Müller on the Masuda-Borylation-Suzuki-Coupling as an efficient work tool for the synthesis of active agents.


Congratulations Anja!

Anja Weber née Ullrich, who worked in undefinedJörg Pietruszka's research group, defended her doctoral thesis in the field of natural compound/active agent synthesis successfullyon April the 10th 2018.


Identification of phomoxanthone A as a mitochondrial toxin

New insights in the mode of action of phomoxanthone A (PXA) were given in the new publication of Böhler et al. 2018. In close collaboration with several groups from Heinrich Heine University, KU Leuven, University of Tübingen and UCLA the mycotoxin PXA, derived from the endophytic fungus Phomopsis longicolla, was identified as an mitochondrial toxin by causing disruption of mitochondrial function, IMM fragmentation and cristae disruption leading to the release of pro-apoptotic factors and thus to apoptosis.

The article was published in Cell Death & Disease:

Böhler, P., Stuhldreier, F., Anand, R., Kondadi A.K., Schlütermann, D., Berleth, N., Deitersen, J., Wallot-Hieke, N., Wu, W., Frank, M., Niemann, H., Wesbuer, E., Barbian, A., Luyten, T., Parys, J.B., Weidtkamp-Peters, S., Borchardt, A., Reichert, A., Pena-Blanco, A., Garcia-Saez, A.J., Itskanov, S., van der Bliek, A.M., Proksch, P., Wesselborg, S., Stork, B. (2018) The mycotoxin phomoxanthone A disturbs the form and function of the inner mitochondrial membrane. Cell Death and Disease 9:286

Link to publication

Nicola Porta wins Poster Award at 32. Molecular Modelling Workshop 2018

We are happy to announce that our PhD fellow Nicola Porta, who is working in Holger Gohlke's group at the undefinedInstitute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, received a Poster Award for his work on the "Impact of allosteric inhibitors on MRSA pyruvate kinase conformational dynamics" at the 32nd Molecular Modelling Workshop 2018 in Erlangen.


More information about the Molecular Modelling Workshop 2018 you can find here:

GRK2158 Symposium

The first internal Symposium of Research Training Group 2158 was held from 20th till 22nd of September in "Schloß Mickeln" in Düsseldorf. This event was a perfect occasion for all doctoral students and principal investigators to come together, get connected, discuss and forward their projects.

All doctoral students presented their projects via oral presentations and posters.

Special highlights were the talks of the invited speakers Prof. Dr. Wenhan Lin from Peking University, China, Dr. Min Li-Weber from German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and Prof. Dr. Mark Brönstrup from Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig.

Responsible for the content: E-MailMartina Holz