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Retreat 2022

From March 30 to April 1 2022 we met at  Sport- and Seminarcenter in Radevormwald for our annual retreat.

This year's retreat of the Research Training Group 2158 was a great success. Our PhD students presented their project progress in the form of posters and short poster presentations. In the subsequent poster sessions, the results were discussed in detail and valuable impulses for further work were given. The discussions were also continued in small group meetings of the project clusters and to further advance the work in the clusters.

As research data management is a very important topic, the speaker of the GRK, Holger Gohlke, introduced us to further ideas and implementation possibilities in a keynote speech.

There was also a poster prize to be won. Flaminia Mazzone convinced with her scientifically high valuable and colorful poster and is now the proud owner of a unique GRK 2158 mug. Congratulations. Even if there was only one poster prize, all others posters were also well prepared and of high quality.

Congratulations, David!

Congratulations to David Bickel who defended his thesis successfully on 8 December 2021!

David joined the GRKs in 2017 and has been successfully contributing to its success ever since.

In his research project in the Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry (Holger Gohlke) he dealt with the Computational drug design based in natural leads to overcome drug resistance in targeted and pan-cancer therapy.

David already started to work as postdoctoral researcher in the Bio2Byte group at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, Belgium.

We wish David all the best for his future!

New publiations online!

Julian Schliehe-Diecks and Sanil Bhatia recently conributed to two new publications in Chemical Science and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. In both publications the design of news HDAC inhibitors and their characteristics were described.

More information:

  • Selg, C., Schöler, A., Schliehe-Diecks, J., Hanl, M., Sinatra, L., Borkhardt, A., Sarosi M.B., Bhatia, S., Hey-Hawkins, E., Hansen, F.K. (2021) Borinostats: solid-phase synthesis of carborane-capped histone deacetylase inhibitors with a tailor-made selectivity profile. Chemical Science 12, 11873-11881, https://doi.org/10.1039/D1SC02268G
  • Schäker-Hübner, L., Warstat, R., Ahlert, H., Mishra, P., Kraft, F.B., Schliehe-Diecks, J., Schöler, A., Borkhardt, A., Breit, B., Bhatia, S., Hügle, M., Günther, S., Hansen, F.K. (2021) 4-Acyl Pyrrole Capped HDAC Inhibitors: A New Scaffold for Hybrid Inhibitors of BET Proteins and Histone Deacetylases as Antileukemia Drug Leads. J Med Chem. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c01119

Annual GRK 2158 Retreat 2021

For the annual GRK 2158 retreat all members met virtually via Webex from 20th until 22nd of September 2021.

The retreat was structured by the project clusters, so during the first day the results of clusters 2 and 4 were presented by the respective PhD students, during the second day the results of clusters 1 and 3. Afterwards, the cluster groups had time to discuss further details and strategies in small group meetings. Here, the focus was mainly on the short-term and long-term project goals, the deepening of existing and the identification of new collaborations, the discussion of further publication strategies as well as possibilities for lab rotations of the PhD students. On the last day, the results of these small group meetings were presented and discussed in a group session. The project-based discussions were livened up by general fun surveys about the GRK. As every year, this retreat provided a good basis for further joint work in the GRK. Nevertheless, we are all looking forward to the next presence meeting in March 2022.

Lantibiotics - promising alternative against antibiotic resistance?

Our doctoral student Julia Gottstein, together with her colleagues from the Institute of Biochemistry I, published an article about lantibiotics as a promising alternative against antibiotic resistance. Using nisin as an example, ways to circumvent naturally occurring resistance to lantibiotics in humapathogenic bacteria are described. For this purpose, both inhibition of resistance proteins and genetic modification of lantibiotics are considered and described in this article.

More about this article:

Gottstein, J., Klose, H., Knospe, C.V., Reiners, J., Smits, S.H., Schmitt, L. (2021) Lantibiotika – hoffnungsvolle Alternative gegen Antibiotikaresistenz? Biospektrum 05.21: 551-553

DOI: 10.1007/s12268-021-1621-5

Congratulations Fabian!

Congratulations to Fabian Stuhldreier who defended his thesis successfullyon 1 September 2021!

Fabian joined the GRKs in 2016 and has been successfully contributing to its success ever since (see publication list).

In his research project in the Institute of Molecular Medicine I (S. Wesselborg) he dealt with the ldentification of apoptosis-inducing natural products and derivatives for the elimination of tumor cells.

Fabian already started to work at the Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (BAuA) in Dortmund.

We wish Fabian all the best for his future!

Congratulations Jana!

Congratulations to Jana Aengenvoort, née van Stuijvenberg, who defended her thesis successfully on 26 August 2021!

Jana joined the GRKs in 2017 and has been successfully contributing to its success ever since (see publication list).

In her research project int the Institute of Toxicology (G. Fritz) she dealt with the targeting mechanisms of DNA damage response (DDR) to overcome anticancer drug resistance of tumor cells resulting in her thesis entitled "Faktoren der DNA-Schadensantwort als Zielstrukturen von Naturstoffen zur Behandlung von Tumoren" [Factors of DNA damage response as targets of natural products for the treatment of tumors].

We wish Jana all the best for her future!

Cover feature in Chemistry - A European Journal

The GRK 2158 groups of Klaus Pfeffer and Thomas J. J. Müller collaborated with Christoph Janiak's group on the synthesis of flourescent indolo[3,2‐a]phenazines and their effects against the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The contribution was selected as a cover feature in Chemistry - A European Journal.

Read more about the study, which also had the participation of several doctoral researchers of Research Training Group 2158(*):

Merkt, F. K., Mazzone*, F., Shaneh Sazzadeh*, S., Bonda, L., Hinz*, L.K.E., Gruber, I., Buchholz, K., Janiak, C., Pfeffer, K., Müller, T.J.J. (2021) Fluorescent Indolo[3,2‐a]phenazines against Toxoplasma gondii – concise synthesis by Au‐catalyzed cycloisomerization with 1,2‐Silyl migration and ipso‐Iodination‐Suzuki Sequence. Chemistry - A European Journal


Virtual Symposium 2021

Our symposium this year has successfully taken place on May 3, 2021.

The presentations of the guest speakers from academia and industry were very impressive and thematically perfectly fitted the Research Training Group. We would like to thank Simone Moser (LMU Munich), Susanne Roehrig (Bayer Helathcare AG), Anna Hirsch (HIPS) and Jon Clardy (Harvard University, USA) for the insights into their very interesting research.

The presentations of the two PhD students, Laura Schmitt and Marco Kruppa, showed only a small part of the work taking place in the GRK, but reflected the excellent projects as well as the close cooperation of the members of the Research Training Group, which contribute significantly to the success of the GRK.  

Although we could only meet online, the symposium was a complete success.

Congratulations David!

Today (25.02.21), David Schütermann defended his thesis successfully. David worked on the topic "Autophagy: Molecular insights into its role and therapeutic potential in bladder cancer and neurodegeneration" in Björn Stork's research group in the Institute of Molecular Biology I. During his time as doctoral researcher he also contributed to several excellent publications related to GRK 2158 (see publication list).

We wish David all the best for his future! Congratulations!

Second Funding Period of GRK 2158 approved

14 teams from the fields of pharmacy, chemistry and medicine at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) are conducting joint research to clarify molecular resistance mechanisms. They are searching for new active ingredients that can overcome intrinsic or acquired resistance in tumor diseases and infections. Since 2016, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has been funding the Research Training Group (RTG) 2158, which is at the intersection of the university's potential areas of infection research, oncology and drug discovery.

Building on the outstanding results of the first funding period, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG is now funding the group with almost 4 four million euros for a further four and a half years.

View full message on the HHU page: https://www.hhu.de/news-einzelansicht/naturstoffe-und-analoga-gegen-therapieresistente-tumoren-und-mikroorganismen

Congratulations Shabnam!

Congratulations to Shabnam Shaneh Sazzadeh who successfully defended her thesis entitled "Identification of Novel Natural Products with Antimicrobial Activity against Apicomplexa and Multiresistant Gram-Negative Rods" on 15th of September 2020.Shabnam was working in the group of Prof. Dr. Klaus Pfeffer in the Institute of Medical Microbiology.

We wish Shabnam all the best for her future career!

Congratulations Lisa!

Our doctoral student Lisa Richter successfully defended her thesis with the title "Identification of immunological properties of natural products for the treatment of resistant tumors and bacterial pathogens" on December 20th 2019. Lisa worked in the research group of Stefanie Scheu (Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene). She published her results in several publications and also presented her results at several national and international conferences successfully. 

We wish Lisa all the best for her future career!


Kick-off Meeting 2. generation of doctoral students

At our kick-off meeting on October 28, 2019, we welcomed the doctoral students of the 2nd cohort in Research Training Group 2158.
After the introduction of the Research Training Group and the presentation of the qualification programme, all participating institutes were presented. Afterwards all PhD students of the 1st and 2nd cohort as well as the PIs came together for further talks, snacks and to get to know each other.

Congratulations Philip!

Congratulations to our doctoral student Philip Böhler who defended his thesis on October 29th 2019 successfully. Philip who worked in the research group of Sebastian Wesselborg (Institute of Molecular Medicine I, UKD) entitled his thesis "Three tales of death: New pathways in the induction, inhibition and execution of apoptosis". During his PhD Philip contributed to several publications as first or co-author: see publications.

We wish Philip all best for his future career!

Jana van Stuijvenberg wins Poster Award!

Congratulations to Jana van Stuijvenberg for winning a Poster Award at the 67th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research. Jana is working in the working group of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fritz at the undefinedInstitute of Toxicology. At the conference she presented her work on "Targeting mechanisms of the DNA damage response (DDR) by natural compounds".

The International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research took place in Innsbruck, Austria, from Sept 1 to 5 2019. More information about this conference you can find undefinedhere.

Haiqian Yu wins Poster Prize!

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 about this conference you can find undefinedhere

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.


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: https://mmws2018.mgms-ds.de/

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.

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