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
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.
Dr. Haiqian Yu joined RTG 2158 in October 2016 as a doctoral researcher. He finished his doctoral project in December 2019 successfully.
Subsequently Haiqian applied for the Postdoctoral position in RTG 2158 and was selected out of all excellent applicants. As Postdoctoral Researcher he worked on the own designed research project "Investigation of actinomycetes from extreme environments for searching novel anti-tuberculosis metabolites". In addition to his research work Haiqian was also involved in the training of graduate students of RTG 2158.
Now, Haiqian will leave Germany for a new position in China.
We wish him all the best for his future!
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!
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 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 to Yodita Asfaha and Marc Pflieger for successfully defending their doctoral theses on August 14, 2020.
Both, Yodita and Marc, did their theses in the working group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Kurz in the Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemisty and worked on the synthesis and biological evaluation of HDAC inhibitor, with Marc investigating HDAC class I and HDAC 6 histone deacetylase inhibitors and Yodita novel selective inhibitors of class IIa HDACs. Yodita and Marc contributed to publications during their PhD time. Beyond that both, especially Yodita as doctoral student speaker, showed a high-level commitment to the GRK.
We thank Yodita and Marc for their engagement and help in the GRK and wish them all the best for their future career.
Congratulations to Jana Deitersen for successfully defending her doctoral thesis on July 7, 2020. Jana did her thesis on "Identification of autophagy-modulating natural products and derivatives for the elimination of therapy-resistant tumor cells" at the Institute of Molecular Medicine I of the UKD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Björn Stork. During this time she not only contributed to the progress of her GRK project and thus to numerous publications, but also made a significant impact on the GRK in her function as PhD student representative and also afterwards.
We thank Jana for her engagement in the GRK and wish her all the best for her future career.
The annual GRK2258 symposium should have taken place in Sport+Seminarcenter Radevormwald from 16.-18.3.20. Due to Covid-19 the symposium was postponed to the 1st & 2nd of July and took place as an online event successfully. At this symposium the doctoral students gave presentations about their research projects. On the second day there were small group meetings in which the scientists of the individual research clusters within the GRK came together to discuss the projects and further cooperations.
The highly interesting talks of the invited speakers completed the program perfectly.
|Invited Speaker||Title of Talk|
Prof. Dr. Uli Kazmaier
Insititute of Organic Chemistry, Saarland University
Stereoselective peptide modifications – versatile tools for natural product and drug synthesis
Prof. Dr. Julia Bandow
Applied Microbiology, Ruhr University Bochum
|Antibacterial strategies – from the discovery of new compound classes to antibiotic mechanism elucidation|
Dr. Sanil Bhatia
Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Clinical Immunology, HHU Düsseldorf
|Novel therapeutic strategies for resistant childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia|
Congratulations to Yvonne Gröner to the successful defense of her thesis on May 27th 2020. Yvonne worked on the "Functional characterization of the antimicrobial activity of synthetic callyaerins against Mycobacterium tuberculosis" in the research group of Prof. Dr. Rainer Kalscheuer (Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology & Biotechnology). Together with Julia Zaschke-Kriesche she also published a part of his results in the special issue "Natural product-derived lead structures and modes-of-action against therapy-resistant tumors and microorganisms" in Journal of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2019.06.031).
We wish Yvonne all the best for her future career!
Congratulations to Daniel Drießen to the successful defense of his thesis on May 25th. Daniel worked on the "Diversity-oriented One-pot Synthesis of Novel Active Agents Against Therapy Resistant Tumors and Infections" in the research group of Prof. Dr. Thomas J.J. Müller (Chair of Organic Chemistry). Together with Annika Frank and Fabian Stuhldreier he also published a part of his results in the special issue "Natural product-derived lead structures and modes-of-action against therapy-resistant tumors and microorganisms" in Journal of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (see publications).
We wish Daniel all the best for his future career!
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!
On December 18th 2019 Haiqian Yu, Nam Michael Tran-Cong and Chenyin Wang defended their doctoral theses successfully.
Both Haiqian and Nam worked on secondary metabolites from fungi in the group of Peter Proksch who was the initial speaker of the GRK2158 (Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology). Haiqian investigated "Secondary metabolites from fungi Coniella fragariae and Phomopsis sp. D15a2a" and Nam studied "Secondary metabolites from endophytic fungi derived from Traditional Medicinal herbs: Drug discovery, diversity enhancement, structure elucidation and bioactivity". Both published their results successfully (see publications).
Chenyin did her doctoral thesis with the title "Promising novel therapeutic strategies for cisplatin resistant bladder cancer" in the working group of Matthias Kassack and contributed her results to several publications.
All three Haiqian, Nam and Chenyin have provided irreplaceable support to the GRK2158, especially during the organization of the symposium in Peking in 2018. Thanks!
We wish Haiqian, Nam and Chenyin all the best for their future career!
Congratulations to Annika who defended her PhD thesis with the title "From natural scaffolds to detailed drug-target interactions on biogenic amines" on December 17th 2019. Annika worked in Holger Stark's group (Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry) and in close collaboration with other doctoral students and groups within the GRK2158. During her time as Phd student she did not only worked on her PhD thesis successfully (see publications), but also supported the GRK2158 as speaker of the PhD students. Thank you for that.
We wish Annika all the best for her future career!
Our doctoral student Julia Schumacher, née Zaschke-Kriesche, defended her PhD thesis on December 16th 2019 successfully. Julia worked on the elucidation of the resistance mechanisms of Lantibiotics in human pathogens in Sander Smits' group and in close collaboration with other research groups within the GRK2158. Her intensive and successful research on this field does not only end up in an impressive defense, but also led to various publications.
We wish Julia all the best for her future career!
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 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!
Congratulations to our doctoral student Hjördis Brückmann who defended her thesis on October 7th 2019 successfully. Hjördis worked on the topic of modification of priviledged structural elements for the synthesis of new drug candidates which might be applied as lipid modulators and anti-infectives. This work was done in the research group of Prof. Dr. Holger Stark at the Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry.
We wish Hjördis all best for her future career!
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 Institute 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 here.
The special issue "Natural product-derived lead structures and modes-of-action against therapy-resistant tumors and microorganisms", edited by the GRK2158 speaker Holger Gohlke, is devoted to recent advances in unraveling molecular mechanisms of intrinsic or extrinsic resistance in the treatment of tumors and infections with microbial pathogens, and in the identification and development of new natural product-based, bioactive compounds that can overcome such mechanisms.
The articles collected in this special issue reflect some of the challenges encountered during that work and the collaborative efforts, encompassing the fields of natural product research, micro- and cell biology, immunology, biochemistry, organic and medicinal chemistry, toxicology, and molecular modeling and design, of scientists of the German Research Foundation (DFG)-funded Research Training Group 2158 and additional experts to overcome these challenges.
More information about this issue: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/bioorganic-and-medicinal-chemistry/special-issue/10WBM0BS0L1
All articles contributed by the doctoral students of GRK2158 are listed on our "publication" webseite.
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 here.
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 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 publication list of GRK).
We wish Julia all best for her future career!
In a close collaboration of of several groups of research training group GRK2158 (Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology, P. Proksch, and Technische 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
The long-standing cooperation between Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Proksch of Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Duesseldorf and Prof. Dr. Wenhan Lin of the State 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 here
The official press release of Heinrich Heine University is available on the University Website
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 Institute 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 here
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.
Anja Weber née Ullrich, who worked in Jörg Pietruszka's research group, defended her doctoral thesis in the field of natural compound/active agent synthesis successfullyon April the 10th 2018.
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
We are happy to announce that our PhD fellow Nicola Porta, who is working in Holger Gohlke's group at the Institute 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/
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.