HHU StartMNFBiologieSynthetic Microbiology

                  Welcome to the Institute of Synthetic Microbiology

The Institute for Synthetic Microbiology researches molecular regulatory processes in microorganisms influenced by internal factors like small RNA molecules, the circadian clock, and supercoiling of DNA. Learning from the plethora of regulatory mechanisms, we design and test e.g. synthetic RNA switches, heterologous metabolic pathways, and biosensors. By implementing these parts and devices into microorganisms, we are aiming at a smart, automated, and dynamic control of signaling and metabolic pathways. Particular focus is placed on the engineering of Cyanobacteria as future hosts for a sustainable biotechnology.



07.04.2020 Online Group Meetings | Zoom

In these difficult times we try to keep in touch and of course continue to have our weekly seminar to be updated about each others research and even occasionally sing a birthday song (Happy Birthday Nic ;-) ). During the time of a pandemic we do our meetings online, but we still try to have fun as usual. Until we all, hopefully, start our lab work again: Stay @home and stay healthy!


01.04.2020 New PostDoc | Nicolas Schmelling

We are very happy to welcome Nic back at out lab as a postdoctoral researcher.

08. - 11.03.2020 Annual Conference 2020 of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) in Leipzig


We are back from the very informative annual conference of the VAAM in the beautiful city Leipzig. This year it was a joint conference of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) and the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM). Our PhD students Anna, Max, Nik and Lutz as well as our Master students Wandana, Gaby and Kai presented their research. We are looking forward to the summer school “Cyano 2020" in Düsseldorf. We are hoping we can make it happen this year, despite the current crisis, and reunite with familiar faces in autumn

05.03.2020 New Publication!!! | ACS Synthetic Biology

We are happy to announce that our new paper "Comparative Dose–Response Analysis of Inducible Promoters in Cyanobacteria" is out!!!

13.2.2020 Guest | Sebastian Fraune

Today we invited Sebastian Fraune (Insitute for Zoology and Organismic Interactions, HHU) to give a talk and present his latest research on organismic interactions and Hydra, in the Theory Seminar Series.

5.2.2020 7th BioSC Spotlight „Modular biotransformations in a circular bioeconomy” at NGP2 | RWTH Aachen

Ilka presented our current work on Engineering cyanobacteria towards balanced triterpene biosynthesis at the 7th BioSC Spotlight „Modular biotransformations in a circular bioeconomy” at NGP2 | RWTH Aachen

23.01.2020 Guest | Vivian Brandenburg

Today we invited Vivian Brandenburg (Institue for Microbial Biology, RUB) to give a talk and present her latest research findings on the RNA Thermometers, in the Theory Seminar Series.

1.1.2020 New PhD Students | Lutz Berwanger and Nikolaus Thumm

We are more than happy that Lutz and Nikolaus are both staying at our lab and are now starting their PhD.

1.1.2020 ZdI School projects continue | Visiting various schools all over Düsseldorf

Our PhD Student Anna Germann and Master Student Kai Hochheimer coordinate school courses about microbiology and work on new projects for the ZdI.

19.12.2019 Guest | Rahmi Lale

Today we invited Rahmi Lale (Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, NTNU) to give a talk and present his research findings on the rational design of promoters, in the Theory Seminar Series. 

4.10.2019 Guest | Dagmar Klostermeier

Today we invited Dagmar Klostermeier (Institute of Physical Chemistry, WWU Münster) to give a talk and present her latest research on the gyrase enzyme mechanisms, in the Theory Seminar Series.

01.07.2019 New PhD Student | Anna Germann

We are happy, that Anna stays at out lab for her PhD, funded by the joint international PhD program NEXTplant (DFG).­

13.06.2019 Graduation | Nic and Beate

We are very proud of our new graduates Dr. Beate Heilmann and Dr. Nicolas Schmelling, who is also our first official SynMiBi PhD graduate at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. Congratulations!­

27.05.2019 Guest | Elke Dittmann

Today we invited Elke Dittmann (Department of Microbiology, University of Potsdam) to give a talk and present her latest research on the different faces of RuBisCO in the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, in the Plant Biology Seminar Series.

17. - 20.03.2019 Annual Conference 2019 of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) in Mainz

We are back from the very interesting annual conference of the VAAM in Mainz. Our new PhD student Anna Germann and our former Bachelor student Sebastian Triesch presented their results on "Model-based pathway engineering towards optimized heterologous triterpene production in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803" from last year at the poster session. In addition, our PhD students Anna Behle and Maximilian Dietsch represented our group with their oral presentations on "New gene regulatory tools to improve synthetic biology in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803" and "DNA topology in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803", respectively. We look forward to the young investigator conference “Cyano 2019” in Tübingen and a reunion with familiar faces in autumn!

14.02.2019 Guest | Toby Warnecke

Today we invited Toby Warnecke (MRC London) to give a talk and present his latest research findings on the evolutionary origin of histone-based chromatin organisation, in the Theory Seminar Series.

7.02.2019  SynMiBi moves to ZSL

Today our Institute of Synthetic Microbiology is taking a big step moving to our brand-new Center for Synthetic Life Sciences - ZSL - The Riesner Building.

10.01.2019 Guest | Sven Findeiß

Today we invited Sven Findeiß (Institute of Computer Science, Bioinformatics Group, University of Leipzig) to give a talk and present his latest research findings in the Theory Seminar Series. He is giving an overview on methods for rational de novo design of multi-stable RNA molecules and their applications.

02.10.2018 Visit to Algenol Biotech in Florida

Our PhD students Anna and Max visited the laboratories and facilities of Algenol Biotech in Ft. Myers, Florida, where cyanobacteria and algae are manipulated, grown and maintained at large volumes. They gained many interesting insights into the biotech industry.

24. - 28.10.2018 iGEM Team | Giant Jamboree in Boston

Our PhD students Anna and Max, who were advisors of this year’s iGEM team, attended the Giant Jamboree in Boston. The team, who worked on a synthetic co-culture toolbox for almost a year, won a gold medal and was nominated for Best Basic Part. Congratulations!

22. - 24.10.2018 Interdisciplinary Origin of Life Meeting

Rainer and Nic will give talks about projects related to evolution of circadian clocks and the impacts of mobile elements at the first Interdisciplinary Origin of Life Meeting here in Düsseldorf.

17. - 20.10.2018 EMBO Workshop - Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology Using Yeast and Other Model Systems

Our PostDoc Rainer is preseting results of his work at the EMBO workshop on a poster with the title "Chemostat Oscillations, Growth Laws & Evolution: Experimental Transcription of Proto-Genes during the Low Energy Phase"

12. - 14.09.2018 16th conference on Computational Methods in Systems Biology (CMSB 2018) in Brno, Czech Republic

Ilka Axmann gave an invited talk at CMSB 2018 at the Mendel Museum in Brno on modeling the cyanobacterial clock, supported by the National Infrastructure for Systems Biology.

12. - 14.09.2018 Cyano2018

Our PhD students Anna, Max and Nic as well as member of this year's iGEM Team presented their work at the 3rd Early Career Research Symposium on Cyanobacteria in Freiburg.

15.06.2018 Press Conference by AGRIVIZION

Rudolf Cordes (NovaGreen) and Ilka Maria Axmann (Institute of Synthetic Microbiology) are talking about microalgae as renewable resources for phytopharmaceuticals. Read more about the press conference here.

14.06.2018 Guest | Andreas Angermayr

Today we invited Andreas Angermayr (Institute for Biological Physics, University of Cologne) to give a talk and present his latest research findings in the Theory Seminar Series. He is giving an overview about the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics and how a growth-mediated negative feedback loop lowers this sensitivity.

Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: E-Mail sendenAnna Germann