Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT)

Full Professor: Translational Genome Mining for Natural Products

University of Tuebingen, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology  and Infection Medicine (IMIT), Institute for Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics
Auf der Morgenstelle 28
72076 Tübingen

+49 7071 2978841



Background and expertise of the representative

Nadine Ziemert is full professor and Head of the Department for Applied Natural Products Genome Mining within the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine and the Institute for Medical Informatics and Bioinformatics at the University of Tuebingen. Her group has a strong expertise in developing genome mining tools for novel antibacterial compounds and focuses additionally on evolution and distribution of antibiotic biosynthesis gene clusters. The Ziemert lab is studying the evolutionary diversification of natural products in order to use that knowledge for the engineering of novel “unnatural natural products”. Furthermore, they are interested in the distribution of natural product gene clusters in the environment in order to understand their functional roles and guide sampling strategies to improve drug discovery efforts. Known tools developed by or in collaboration with are:

ARTS (https://arts.ziemertlab.com/), autoMLST (https://automlst.ziemertlab.com/), and NapDoS (http://napdos.ucsd.edu/).

Organisation profile

The Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen has a long-standing history in antibiotics discovery, dating back to the 1960s, and an extended collection of characterised actinobacterial secondary metabolite producers. The Department of Applied Natural Products Genome Mining at the Science and Medical Faculty was newly established in 2015 to bridge the gap between bioinformatics (dry lab) and molecular biology (wet lab) of natural product research. The research group of Nadine Ziemert now synergistically complements the groups of Prof. Wolfgang Wohlleben (focussed on Streptomyces genetics and antibiotic biosynthesis) and Prof. Heike Brötz-Oesterhelt (focussed on target identification). Together we have all required expertise to detect novel antibiotics, to optimize their production, to determine their antibacterial potential against multi-resistant pathogens and to elucidate their targets.

Together with seven further microbiology research groups from the Faculty of Science and from the Medical Faculty these three groups form the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT), the first interfaculty microbiology institute in Germany (founded in 2009), with the aim to comprehensively study bacterial pathogenicity and treatment strategies from fundamental as well as clinical perspectives.

Research on bacterial secondary metabolites including antibiotics is also pursued by four research groups of the Institutes of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Organic Chemistry at the University of Tuebingen. Here, expertise is particularly strong in isolation and structure elucidation of complex natural products.

Microbiology and Infection Biology are a dedicated focus area of the University of Tuebingen, strongly supported by strategic development plans and core facility infrastructure (e.g. Proteome Center, Quantitative Biology Center [QBIC] and Center of Academic Drug Discovery and Development [TüCAD2].

Contribution to the network

Nadine Ziemert will contribute actively to the network by bioinformatic tool development to improve sampling strategies and genome mining efforts.