Institute for Pharmaceutical Microbiology (IPM), University of Bonn

Full Professor Pharmaceutical Microbiology, University of Bonn, Head of Pharmaceutical Microbiology

Institute for Pharmaceutical Microbiology (IPM)
University of Bonn
Meckenheimer Allee 168
53115 Bonn

+49 228 735688



Background and expertise of the representative

Tanja Schneider studied biology in Bonn, Germany, specialized in microbiology and obtained her PhD in 2004. Following a postdoctoral training at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University Hospital Bonn, she joined industry from 2011 until 2012. During that time, she worked at the Peptide and Cell Discovery Department at Novozymes A/S, Denmark where she was involved in the preclinical development of the antibiotic peptide plectasin. Employment in pharmaceutical industry particularly strengthened the translational direction of her work. Returning to Germany, she became leader of the junior research group “Antibiotic Mechanisms” within the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), committed to set up a comprehensive mechanism of action platform. In 2014 she completed her habilitation in Medical-Pharmaceutical Microbiology and was appointed Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the University of Bonn in 2015.

The main research focus is on the elucidation of the mechanism of action and target identification of novel antibiotics, with a special emphasis on cell wall targeting compounds. Another focus is on the development of novel screening approaches (“SmartScreens”), that combine the advantage of whole cell-based assays with increased sensitivity and simultaneously provide intrinsic information on the target pathway and MoA of test compounds.

She has continuous collaborations with partners from the academic and industry sector.

Organisation profile

The Institute for Pharmaceutical Microbiology (IPM) was recently founded by the University of Bonn, co-financed by the Medical Faculty and the Faculty of Science, to integrate basic science and translational aspects of anti-infective research. The interfaculty position of IPM facilitates to integrate the aspects of medicine, microbiology, pharmacy and chemistry necessary for up-to-date antibiotic research. IPM presently hosts three research groups synergistically covering diverse expertise in antibiotic research. 

The work conducted at IPM focuses on the identification of the molecular targets and the elucidation of the mechanisms of action and resistance of new antibiotics on all cellular levels, in gram-positive, gram-negative and intracellular pathogens. IPM combines powerful genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches for target identification and mode of action analysis. In context with the German Center of Infection Research (DZIF), a comprehensive mode of action platform including in vitro and whole cell test systems, fluorescence microscopy and screening technologies are well established. Within several national and international collaborations and consortia, with partners from the academic and industry sector, the mechanisms of action of a number of antibiotics from different chemical classes have been identified and antibiotic targets characterized. With regard to teaching, IPM is integrated in the School of Pharmacy and Drug Research as well as Medical and General Microbiology and Biomedicine.

IPM is closely interlinked with the Institute of Immunology, Medical Microbiology and Parasitology (IMMIP), Bonn, exchanging expertise and knowledge.

Contribution to the network

Tanja Schneider will provide expertise in mechanism of action studies and antibiotic screenings according to her professional background in pharmaceutical microbiology. In context with the DZIF a comprehensive MoA platform can support antibiotic screening and antibiotic target elucidation.

Besides screening approaches focussing on mono-therapeutic agents, experience in antibiotic adjuvant and antivirulence strategies, which have been included in the DZIF mode of action platform, will be contributed.

IPM has selected panels of clinically relevant strains, with diverse resistance background as well as a collection of specific antibiotic-resistant laboratory strains.