Research Field Molecular Biotechnology

Human cells respond to environmental factors through a variety of biological processes. These include foods, pharmaceuticals and toxins as well as physical stimuli or signals from other cells. The spectrum of physical reactions ranges from the specific effects of individual signaling pathways to highly complex reactions, for example, of the immune system. By bundling the competencies of the two research groups in the fields of “Allergy Research” and “Cell Based Test Systems”, two elementary aspects of the research field Molecular Biotechnology are covered. The repertoire of methods includes proteomics and genomics-based analysis methods as well as immunological tests and DNA-based reporter assays, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. An important aspect of the work is the development of in vitro test systems, which have the potential to replace animal experiments. The activities in the research field “Molecular Biotechnology” are closely linked to the Competence Center “Molecular Biotechnology”.

Allergy Research

About 30 percent of the population in industrialized countries suffer from allergies. Allergies are caused by innocuous molecules, known as allergens, which can cause many different symptoms and even severe, life-threatening reactions in predisposed individuals.
One focus of the research is to better understand allergy-causing molecules in order to use modern biotechnology to produce well-defined, recombinant allergens for a more specific diagnosis and a more effective treatment of allergies with fewer side effects. Another focus is researching the processes that occur in respiratory epithelial cells when they come into contact with allergens. Understanding these processes will make it possible to develop new strategies for targeted, specific treatment of allergies. A third focus is researching inflammatory and allergic reactions in the human body caused by medical products. The aim of this work is to develop in vitro test systems that make it possible to assess the biocompatibility of invasive medical products.

  • Identification and characterization of major allergens from food, pollen and mold
  • Production of recombinant allergens and hypoallergenic derivatives for a more specific diagnosis and more effective treatment of allergies
  • Analysis of gene expression and signal transduction in respiratory epithelial cells
  • Analysis of the immunomodulating effects of epithelial cells
  • Development of in vitro test systems for the analysis of inflammatory and allergic reactions

Signalling Pathways - Cell Based Test Systems

Cultivated human cells are ideal for measuring the activities of individual signaling pathways. Especially reporter genes such as luciferase and the green fluorescent protein make the cells highly sensitive sensors. Such DNA-based test strategies can be used to purposefully investigate individual issues. In addition to highly sensitive analyses, such cell-based test systems can also replace animal experiments. An important field of application is the analysis of toxins, in which especially carcinogenic substances pose a major problem. Projects are currently underway to evaluate biomedical products and food packaging materials.

  • Development of in vitro test systems with cell culture cells for pharmacological and toxicological applications
  • The new development of DNA-based reporter systems for the analysis of cellular signaling pathways
  • Analysis of toxins, especially carcinogenic, genotoxic substances

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    Degree programs

    Molecular Biotechnology

    Master, full-time


    Molecular Biotechnology

    Bachelor, full-time