Our Research
Image: Florian I. Schmidt

Research Profile Life and Health

This TRA promotes scientific cooperation within and between the fields of medicine, life sciences, pharmacy, nutrition research, mathematics and computer science. "Construction and Deconstruction of Life" is a new research program launched by the TRA in parallel to its existing Life and Health research focuses. To this end, the establishment of a Heinrich Hertz Professorship for "Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience" and an Argelander Professorship in the field of "Construction" is planned.


This research focus area concerns the construction of reductionistic systems of living matter through the usage of stem cell technologies, gene editing, nanotechnology and biomaterials as well as semi-synthetic biohybrids to derive deterministic or self-organizing models of development and disease.
The Bonn Organoid Club provides a forum for researchers active in the TRA and other interested scientists to exchange information and views regarding the development and usage application of organoids in a wide range of biological systems.  

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© Florian I. Schmidt
Grafik Forschungsprofil
© TRA Life and Health


TRA scientists utilize state-of-the-art technologies to study the immune and nervous systems and other complex biological systems of subjects ranging from simple model organisms to human beings. Immunologists and neuroscientists collaborate with systems biologists and mathematicians in the ImmunoSensation2111 Cluster of Excellence, which represents a primary focus within the Transdisciplinary Research Area.
Breakthroughs have been attained in understanding certain functions on the organism level through intricate study, but a general theoretical and scale-independent comprehension of these systems remains elusive. This TRA will be increasingly focusing its work on the nexus point of artificial intelligence, machine learning and life sciences, studying behavioral disease phenotypes on the basis of high-dimensional data of varying complexities.
Another key element in building predictive models of human disease is the integration of clinical, genetic, molecular, and cellular data by relying on mathematics and modeling.

Organoid aus Fettgewebe
Organoid from adipose tissue © Katharina Sieckmann

Bonn Organoid Club

The Bonn Organoid2 Club2 is a forum for biomedical researchers to share expertise and reagents for organoid models. One focus here is on technical aspects that are of interest to many scientists in this field. In addition, external scientists are invited to present their research on the topic of "organoids" to the Bonn community. The organizer of the Bonn Organoid Club is Dr. Florian I. Schmidt of the Institute for Innate Immunity and the “Life and Health” Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA).

Our next seminars:

11.01.2022, 16:30 (online)

Gerald Schwank (University of Zürich)
"Identifying genetic vulnerabilities in pancreatic cancer"

Interested to join? Please email TRA Life and Health or Dr. Florian I. Schmidt to register.

Research Prize 2020

From anti-epileptic drugs to artificial intelligence: TRA Life and Health has awarded the "Life and Health Research Prize" to three innovative, transdisciplinary projects in 2020.

The following projects were awarded:

Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass (LIMES-Institute) / Prof. Dr. Dagmar Wachten (Institute of Innate Immunity): “Fat in a dish” – decoding cellular crosstalk in adipose tissue

Dr. Michael Wenzel (Department of Epileptology) / Prof. Dr. Christa Müller (Pharmaceutical Institute): Controlling epileptic seizures by closed-loop targeted photo-pharmacology

Prof. Dr. Andreas Schlitzer (LIMES-Institute)/ Prof. Dr. Jan Hasenauer (LIMES-Institute)/ Dr. Thorsten Send (ENT clinic, University Hospital Bonn): AI-augmented data integration reveals lymph-node mononuclear cell dynamics

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Development of novel anti-epileptic drugs: Prof. Dr. C. Müller and Dr. M. Wenzel © Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn

Method Development Grant 2021

TRA Life and Health funds the following projects for development of novel, innovative methods:

  • Dr. Gregor Hagelüken (Institute of Structural Biology) and Dr. Paul-Albert König (Core Facility Nanobodies): Implementing methods for directed evolution of nanobodies to extend, restrict or switch host specificity
  • Prof. Dr. Eva Kiermaier (LIMES-Institute): Microfabricated devices to study cellular behavior
  • Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz (Institute of Innate Immunity): Establishment of a single-cell metabolic energy profiling (scMEP) platform using spectral flow cytometry
  • Prof. Dr. Jonathan Schmid-Burgk (Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology): Optical CRISPR  knock-out screening by improved  in-cellulo sequencing
  • Dr. Florian I. Schmidt (Institute of Innate Immunity), Identification of nanobodies against unusual targets from synthetic libraries
  • Dr. Felix Weiss (Institute of Innate Immunity), Cell-type specific proteomics from whole tissues as a discovery tool for intercellular communication

Transdisciplinary Research Prize: "Where Physics meets Biomedical Sciences"

TRA Matter and TRA Life and Health jointly fund a new project at the interface between Physics (Particle Physics) and Medicine (Radiation Oncology):

Prof. Dr. Klaus Desch (Institute of Physics) and Prof. Dr. Frank Giordano (Department of Radiation Oncology) - 
Assessment of ultra-high energy and ultra-high dose rate electron beams (UHEE/FLASH) for improved cancer therapy using the ELSA accelerator

Collaborative Research Projects

Scientists at the University of Bonn and the TRA are leading a large number of collaborative research projects in the field of life and health.


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Dr. Meike Brömer

TRA Manager

+49 1511 6933013

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