Research Profile TRA Life and Health

The transdisciplinary research area (TRA) promotes scientific collaboration between scientists from medicine, life sciences, pharmacy, nutrition research, mathematics and computer science. In addition to the research foci already established at the University of Bonn in the field of life and health, new research areas are promoted under the program "Construction and Deconstruction of Life". To this end, we have established a Hertz Professorship for "Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience" (Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach). The area of "Construction" is strengthened by two new Argelander Professorships in "Organoid Biology" (Jun.-Prof. Dr. Elena Reckzeh and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ana Ivonne Vazquez-Armendariz).

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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 ImmunoSensation2 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. Bonn researchers with interest in mathematics and modeling in the life sciences meet regulary in the MaLiS (Mathematical Life Sciences) Club.

Organoid aus Fettgewebe
Organoid from adipose tissue © Katharina Sieckmann

Bonn Organoid Club

The Bonn Organoid Club 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 organizers of the Bonn Organoid Club are Florian I. Schmidt, Elena Reckzeh and Ana Ivonne Vazquez-Armendariz, supported by the “Life and Health” Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA).

Our next talks:

11.06.2024        Sandra Scharaw (MPI Dresden): Title: "Endomembrane organelle organisationin
tissue renewal and aging"

05.07.2024        Isabella Rauch (Oregon Health & Science University): Title: tbd

More information: please contact TRA Life and Health or Prof. Dr. Florian I. Schmidt.

Mathematical Life Sciences (MaLis) Club

The "MaLiS" Club meets regularly to discuss ongoing projects around mathematical questions in medicine and life sciences, either at the Venusberg Campus or in Endenich/Poppelsdorf. Interested scientists from the University of Bonn and cooperating local institutions are welcome to participate.

Scientific organizers: Alexander Effland, Jan Hasenauer and Kevin Thurley

© Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn

Next seminar: June 7, 2024

3 to 5.15 p.m.

Seminar room ground floor (Poppelsdorfer Allee 24)

Mark Sinzger (Self-Organizing Systems Lab, TU Darmstadt)
Ulrike Endesfelder (Institute for Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Bonn)
Wolfram Barfuss (TRA Sustainable Futures at the Centre for Development Research, University of Bonn)


Please contact Christina Fricke for further information.

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© Spatial Biology Club Bonn

Spatial Biology Club Bonn

Recent advancements in single-cell omics technologies have illuminated tissues' molecular and cellular heterogeneity, driving transformative insights into health and disease. The emergent field of spatial omics technologies is poised to build upon these insights, elucidating the complexities of life at all scales. However, this rapid technological evolution poses a pivotal experimental and computational challenge: deciphering life through the lens of spatially informed datasets.

This club will highlight the latest developments in spatial technologies, machine learning, and data analytics by invited speakers, workshops and meetings. As such, we aim to foster a collaborative environment for sharing and exchanging innovative ideas, techniques, and methods to Bonn groups who use or plan to use spatial-omics.

Organizers: Özgün Gökçe, Felix Meissner, Andreas Schlitzer and Dagmar Wachten

Next events:

14.05.2024        4.30 - 5.30  p.m.      Christoph Kuppe, RWTH Aachen: "Using MERFISH to decode spatial niche co-variation in human heart and kidney disease" (Venue: BMZ I, Lower Lecture Hall, Venusberg Campus)

11.06.2024        11 a.m. - 12 p.m.        Prof. Jian Shu, PhD, Harvard Medical School: "Decoding cell fates through single cell omics, imaging and generative AI" (Venue: BMZ I, Lecture Hall, Venusberg Campus)

Life and Health Research Prize 2024

TRA Life and Health aims to promote innovative research and transdisciplinary collaboration with the bi-annual "Life and Health Research Prize". The project "Systematic analysis of regulators that confer translation specification across species" by Junior Professor Dr Kathrin Leppek (Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology) and Junior Professor Maximilian Billmann (Institute of Human Genetics) has now been awarded the prize for 2024. The two scientists are working together on the combination of experimental data sets with computer models. This joint work should help to understand huge amounts of data derived from analyses of biological processes with the aim of finding new cellular mechanisms. There are good reasons to believe that these very specific and at the same time very large data sets contain relevant information for the new joint research question on mRNA translation by ribosomes.
In addition to the quality of the planned project, an important funding criterion was that scientists from two different fields are working together.

Congratulations to the award winners!

A video by Gunar Peters GPM, Bonn, on behalf of the University of Bonn.

"Modelling for Life and Health" Transdisciplinary Research Prize has been awarded first-ever

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schultz (Institute for Computer Science II, University of Bonn) and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Theodor Rüber (Clinic and Polyclinic for Epileptology, UKB Bonn) have received the "Modelling for Life and Health" Transdisciplinary Research Prize for their project on improved diagnostic approaches prior to epilepsy surgery.

The award of the TRAs "Modelling" and "Life and Health" is endowed with €120,000 and funds highly innovative research projects at the interface between mathematics or computer science and biomedical research. 

Method Development Grant 2023

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

  • Ulrike Endesfelder (Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology) - Revolutionizing Fluorescence Microscopy with Event-based sensors for High Temporal Resolution and Dynamic Range Imaging
  • Sebastián Dupraz/Carmen Ruiz de Almodóvar/Dagmar Wachten (Institute for Neurovascular Cell Biology/Institute of Innate Immunity) - Rabid-Seq: a single cell methodology to examine true local intercellular interactions within the Neurovascular Unit
  • Thomas Becker/Dominic Winter (Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) - Systematic Mapping and Characterization of Protein Complexes by Complexome Profiling

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.

NRW-funded network iBehave


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Dr. Meike Brömer

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