Life and Health

Life and Health - Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA) University of Bonn

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Life exists in complex structures, from the smallest molecules that interact with each other to the interplay of various organisms in ecological systems. Understanding the complexity of life is therefore one of the most fascinating research topics. If researchers decipher the mechanisms underlying life, this will provide the basis for a better understanding of diseases and the development of new therapies. In a lively research environment and together with the Cluster of Excellence "Immunosensation2", the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life and Health" of the University of Bonn focuses on comprehending life - from the level of the tiniest particles to the interaction of complex systems with the environment. One of the main objectives is the development of new strategies to improve and maintain health.

About the TRA

Find out more about our objectives,  members and TRA organization.


More about our research profile, topics and TRA projects.


Find out more about research support and events organized by the TRA Life and Health.


More about our partners for young scientists, research an
and transfer.

Prof. Dr. Dominik Bach
© Dominik Bach

Hertz-Professor "Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience"

We are pleased to welcome Prof. Dr. Dominik Bach as new Hertz Chair of TRA Life and Health at the University of Bonn as of April 1, 2022. The internationally renowned neuroscientist, who previously worked at the University of Zurich and the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research at University College London, will establish a strong new research focus at the interface between neuroscience, psychiatry and computer science within TRA Life and Health.  The analysis of human behavior in extreme situations by using mathematical methods will help to further decipher the function of the brain. This will contribute to an improved understanding of mental illnesses and thus enable new therapeutic approaches.

More information:
University of Bonn press release

Life and Health Research Prize 2022

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One of the two winner teams: Prof. Dr. Volker Busskamp and Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass © Volker Lannert/Universität Bonn

TRA Life and Health wants to promote innovative research and transdisciplinary collaborations with the "Life and Health Research Prize" and has now awarded two projects, each involving scientists from different departments of the University of Bonn. Prof. Dr. Volker Busskamp (Eye Clinic, University Hospital Bonn) and Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass (LIMES Institute) want to establish organoid models of the retina in their project in order to be able to study diseases such as age-related macular degeneration in the laboratory.
The second award-winning project will investigate the relationship between the composition of the nasal microbiome and Alzheimer's disease. Junior Professor Dr. Marie-Christine Simon (Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences) and Prof. Dr. Anja Schneider and Prof. Dr. Michael Wagner (Clinic for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry, University Hospital Bonn) were awarded for this.

Congratulations to the award winners! 
Read more: University of Bonn press release

Organoid Club

The "Bonn Organoid Club" is a forum for interested researchers to exchange expertise and reagents on organoid models in biomedical research.
Next seminar:
07.06.2022          3:00 p.m.               
Sina Bartfeld (TU Berlin)  

Image: Tim Kempchen

Overview on talks and events

Bonner Forum Biomedizin provides an overview about talks, seminars, workshops with topics related to "Life and Health". 

Become member

As TRA member, you will have access to TRA funding and opportunities for networking beyond the borders of your own discipline.


Avatar Brömer

Dr. Meike Brömer

TRA manager | Strategic Development and Quality Assurance Unit

+49 1511 6933013

"Growing end" of inflammation discovered

Redness, swelling, pain - these are signs of inflammation. It serves to protect the body from pathogens or foreign substances. Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne were able to show that inflammatory reactions of an important sensor protein proceed in a specific spatial direction. This finding has the potential to conceivably stop inflammation at the "growing end", and thus bring chronic inflammatory diseases to a halt. The study has now been published in the journal "Science Advances". 

Successful spin-off from the University of Bonn and LSI

The British company APIS Assay Technologies Ltd has acquired the University of Bonn's spin-off project Clickmer Systems, which was further developed at the Life Science Inkubator (LSI), for a single-digit million euro sum. The startup is developing clickmers as a synthetic alternative to antibodies that can be utilized in research and medical diagnostics. Clickmers can be used, for example, to detect viral infections, determine vaccination status or detect rejection reactions after organ transplants. The company now wants to bring the innovative products to market quickly so that users can benefit from them in the near future.

Enzyme prevents brain activity from getting out of control

The brain has the ability to modify the contacts between neurons. Among other things, that is how it prevents brain activity from getting out of control. Researchers from the University Hospital Bonn, together with a team from Australia, have identified a mechanism that plays an important role in this. In cultured cells, this mechanism alters the synaptic coupling of neurons and thus stimulus transmission and processing. If it is disrupted, diseases such as epilepsy, schizophrenia or autism may be the result. The findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.

Surprising finding on the cause of hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus in children often has completely different causes than previously assumed. This is the conclusion of an international study with a substantial participation by the University of Bonn. The researchers identified a series of mutations that cause disruption of early brain development. The characteristic enlargements of the fluid-filled cavities in the brain are a consequence of this. The study was led by Yale, Harvard and Bonn Universities; its findings also have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of this serious condition. The results are published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Six Transdiciplinary Research Areas of the  University of Bonn

Six TRAs: the research profile of the University of Bonn 

TRA Mathematics, Modelling and Simulation of Complex Systems

TRA Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions

TRA Individuals, Institutions and Societies

TRA Past Worlds and Modern Questions. Cultures Across Time and Space

TRA Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures

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