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 
and transfer.

Research Professorships of the Transdisciplinary Research Area

© Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn

Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience
Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach

Dominik Bach establishs a new focus at the interface between neuroscience, psychiatry and computer science in TRA Life and Health.

© Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn

Argelander Professorship for Organoid Biology
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Elena Reckzeh

Elena Reckzeh combines chemical biology with organoid research to further develop the area of 'Construction' in TRA Life and Health's research profile.

© Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn

Argelander Professorship for Organoid Biology
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ana Ivonne Vazquez-Armendariz

Ana Ivonne Vazquez-Armendariz adds a new area of focus to TRA Life and Health's research profile 'Construction & Deconstruction of Life' with her expertise on lung organoids.

Our members

Our members are professors and group leaders of the University of Bonn and cooperating Bonn institutions from medicine, life sciences, pharmacy, nutrition research, mathematics, computer science and other fields.

Become TRA member!

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

Poster Biomath Conference
© Sabrina Fuchs
Impression: Bonn Conference on Mathematical Life Sciences 2023

Bonn Conference on Mathematical Life Sciences - a huge success!

More than 200 scientists discussed at the four-day symposium of TRAs "Modelling" and "Life and Health" as well as Clusters of Excellence HCM and ImmunoSensation2 the current state of the research activities and potential future development in the field of mathematical modelling in the life sciences.

David Fußhöller (ImmunoSensation/UKB) presents a short video of the event.

© Volker Lannert/Universität Bonn

Circuits for Survival - Inaugural Symposium on September 26, 2022

To celebrate the inaugural lecture of the Hertz Chair for "Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience", Prof. Dr. Dr. Dominik Bach, TRA Life and Health hosted a scientific symposium on 26.09.2022. 

Interested in Mathematical Life Sciences?

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. Please contact Christina Fricke for further information!
Scientific organizers: Alexander Effland, Jan Hasenauer and Kevin Thurley

Next meeting: June 16, 2023

First TRA Workshop-TeRAbytes on "Data Science and Data Management"

Scientists at the TeRAbytes workshop
© Birgit Westernstöer/Uni Bonn

About 100 scientists from the University of Bonn and all 6 TRAs met for the first time on January 17 and 18, 2023 at the Wissenschaftszentrum in Bonn to address the topic of "Data Science and Data Management" and exchange ideas on current challenges. In terms of content, the exchange was promoted by offering interesting scientific and service-oriented talks, posters and hands-on workshops. Results from this workshop will also be summarized in a white paper. The organizers were very satisfied overall and loved a very lively discussion culture, so that a follow-up event on this important topic is already being considered.

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:
30.05.2023, 4:30 p.m.    Ana Ivonne Vazquez-Armendariz
Complex lung organoids systems to model development and disease in vitro  (Venusberg Campus, BMZ1, lecture hall)

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

International Conference: Mathematics Meets Life Sciences

Mathematical modelling and analysis are essential for all fields of the life sciences nowadays, ranging from basic research to clinical application. The collaboration between mathematicians and life scientists has a long tradition in Bonn. This week Bonn researchers exchange views with colleagues from Germany and abroad on the current status and possible future developments at an international conference at the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn. 

Gene scissors find target for testicular cancer therapy

Cisplatin is used successfully in the chemotherapy of testicular cancer. However, patients who develop resistance to the cytostatic drug urgently need alternative therapy options. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) have now been able to elucidate a mechanism underlying cisplatin resistance in testicular cancer. Using CRISPR gene scissors, they identified the NAE1 gene as its driver. Inhibiting this resistance mediator by adding the NAE1 inhibitor MLN4924 not only restores the effect of cisplatin, but also has an additional killing effect on tumor cells. The study results have now been published in the British Journal of Cancer.

New project to eliminate worm infections in sub-Saharan Africa

Worm infections (helminthiases) affect around 1.5 billion people worldwide, making them one of the most prevalent infections in humans. Parasitic worms (helminths) are often transmitted through insect bites or contaminated soil in areas with limited access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare. These infections can cause chronic and debilitating health problems, such as lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), loiasis (African eye worm), mansonellosis, and trichuriasis (whipworm infection).In the new eWHORM project, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Marc Hübner from the University of Bonn, African and European partners join forces to enable the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) “Road Map for Neglected Tropical Diseases” (NTDs) and reduce the burden of disease associated with worm infections.

A new look at the power houses of cells

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is establishing a new priority program coordinated by the University of Bonn. Prof. Dr. Thomas Becker from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and his colleagues are focusing their attention on how the power houses of the cell (mitochondria) are integrated into the cellular proteostasis network. Proteostasis stands for the basic cell biological processes such as the folding, transport and degradation of proteins. A deeper insight into the interplay of mitochondria and proteostasis network may contribute to better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and aging processes. The DFG is funding the supraregional network with around 7.8 million euros for an initial period of three years.

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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