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

© Gregor Hübl/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.

© Gregor Hübl/Uni Bonn

Argelander Professorship for Organoids and Chemical 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.

© Gregor Hübl/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.

Participants of the Hands-On workshop for Machine Learning
© Birgit Westernstöer/Uni Bonn

Interdisciplinary hands-on workshop “Machine Learning” for Early Career scientists from the fields of matter, modelling and life sciences

March 19 + 20, 2024

Around 60 post-docs and doctoral students from the transdisciplinary research areas “Matter”, “Modelling”, “Life and Health” and the “Bonner Forum Biomedizin” (BFB) took part in this year's interdisciplinary hands-on workshop “Machine Learning”. At the two-day workshop, early career scientists gained insights into machine learning and its theoretical concepts in various ways. Following a basic lecture in three parts by Prof. Dr. Bauckhage, all participants had the opportunity to try out what they had learned in practical application exercises. On the second day, lectures provided insights on the application of “Physics-informed Neural Networks” (PINN) to model gene regulation in stem cells (Dr. Maria Mircea), the use of generative AI models for physical questions (Dr. Kim Nicoli) and the Use of “Active Learning” for behavior analysis in neuroscience (Dr. Jens Tillmann). The event ended with a small networking session in which the participants were able to exchange information about their research and what they had learned during these two days of workshop.

We would like to thank the excellent speakers and dedicated tutors for their contribution to the success of this workshop!

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© Bach Lab/Uni Bonn

Observing the brain in extreme situations

Hertz professor Dominik Bach and his team want to decipher how the brain works and analyze human behavior in extreme situations. For this purpose, test subjects are confronted with simulated external threats, such as a bear attack, with the help of VR goggles.

© Volker Lannert/Uni 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. 

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.


Mathematical Life Sciences (MaLiS) Club

The "MaLiS" Club meets regularly to discuss ongoing projects around mathematical questions in medicine and life sciences.

Next talk: June 7, 2024

Bonn Organoid Club

The "Bonn Organoid Club" is a forum for interested researchers to exchange expertise and reagents on organoid models in biomedical research.

Next talk: June 10, 2024

Spatial Biology Club Bonn

The "Spatial Biology Club Bonn" aims to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among Bonn scientists engaged in or exploring spatial-omics.

Next talk: June 12, 2024

Overview on talks and events

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

Would you like to announce an event? Please send an e-mail to


Avatar Brömer

Dr. Meike Brömer

TRA manager | Strategic Development and Quality Assurance Unit
Healthy Diets for People and the Planet

Our diet puts a strain on planetary resources. Shifting to a sustainable diet that benefits both our health and that of the planet is therefore assuming increasing importance. Researchers at the University of Bonn have analyzed the diets of children and adolescents in terms of their contribution to the ecological sustainability indicators of greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use. The study shows that there is both the potential and a need to make the diet of younger generations more sustainable. The study will be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; it is already available online.

New insights into our immune system

Dendritic cells play an important role in setting the course of our immune system. However, what determines their heterogeneity and functional specialization is still not sufficiently understood. An international collaboration consisting of researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and the Technical University of Denmark, among others, has investigated the role of the transcription factor Bcl6 in dendritic cells in a mouse model and discovered that a subgroup is highly dependent on this protein. The findings contribute to a better understanding of immunological processes during infections, vaccinations, allergies and autoimmunity. The results have now been published in the renowned scientific journal "Nature Communications".

Possible alternative to antibiotics produced by bacteria

Many bacteria produce substances to gain an advantage over competitors in their highly competitive natural environment. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have discovered a new so-called lantibiotic, namely epilancin A37. It is produced by staphylococci that colonize the skin and acts specifically against their main competitors there, the corynebacteria. This specificity is presumably mediated by a very special mechanism of action, which the researchers were able to decipher in detail. Their results have now been published in the renowned ISME Journal.

Breakthrough in brown fat research

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark, the Novo Nordisk Center for Adipocyte Signaling (SDU), the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) have found a protein that is responsible for turning off brown fat activity. This new discovery could lead to a promising strategy for safely activating brown fat and tackling obesity and related health problems. The results of the study have now been published in the journal „Nature Metabolism“.

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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