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.

New Funding Opportunities

Exclusively for TRA members (or those who want to be): currently you can apply for the Transdisciplinary Research Prize "Modelling for Life and Health".

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.

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© Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn

TRA Hertz Chair for "Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience"

We are pleased to welcome Prof. Dr. 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 will establish a strong new research focus at the interface between neuroscience, psychiatry and computer science within TRA Life and Health. 

Prof. Dr. Dominik Bach at his inaugural lecture
© 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. 

Flyer Terabytes Workshop
© TRA Life and Health

TeRAbytes - Strategies for Data Science and Data Management, 17/18.01.2023

This workshop will bring together researchers from across the Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) who produce and deal with large and complex data sets and generate digital research products. We wish to stimulate an exchange of ideas and common challenges.

Read more - first impressions

Conference Poster
© Sabrina Fuchs

Bonn Conference on Mathematical Life Sciences

Mathematical modelling and analysis are nowadays essential for all fields of the life sciences, ranging from basic research to clinical application. To discuss the state of the field and potential future development, we would like to invite you to the

Bonn Conference on Mathematical Life Sciences

Bonn, April 17-20, 2023

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: January 27, 2023

First TRA Workshop 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:
14.03.2023, 4:30 pm    Nicolas Gaudenzio, Inserm/University of Toulouse
High-dimensional profiling of the skin: from basic science to drug development

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

Beethoven’s genome offers clues to composer’s health and family history

Ludwig van Beethoven’s genome has been sequenced for the first time by an international team of scientists with the participation of the University of Bonn using five genetically matching locks of the well-known composer’s hair. 

New intracellular "smoke detector" discovered

Researchers at the Universities of Bonn and Singapore have discovered a new intracellular "smoke detector." The sensor warns of damage to the mitochondria - the microscopic power plants that supply the cell with energy. If it does not function properly, chronic skin diseases can result. The sensor may also be important for unimpaired heart and bowel function. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Immunology.

Cellular waste removal differs according to cell type

"Miniature shredders" are at work in each cell, disassembling and recycling cell components that are defective or no longer required. The exact structure of these shredders differs from cell type to cell type, a study by the University of Bonn now shows. For example, cancer cells have a special variant that can supply them particularly effectively with building blocks for their energy metabolism. The results were published online in advance. The final version has now been published in the journal "Molecular & Cellular Proteomics."

Glial cells help memory along

There are two fundamentally different cell types in the brain, neurons and glial cells. The latter, for example, insulate the "wiring" of nerve cells or guarantee optimal working conditions for them. A new study led by the University of Bonn has now discovered another function in rodents: The results suggest that a certain type of glial cell plays an important role in spatial learning. The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) was involved in the work. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Communications.

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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