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.

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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/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. 

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.

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 seminar: 20.10.2023

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:
10.10.2023, 4:30 p.m.    Martin Raasch (Dynamic42)
Using Organ-on-Chip in immunological and infection research (online)

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

+49 228 73 54470

New findings on hair loss in men

A receding hairline, a total loss of hair from the crown, and ultimately, the classical horseshoe-shaped pattern of baldness: Previous research into male pattern hair loss, also termed androgenetic alopecia, has implicated multiple common genetic variants. Human geneticists from the University Hospital of Bonn (UKB) and by the Transdisciplinary Research Unit "Life & Health" of the University of Bonn have now performed a systematic investigation of the extent to which rare genetic variants may also contribute to this disorder. For this purpose, they analyzed the genetic sequences of 72,469 male participants from the UK Biobank project. The analyses identified five significantly associated genes, and further corroborated genes implicated in previous research. The results have now been published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.

Researchers decode new antibiotic

More and more bacterial pathogens are developing resistance. There is an increasing risk that common drugs will no longer be effective against infectious diseases. That is why scientists around the world are searching for new effective substances. Researchers from the University of Bonn, the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Utrecht University (Netherlands), Northeastern University in Boston (USA) and the company NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge (USA) now have discovered and deciphered the mode of action of a new antibiotic. Clovibactin is derived from a soil bacterium. This antibiotic is highly effective at attacking the cell wall of bacteria, including many multi-resistant “superbugs.” The results have now been published in the renowned journal “Cell.” 

First-Ever “Modelling for Life and Health” Transdisciplinary Research Prize Awarded

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schultz from the Institute for Computer Science II at the University of Bonn and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Theodor Rüber from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Epileptology at the University Hospital Bonn are the first winners of the “Modelling for Life and Health” Transdisciplinary Research Prize, which is presented by the Modelling and Life & Health Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) at the University of Bonn. The €120,000 award funds highly innovative research projects at the interface between mathematics or computer science on the one hand and the topics covered by the TRA Life & Health on the other.

Yongguo Li Secures ERC Starting Grant

Grants from the European Research Council (ERC) are awarded to outstanding researchers and are worth millions of euros in funding. Assistant Professor Yongguo Li from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Bonn has now obtained a much-sought-after ERC Starting Grant. The researcher is investigating how the lipid metabolism can be influenced so as to “burn” as many calories as possible, thus opening up potential new ways to treat obesity and diabetes.

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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