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Current Methods in Molecular Microbiology: From theory to application

Gain insights into a wide range of experimental procedures and their application in microbiological research.

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CIVIS focus area
Climate, environment and energy
Open to
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Medicine and Health
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • CIVIS Hub 1
Course dates
20 Oct 2021 - 16 Feb 2022

The course will provide a series of lectures provided by leading scientists on the various methods used in the different departments of the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine at University Tübingen, covering aspects such as cloning techniques, molecular genetics, biochemical and biophysical characterization of biomolecules, infection models, microscopy, sequencing, and genome analysis. To get familiar with these methods, the students shall summarize in homework the key issues for each lecture as well as identify in the current microbiological literature examples where these methods have been successfully employed.

Topics Addressed

  • Cloning techniques
  • Molecular genetics
  • Biochemical and biophysical characterization of biomolecules
  • Infection models
  • Microscopy
  • Sequencing
  • Genome analysis
  • Metabolomics

Learning outcome

  • Understanding of a wide range of experimental procedures and their accurate application
Language: English Format: Virtual mobility (no travel required)
Date: 20 Oct 2021-16 Feb 2022 Time: Wednesday 08.00-10.00 CET
N° places for CIVIS students: 5 ECTS credits: 6 (accreditation depends on your home university)
Contact for further information: Dr. Lisa Bleul (


15 online 2-hour lectures, plus reading and written homework. Students should expect to dedicate approximately 6 hours a week to the course.


Evaluation will be based on the average of the grades given to the written homework.

Karl Forchhammer is Microbiology-Professor and head of the unit Microbiology/Organismic Interactions at the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine at the University Tübingen. His group is studying the molecular physiology of cyanobacteria with a special focus on carbon/nitrogen metabolism, signal transduction mechanisms, starvation responses, biopolymer accumulation in the unicellular cyanobacteria Synechocystis and Synechococcus. The group has a strong interest in the potential application of cyanobacteria for feedstock production, in particular of biopolymers. Forchhammer has co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers (Google scholar H-index 55). He is actually coordinator of a Germany-wide collaborative research group on the topic of cyanobacterial metabolic regulation. Further, he is in charge of the Master “Microbiology” at the University Tübingen.

Heike Brötz-Oesterhelt is full professor for Microbiology at the University of Tübingen heading the Department of Microbial Bioactive Compounds. Currently, she is managing director of the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine, Tübingen, speaker of the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre TRR261 “Molecular Mechanism of Antibiotic Action and Production”, co-speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “Controlling Microbes to Fight Infection” (both funded by the German Research Organisation DFG) as well as deputy speaker of the partner site Tuebingen within the German Center of Infection Research (DZIF). Heike Brötz-Oesterhelt is particularly interested in molecular mechanisms of new antibiotic lead structures and operation modes of novel antibiotic targets.

Samuel Wagner joined the Faculty of Medicine at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen as an Assistant Professor of Infection Biology in early 2012 and was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Sofja Kovalevskaja Award in the same year. In 2014, Samuel Wagner was listed by the magazine Capital as one of the most influential junior scientists in Germany in the selection 4 x 40 under 40. Samuel Wagner became head of the Section of Cellular and Molecular Microbiology in 2015 and tenured professor in 2018. He is Director of Graduate Studies of the Interfaculty Graduate School of Microbiology and Infection Biology (IGIM), vice-chair of the IMIT and vice dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

Eric Kemen became a research group leader at the MPI for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, focusing with his group on microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions in 2012. An important finding was the discovery of ‘microbial hubs’ that link microbial communities to the host genotype. Since 2017, Eric Kemen is Professor at the University of Tübingen combining computational modelling with ecology and host/microbe genetics to discover novel mechanisms in complex microbial community assembly and stability. He is Director of the Center for Plant Molecular Biology

Wolfgang Wohlleben is full professor for Microbiology at the University of Tübingen since 1994, heading the Department of Biotechnology. He is inventor of more then 25 patents and has co-authored more than 150 publications. His major research focus is the biology of actinomycetes and their ability to produce secondary metabolites. The current research projects of the department are dealing with molecular genetics and biochemistry of antibiotic biosynthesis, regulation of the primary metabolism of producer strains and with unique biological features of these mycelial bacteria.

Nadine Ziemert is professor for Natural Product Genome Mining at the University of Tübingen since 2014. Her lab interested in the evolution and distribution of bacterial secondary metabolites. She is leading a highly interdisciplinary group at the interface of bioinformatics, molecular and environmental microbiology, and phylogenetics. Her group is currently developing bioinformatic tools for the discovery of natural products from microbial genomes, elucidating the evolutionary history of their biosynthetic gene clusters and tracing their distribution in the environment.

The course is open to Master's students of CIVIS member universities majoring in life science. A solid background in microbiology, biochemistry and genetics is required.

Applicants should send a CV and short statement specifying the reasons for their interest in the course to Dr. Lisa Bleul:

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