News Archive

How bacteria defend themselves against plasmas
© Photography: © RUB, Marquard

A heat shock protein protects the cells against protein clumping. It degrades, however, over longer treatment periods.

Tiny beads preserve enzymes for biocatalysis
© Photography: © RUB, Marquard

Plasmas can provide the co-substrate needed for biocatalysis of valuable substances, but are also harmful to enzymes. By attaching enzymes to small beads the enzymes are protected and remain active up to 44 times longer.

Protect biocatalyst from oxygen
© Photography: © RUB, Marquard

© Photography: © RUB, Marquard

Old Yellow Enzymes and their importance for algae
2016 05 10 Km Algen-7
© Photography: © RUB, Marquard

We are funded by the DFG until 2027!

MiCon Retreat 2022

How do plants regulate their sugar metabolism?
© Photography: © RUB, Klaus Hagemann

Agar Art Contest 2022

This is our winner of this year's MiCon Agar Art contest. Congratulations to Jan from the Krämer Lab for his great microbe tree. We are already looking forward to the second competition in 2023.

Welcome 2nd MiCon generation!

We welcome 14 new PhD students of the second MiCon generation. We look forward to exciting scientific projects and an enriching exchange.

MiCon’s fantastic four!
Fantastic four

In June, Barbara, Anna, Nicole and Xuemei successfully defended their theses. You can find more interesting aspects about their topics under the Publication tab.

The „winning streak” continues!

Congratulations to Claudia and Stefanie from the Happe Lab! Interesting insights into their topics can be found under the Publication tab.

Congratulations to Kirstin, Jula and Gigi!

Our MiCon students received their doctorates and defended their theses with flying colors. Detailed information on the topics can be found under the Publications tab.

First MiCon graduate!
Sascha Promotion

Dr. Sascha Heinrich from Frank Schulz's lab successfully defended his PhD thesis in front of a MiCon-powered PhD committee! As part of his PhD thesis, he published an article in the renowned journal Chemical Communications.

Congratulations, Sascha!

Supercomputers joined the fight against antibiotic resistance
© Photography: © Elsa Sanchez-Garcia

Researchers have developed a strategy to use supercomputers to tackle the threat of diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Great honor for Ute Krämer
Ute Kraemer Portrait 2016 Buero C Klaus Hagemann
© Photography: © Klaus Hagemann

MiCon PI Ute Krämer has been elected member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina - German Academy of Sciences! Congratulations from the team and good luck for the new challenges!

New joint publication
Asm Logo 3

New joint publication from the Team! Congratulations to MiCon fellows Anna and Jan for their work on glutathione S-transferases in Microbiology Spectrum. The two enzymes StyI and StyJ from the Gram-positive actinobacterium Gordonia rubripertincta act in the styrene-specific degradation pathway and may be useful for bioremediation or the generation of valuable compounds.

Find the publication here:

Anna C Lienkamp, Jan Burnik, Thomas Heine, Eckhard Hofmann and Dirk Tischler, "Characterization of the Glutathione S-Transferases Involved in Styrene Degradation in Gordonia rubripertincta CWB2", Microbiol. Spectr., 2021 July 28

"Hot" new joint publication!
Frontiers Logo

​New joint publication from the Bandow and the Leichert labs! Congratulations to MiCon fellow Dennis for his first authorship on his publication in Frontiers in Microbiology. Dennis used a functional metaproteomics-based approach previously established by MiCon alumni Dr. Premankur Sukul to identify a novel esterase from the Indian Bakreshwar hot spring.

Find the publication here:

Dennis Sander, Yanfei Yu, Premankur Sukul, Sina Schäkermann, Julia E. Bandow, Trienetra Mukherjee, Subhra Kanti Mukhopadhyay and Lars I. Leichert, "Metaproteomic Discovery and Characterization of a Novel Lipolytic Enzyme From an Indian Hot Spring", Front. Microbiol., 2021 June 04;

New series: Thursday's Career Talks

Many of you are beginning to face questions about your professional future. To help you with that, we created a series called “Thursday's Career Talks”, where we've invited professionals from many different fields to share their career paths with you. On each date, our guest will give a 30-minute presentation and then is open for further discussion with the audience. If you are interested in joining the event, please contact Simon Czolkoss ( for further information. A pdf with all the dates and speakers can be found here.

Virtual Writing Retreat
Writing Retreat

Due to the current restrictions caused by the pandemic, the workshop unfortunately had to be held as an online event. Nevertheless, the team gave everything to ensure a successful event and productive work under these circumstances. We also crowned a taste champion and a quiz champion! Thanks to all participants!

Interview with Prof. Julia Bandow

In the latest issue of the RUB science magazine RUBIN, MiCon member Prof. Julia Bandow talks about her innovative research on the subject of novel antibiotics and the newly-established Center for Systems-Based Antibiotics Research (CESAR).

Considering that the challenge of multi-resistant bacteria has been known for years and that, according to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute, it claims the lives of 10,000 to 20,000 people every year in Germany alone, it might seem surprising that, in the last 15 years, little effort of large pharmaceutical companies went into researching new antibiotics. The Center for Systems-Based Antibiotics Research, short Cesar, is currently being established to provide an infrastructure that is unique in Germany that will aid the search for new, antibiotic substances. Professor Julia Bandow, Chair of Applied Microbiology at RUB, coordinates the Research Center, which is being set up in collaboration with the Lead Discovery Center, Dortmund.

October, 2020

Read more

Tiny helpers of the big industry

MiCon PI Prof. Dirk Tischler gives insights into the work of his group "Microbial Biotechnology" in the latest issue of RUBIN:

The smallest organisms give rise to hope for an environmentally friendly industry: using bacteria as catalysts is what so-called white biotechnology is all about. The aim is to convert the production processes of various substances from crude oil, which is still in frequent use, to renewable raw materials, in order to comply with the bio-economic strategy pursued by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Ideally, this should result in a process in which everything is recycled.

September, 2020

Click here for the full article!

MiCon on the front cover

With their article "Improved quantum efficiency in an engineered light harvesting/photosystem II super-complex for high current density biophotoanodes" Marc Nowaczyk and Anna Frank made it to the front cover of the Journal of Materials Chemistry A! Congratualions!

From the abstract: Photosystem II (PSII) is the only enzyme that catalyzes light-induced water oxidation, the basis for its application as a biophotoanode in various bio-photovoltaics and photo-bioelectrochemical cells. However, the absorption spectrum of PSII limits the quantum efficiency in the range of visible light, due to a gap in the green absorption region of chlorophylls (500-600 nm). To overcome this limitation, we have stabilized the interaction between PSII and Phycobilisomes (PBSs) - the cyanobacterial light harvesting complex, in vitro. The PBS of three different cyanobacteria (Acaryochloris marina, Am, Mastigocladus laminosus, ML, and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Syn) are analyzed for their ability to transfer energy to Thermosynechococcus elongatus (Te) PSII by fluorescence spill-over and photo-current action spectra. Integration of the PBS-PSII super-complexes within an Os-complex-modified hydrogel on macro-porous indium tin oxide electrodes (MP-ITO) resulted in notably improved, wavelength dependent, incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiencies (IPCE). IPCE values in the green gap were doubled from 3% to 6% compared to PSII electrodes without PBS and a maximum IPCE up to 10.9% at 670 nm was achieved.

Hartmann V, Harris D, Bobrowsk T, Ruff A, Rögner M, Frank A, Günther Pomorski T, Rögner M, Schuhmann W, Adir N, Nowaczyk MM (2020) Journal of Materials Chemistry A 8:14463-14471

August; 2020

Read more

Welcome to the team

Welcome to the team: since the start of 2020, three new associated student members strengthen our research training group. Vanessa Hubracht (left) joined Sascha Heinrich in the group of Frank Schulz (Chemistry and Biochemistry of Natural Products). Her research is focussed on the enzymatic conversion of renewable raw materials to precursors and products of biotechnological importance. Anna-Maria Möller (middle) works on regulated proteolysis with Franz Narberhaus (Microbial Biology). Her particular focus lies on the role of LpxC - the key enzyme of lipopolysaccharide synthesis. Jan Mandelkow (right) recently joined the group of Ute Krämer in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Physiology of Plants. He is interested in the relationship between plant metal-homeostasis and the phyllosphere microbiota structure.

On behalf of the MiCon team - much success in your work and we are pleased to have you abord!

February, 2020

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

On behalf of the MiCon team - a successful & happy New Year 2020. Thanks to all our international and national guests and everyone involved in organizing the Retreat to Hitdorf, our Summer School and the many interesting lectures and workshops. We are looking forward to an exciting year to come!

December, 2019

MiCon Summer School finished

The first MiCon-organized Summer School was a complete success. We thank our many international guests and students for fruitful discussions and excellent contributions to the program. Special thanks to the organization committee (Kirstin Arend, Georgios Vasilopoulos, Anna Frank and Dennis Sander) for their help in preparing the conference and hosting our guests.

September, 2019

Read more

Program available

The program flyer for the MiCon Summer School can be downloaded here

Confirmed speakers: Prof. Dr. Vera Meyer, Prof. Dr. Matthias Rögner, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selin Kara, Prof. Dr. Bettina Siebers, Prof. Dr. Alexander Probst, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Streit, Prof. Dr. Kira Weissman, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne,

Prof. Dr. Nicole Frankenberg-Dinkel, Dr. Alexander Pelzer

We are looking forward to welcome you to

August, 2019

Read more

Summer School flyer and public Keynote Lecture invitation

The flyer for the first MiCon-organized Summer School is available now. Click here to download.

Join our public Keynote Lecture

"The power of fungi: How fungi shape biotechnology and our daily lifestyle"

by Prof. Dr. Vera Meyer (TU Berlin).

Date: 11.09.2019
Time: 16:30 - 17:30
Location: Blue Square, Kortumstraße 90, 44787 Bochum

Participation to the Keynote Lecture is free but please indicate your attendance to Simon Czolkoss.

August, 2019

Read more

1st MiCon Summer School

The first MiCon-organized Summer School will take place from 11 to 13 September 2019 at the Blue Square and the Veranstaltungszentrum.

Stay tuned for more information.

July, 2019

Read more

Workshop: in vitro Biocatalysis
20190702 100722

Last week the MiCon PhD students had the opportunity to learn more about in vitro biocatalysis in a 2-day workshop organized by the Schulz lab. After two interesting talks by visiting Prof. Dr. Lorena Betancor and Prof. Dr. Frank Schulz, the students had the opportunity to learn more about woman careers in science.
On the second day, Marius and Sascha from the Schulz group introduced the students to a practical application of detecting biocatalysis products via HPLC-HRMS.

Thanks to everyone involved in organizing this workshop!

June, 2019

1st Micon Student Retreat

From 25 to 27 of April, the MiCon students got together at the beautiful Open Sky House in Hitdorf close to the Rhine. On the first day, a visit to the Bayer Site offered a great opportunity for the students to learn more about one of the biggest employers of the region. The second day started with a soft-skill training by communication coach Kathrin Keune. Later, the PIs joined to listen to previously developed short presentations on the student's PhD projects. The day ended with a joint BBQ in the garden.

May, 2019

Workshop: Industrial Biotechnology

This week, the students participated at the Workshop "Industrial Biotechnology" organized by the Tischler lab. MiCon fellow Anna Lienkamp presented the newest results from her PhD studies "Biochemical characterization of glutathione S-transferases from Gordonia rubipertincta CWB2" in that context! During a coffee break, the students had the opportunity to approach the senior scientists and talk about career perspectives in industry and academia.

Thanks to everyone involved in organizing this workshop!

April, 2019

Workshop: Protein purification with the ÄKTA system

A two-day workshop was offered to the MiCon PhD students on protein chromatography using the ÄKTA system. The workshop was supposed to teach the principles of protein purification as well as sample preparation, sample handling and programming using the UNICORN software. Later the students had the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice and got input for their own research.

Thanks to everyone involved in organizing this workshop!

April, 2019

Seminar plan

The seminar list for 2019 can be downloaded here

January, 2019

Season´s greetings

Merry Christmas to all our MiCon friends! May 2019 be a successful and fruitful year for all of us.

MiCon Day - Welcome aboard!

On November 8, all MiCon students and principal investigators gathered for a first official meeting at the Ruhr University Bochum. To set the basis for many fruitful collaborations, the PIs gave presentations covering their own research fields to the consortium. The ombudsperson of the Ruhr University, Prof. Dr. med. Ulf Eysel, introduced the students to the rules of Good Scientific Practice. Later that day, a poster session was organized by the associated PhD students to introduce the young researchers to all MiCon-related research.

November, 2018

Green light for the DFG-funded RTG 2341: Microbial Substrate Conversion

The Research Training Group ‘Microbial Substrate Conversion’ intends to shed light on the conversion of substrates – the starting materials for catalysis – by microbial enzymes and in dependence on specific spatially and temporally variable reaction conditions. The researchers, from microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and neighboring fields, will work both in vitro and with living micro-organisms.

August, 2018


Prof. Dr. Franz Narberhaus
NDEF 06/764
Tel.: +49 (234) 32 - 28100
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum

Administration Office

Dr. Stephan Pienkoß
NDEF 06/598
Tel.: +49 (234) 32 - 23099
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum

Secretary's office
Jennifer Bolte

NDEF 06/784
Tel.: +49 (234) 32-28100