Microbial cultures in Petri dishes, front: Streptomyces lividans

Focus on LIFE

The LIFE profile encompasses research in the areas microbiology, infection biology, biodiversity, bio-geo interactions and aging research.
Microbial cultures in Petri dishes, front: Streptomyces lividans
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

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Illustration for the LIFE-Connect fund Illustration for the LIFE-Connect fund Illustration: Franziska Eberl (Network by pixabay)

LIFE-"Connect" fund                    Deadline on 31.03.2023!

The "Connect"-Fund of the LIFE profile provides funding up to 25.000 €. Apply with your cooperative research project until 31.03.2023.         Curren Advertisemets - LIFE-"Connect“




1. LIFE Symposium - CONNECTing TALENTs - 18.11.2022!


1.LIFE Symposium - CONNECTing TALENTs 1.LIFE Symposium - CONNECTing TALENTs Image: Katja Präfcke
Video: Franziska Eberl

... little retrospective of the Vernissage on May 30th. More pictures of the exhibition, its construction and the vernissage you find under News.

About the LIFE profile

The LIFE profile supports existing structures within the main research areas in the life sciences and medicine, which have a long tradition in Jena. At the same time, new and innovative topics are identified and promoted. A high degree of interdisciplinarity within the LIFE profile connects the different faculties of the Friedrich Schiller University and the non-university partners. The application of technical solutions in biological research interlinks the LIGHT and LIFE profiles, whereas social and ethical aspects are explored in connection with the LIBERTY profile.

Movie - Research in the LIFE profile of the FSU Jena
Video: FREJM.net

Current Main Research Areas

Honey mushroom in petridishes
Microbial communities and chemical communication
Fluorescence-microscopic capture of germinal centers, in which B cells mature after infection.
Human pathogens, diagnostics and care
Field site Jena Experiment
Species diversity and ecosystems
Droplets are falling on a water surface.
Above- and belowground interactions, soil characterization
fluorescence imaging of a cell
Molecular mechanism of aging and age-related diseases
Generation of a virtual infection model.
Data-driven approaches and digitalization

Life Sciences with Tradition

Portrait of the founder of ecology Ernst Haeckel Portrait of the founder of ecology Ernst Haeckel Image: Archiv Hoßfeld

Natural sciences in Jena have a long tradition. Specifically the disciplines botany, ecology and microbiology have a long-standing history in the science location Jena.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the botanist Matthias Jacob Schleiden was the first to describe cells in living plants, and with this became a pioneer of the modern cell theory. His collaborative efforts together with Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe built the basis for a lasting and strong connection  between the life sciences and the optical industry in Jena, which still is the driving force for innovations in the ‘science city’.

The term ‘Ecology’ was, in fact, born in Jena. With it, in 1866, the evolution scientist Ernst Haeckel defined a new sub-discipline within biology, which addresses the interactions between organisms and their environment. The chemical basis of such interactions is explored in the field of Chemical Ecology, which also is rooted in Jena by studies of the botanist Ernst Stahl.

The microbiologist Hans Knöll dedicated himself to drug discovery and production, in the early twentieth century. He was particularly interested in the production of penicillin and the tuberculosis vaccine BCG. The BCG institute that he founded in 1950 – later the Central Institute for Microbiology and Experimental Therapy (ZIMET) and now the Hans Knöll Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKIExternal link) – was the first building at the Beutenberg campusExternal link, which is the central location for research and science in Jena today.

Structure-providing facilities
Research Structures

Units of Excellence and Research Centres:

Cluster of excellence "Balance of the Microverse"External link

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)External link, Halle-Jena-Leipzig


Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) and Transregios (TRs):

ChemBioSys (CRC 1127)External link, since 2014

FungiNet (CRC/TR 124)External link, since 2013

AquaDiva (CRC1076), since 2013

NC3 (SFB/TRR 212)External link, since 2018 (participation)


 Research Units (RUs) and Research Training Groups (RTGs):

QuaLiPerF (RU 5151)External link, since 2020

Jena Experiment (RU 5000)External link, since 2019 (participation)

SYNABS (RU 3004)External link, since 2019

Mechanisms of Lysosomal Homeostasis (RU 2625)External link, since 2017 (participation)

MAD Soil (RU 2179)External link, since 2015

DynIon (RU 2518)External link, since 2015

Active Perception (RU 2293)External link, since 2015 (participation)

TreeDì (Interanational RTG 2324)External link, since 2018 (participation)

TransTiP (International RTG 2309)External link, since 2018 (participation)

ProMoAge (RTG 2155)External link, since 2016

 Molecular Signatures of Adpative Stress Responses (RTG 1715), since 2012


Structured Doctoral Programmes:

Jena School for Microbial Communiaction (JSMC)External link

Jena School of Molecular Medicine (JSMM)External link

IMPRS "Exploration of Ecological Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques"External link

IMPRS for Global Biogeochemical Cycles (IMPRS gBGC)External link

IMPRS for the Science of Human History (IMPRS SHH)External link

Helmholtz Interdisciplinary Graduate School for Environmental Research (HIGRDADE)External link

Leibniz Graduate School on Ageing and Age-Related Diseases (LGSA)External link

ILRS for Microbial and Biomolecular Interactions (ILRS Jena)External link

Young Biodiversity Graduate School (yDiv)External link


Further Projects and Facilities:

NFDI4ChemExternal link, DFG-funded consortium for the national research data infrastructure in chemistry

NFDI4BiodiversityExternal link, DFG-funded consortium for the national research data infrastructure in biodiversity (participation)

NFDI4MicrobioloyExternal link, DFG-funded consortium for the national research data infrastructure in microbiology (participation)

Centre for Innovation Competence (ZIK)External link, cross-faculty research centre

IMPULS, research consortium for the identification and manipulation of the physiological and psychological clocks of lifespan

WeCaReExternal link, BMBF-funded alliance for health care in structurally weak regions (cooperation with LIBERTY)

Competence Cluster for Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health (NutriCARD)External link, funded by the BMBF

Center for Sepsis Control & Care (CSCC)External link, funded by the BMBF

InfectControl 2020External link, part of the BMBF Zwanzig20 funding programme

InfectoGnosticsExternal link, BMBF Research Campus

Automated Multisensor Stations for Monitoring of BioDiversity (AMMOD)External link, funded by the BMBF

Gut-brain-axis: Targets for improvement of cognition in the elderly (SmartAge)External link, EU-financed Innovative Training Network

Understanding virus-host interactions (ViroInf)External link, EU-financed Innovative Training Network

European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC)External link, center at the interface of bioinformatics and virology

OrganAgeExternal link, Program for young clinician scientists

AntiAgeExternal link, Research training group funded by the Else Kröner Foundation

Leibniz Center for Photonics in Infection Research (LPI)External link, Leibniz Center

InfectoOpticsExternal link, Leibniz ScienceCampus

Regenerative AgingExternal link, Leibniz ScienceCampus

Faculties involved
Cooperation partners


The 12-person coordination team serves as the reporting and strategic body within the LIFE profile. The spokesperson (currently Prof. M. Bauer) and deputy (currently Prof. U. Hellmich) are elected every 3 years. Additionally, the coordination committee is supported by a coordinator (Dr. Dania Rose-Sperling). A list of all members of the coordination team can be found here.pdf, 570 kb

Michael Bauer, Prof. Dr
Spokesperson | LIFE profile
Michael Bauer
Jena University Hospital, Department for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine
Erlanger Allee 101
07747 Jena
Ute Hellmich, Prof. Dr
Deputy Spokesperson | LIFE profile
Dania Rose-Sperling, Dr
Scientific Coordinator | LIFE profile
Hellfeldsches Haus
Neugasse 23
07743 Jena