Microbial cultures in Petri dishes, front: Streptomyces lividans

LIFE profile

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)


· Life
Jena research team has found a bacterium that forms a team with a green alga that supports each other's growth
Wild-type strains of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in liquid culture.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
· Life
New study presents molecular "hourglass" for the effect of cortisol
Dr Aishwarya Iyer-Bierhoff pipettes in the laboratory.
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)
· Life
Candida albicans toxin plays a special role in the colonization of the digestive tract
Candida albicans in the yeast and hyphae form on human epithelial cells.
Image: Leibniz-HKI

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.

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.


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
Image: Szabó/ UKJ
Jena University Hospital, Department for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine
Erlanger Allee 101
07747 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link
Ute Hellmich, Prof. Dr
Deputy Spokesperson | LIFE profile
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)
Dania Rose-Sperling, Dr
Scientific Coordinator | LIFE profile
Image: Niklaus Berger
Hellfeldsches Haus
Neugasse 23
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link
Twitter Logo
Twitter Logo
Graphic: twitter/ pixabay


News, funding options, calls for application, etc. also on twitter:

Profillinie LIFE/ @profillinie