Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS)

Jointly founded by Saarland University and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI, Braunschweig) in 2009, the strategic goal of the HIPS is finding and developing new antibiotics and contributing to the research in new pharmaceuticals and therapies to prevent and combat infectious diseases. Our scientists search for novel drugs with innovative structures and new mechanisms of actions, often based on natural compounds. Furthermore they optimize such molecules by rational drug design and explore novel pathways for improving the delivery to their target.

HIPS will move into its new building immediately adjacent to Saarland University campus July 2015 and comprises six research groups:

Department Drug Design and Optimization:     
   Prof. Dr. Rolf Hartmann   
     • Junior Research Group Chemical Biology of Carbohydrates:
        Dr. Alexander Titz

Department Drug Delivery:     
   Prof. Dr. Claus-Michael Lehr 

Department Microbial Natural Products:    
   Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller (Director of HIPS)     
     • Junior Research Group Actinobacteria Metabolic Engineering:            
        Dr. Andriy Luzhetskyy   
     • Junior Research Group Structural Biology of Biosynthetic Enzymes:
        Dr. Jesko Köhnke

Available Technologies & Methods
•    Rational design, synthesis and biological evaluation of anti-infectives with novel modes of action
•    Virtual and experimental screening of fragment and small organic libraries and biophysical characterization of hits
•    In-vitro models of epithelial cells and tissues (gut, skin, lung), also in state of disease (e.g. inflammation and infection)
•    Multifunctional nanocarriers for drugs, vaccines and gene therapeutics, based on biocompatible and biodegradable materials
•    Interdisciplinary natural product research (microbiology, synthetic biotechnology, structure elucidation, biochemistry, structural biology, genetic engineering, activity assays)
•    Analytical chemistry for protein and small molecule analysis: 700 MHz NMR cryoprobe, HPLC, CE, various hr-MS instrumentation including FT-ICR