No matter how complex they are: Biological systems can be understood as molecular-based networks of chemical processes. Chemistry therefore provides a key to understanding the mechanisms of biological processes on the molecular and atomic level. In return, the biological systems inspire chemistry with their unique properties - their adaptability or capacity for self-repair, for example - to design molecules with optimised properties.

The ChemLife research initiative is dedicated to the interaction between biological and chemical knowledge. At the centre of our research efforts is the aim to understand how biological systems adapt themselves to changing conditions on the molecular network level. Based on this understanding, the goal is to create new hybrid systems with customised properties from biologically and chemically produced components. The research initiative ChemLife will take three closely aligned steps to reach this goal:

  • Chemical methods will be developed and utilised in order to analyse how chemical modifications influence the functioning of biomolecules.
  • Systematic as well as computer-supported analyses will be combined in order to model and predict to what extent biological networks can adapt themselves to natural and synthetic compounds.
  • Finally, new systems and materials with optimised properties will be developed at the interface of biology, chemistry and computer science.