Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans-Knöll-Institute

Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology e. V.

Beutenbergstr. 11a
07745 Jena


Project Leader

Prof. Peter F. Zipfel
Phone: + 49 3641 532 1300
Fax: + 49 3641 532 0807

Project Staff

PD Dr. Christine Skerka
Phone: + 49 3641 532 1164
Fax: + 49  3641 532 0807

Nadine Flach
Technical Assistent
Phone: + 49 3641 532 1419
Fax: + 49  3641 532 0807


Prof. Zipfel's team at Jena
Prof. Zipfel's team at Jena.

Institute Presentation

The Department of Infection Biology of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology in Jena focuses on the role of the human complement system in health and disease and on complement evasion strategies of human pathogenic microbes, in particular Candida albicans.  The work of the department aims to understand how genetic variations in complement genes cause renal as well as retinal disease including Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis (MPGN), Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD). A varitety of genetic modifications, as well as autoimmune forms cause these disorders. We are interested to understand and translate how genetic variations including gene mutations, chromosomal copy number variations, chromosomal deletions, as well as gene polymorphisms cause disease pathology. By characterizing such functional consequences the goal is to define biomarkers which are of diagnostic relevance and to establish new therapeutic approaches. In both MPGN and DEAP-HUS, autoantibodies to specific complement components cause disease pathology and these autoimmune forms require specific diagnostic approaches and also different therapies, like immunosuppressive treatment.

Prof. Dr. Peter F. Zipfel
Expert in complement genetics, function of complement regulators and genotype -phenotype correlation of genetic polymorphisms, as well as disease relevant mutations and copy number variations of complement genes. Autoimmune forms of complement associated disorders, including DEAP-HUS and Factor H auto-antibodies

Docent Dr. Christine Skerka
Expertise in functional complement assays, including complement activation assays hemolytic tests and recombinant expression of complement proteins and in vitro mutagenesis. Identification of new complement inhibitors and regulators.