Welcome to the RTG 2341
Microbial Substrate Conversion

Microbes dominate our planet. This enormous success is reflected in the versatility in primary and secondary metabolism that allows the acclimation of microorganisms to various ecological niches. Many of the responsible enzymes and pathways are not only of fundamental interest for basic research, but also attractive for biotechnological and medical applications.

The Research Training Group “Microbial substrate conversion (MiCon)” aims at understanding the mechanistic principles of microbial metabolic processes at the molecular level. The enzymes and pathways under investigation are involved in the synthesis of small molecules like hydrogen, the biosynthesis, modification and degradation of lipids, and the production of secondary metabolites.


April, 2021

A new member for MiCon!

In April this year we got a new member! Cynthia Vesterager from Prof. Schulz's group has joined the Research Training Group as an associated doctoral student. Cynthia is working in the field of untargeted metabolomics to identify novel bioactive compounds produced by microbes. We are very happy to have her with us and wish her all the best for her work!

March, 2021

New series: Thursday's Career Talks

Many of you are beginning to face questions about your professional future. To help you with that, we created a series called “Thursday's Career Talks”, where we've invited professionals from many different fields to share their career paths with you. On each date, our guest will give a 30-minute presentation and then is open for further discussion with the audience. If you are interested in joining the event, please contact Simon Czolkoss (micon@rub.de) for further information. A pdf with all the dates and speakers can be found here.

February, 2021

Virtual Writing Retreat

Due to the current restrictions caused by the pandemic, the workshop unfortunately had to be held as an online event. Nevertheless, the team gave everything to ensure a successful event and productive work under these circumstances. We also crowned a taste champion and a quiz champion! Thanks to all participants!

December, 2020

Open positions available!

We're hiring! Positions are available for 12 PhD students to join our Research Training Group. If you are looking for an interdisciplinary training programme, exciting research projects and international and collaborative research across three faculties on a single campus, we welcome your application untill February 7 2021.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

November, 2020

New series: What are you doing in the lab?

In order to give interested visitors to our site a better look at what our students are researching in their laboratories, we here introduce a new series called "What are you doing in the lab?". Each month, a member of our research training group will introduce themself and explain what he or she is currently working on. Anna Lienkamp - a MiCon student from the very beginning of the programm - will kick off the series!

Click here for the full story!

October, 2020

Interview with Prof. Julia Bandow

In the latest issue of the RUB science magazine RUBIN, MiCon member Prof. Julia Bandow talks about her innovative research on the subject of novel antibiotics and the newly-established Center for Systems-Based Antibiotics Research (CESAR).

Considering that the challenge of multi-resistant bacteria has been known for years and that, according to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute, it claims the lives of 10,000 to 20,000 people every year in Germany alone, it might seem surprising that, in the last 15 years, little effort of large pharmaceutical companies went into researching new antibiotics. The Center for Systems-Based Antibiotics Research, short Cesar, is currently being established to provide an infrastructure that is unique in Germany that will aid the search for new, antibiotic substances. Professor Julia Bandow, Chair of Applied Microbiology at RUB, coordinates the Research Center, which is being set up in collaboration with the Lead Discovery Center, Dortmund.

Click here for the full article!

September, 2020

Tiny helpers of the big industry

MiCon PI Prof. Dirk Tischler gives insights into the work of his group "Microbial Biotechnology" in the latest issue of RUBIN:

The smallest organisms give rise to hope for an environmentally friendly industry: using bacteria as catalysts is what so-called white biotechnology is all about. The aim is to convert the production processes of various substances from crude oil, which is still in frequent use, to renewable raw materials, in order to comply with the bio-economic strategy pursued by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Ideally, this should result in a process in which everything is recycled.

Click here for the full article!

August, 2020

MiCon on the front cover

With their article "Improved quantum efficiency in an engineered light harvesting/photosystem II super-complex for high current density biophotoanodes" Marc Nowaczyk and Anna Frank made it to the front cover of the Journal of Materials Chemistry A! Congratualions!

From the abstract: Photosystem II (PSII) is the only enzyme that catalyzes light-induced water oxidation, the basis for its application as a biophotoanode in various bio-photovoltaics and photo-bioelectrochemical cells. However, the absorption spectrum of PSII limits the quantum efficiency in the range of visible light, due to a gap in the green absorption region of chlorophylls (500-600 nm). To overcome this limitation, we have stabilized the interaction between PSII and Phycobilisomes (PBSs) - the cyanobacterial light harvesting complex, in vitro. The PBS of three different cyanobacteria (Acaryochloris marina, Am, Mastigocladus laminosus, ML, and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Syn) are analyzed for their ability to transfer energy to Thermosynechococcus elongatus (Te) PSII by fluorescence spill-over and photo-current action spectra. Integration of the PBS-PSII super-complexes within an Os-complex-modified hydrogel on macro-porous indium tin oxide electrodes (MP-ITO) resulted in notably improved, wavelength dependent, incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiencies (IPCE). IPCE values in the green gap were doubled from 3% to 6% compared to PSII electrodes without PBS and a maximum IPCE up to 10.9% at 670 nm was achieved.

Hartmann V, Harris D, Bobrowsk T, Ruff A, Rögner M, Frank A, Günther Pomorski T, Rögner M, Schuhmann W, Adir N, Nowaczyk MM (2020) Journal of Materials Chemistry A 8:14463-14471

News archive


Prof. Dr. Franz Narberhaus

Ruhr University Bochum
Microbial Biology
Room: ND 06/783
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum
Tel.: +49 234 32 23100


Dr. Simon Czolkoss

Ruhr University Bochum
Microbial Biology
Room: ND 06/786
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum
Tel.: +49 234 32 21750


Prof. Dr. Julia Bandow

Ruhr University Bochum
Applied Microbiology
Universitätsstraße 150
44780 Bochum
Room: ND 06/597
Tel.: +49 234 32 23102

Prof. Dr. Thomas Happe

Ruhr University Bochum
Universitätsstrasse 150
44801 Bochum
Room: ND 2/169
Tel: +49 234 32 27026



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