Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

How do bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi make us sick? How does our immune system defend our body? These are the questions we at the HZI want to answer. Our goal: To set up the basis for new diagnostic tools, new active agents and new therapies against infectious diseases.

Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research examine the mechanisms of infection diseases and their defences. We develop the results of basic research systematically with the emphasis on medical application. The following are included in scientific issues that we investigate:

  • What is it that transforms bacteria or viruses into pathogens?
  • Why are some individuals particularly sensitive while others are resistant to infections?
  • How can we interrupt infection processes?
  • How do we transfer our findings to application for human beings?
For clarification of such questions, we examine pathogens that are either medically relevant or that can be used as models for the research of infections. Understanding these mechanisms then contributes to the on-going battle against infectious diseases in the form of drugs and vaccines.