Dr. Martin Empting participates in RESIST research projects C3 and D1.

My Research Interest in RESIST

Our research focus in RESIST is the identification and optimization of small molecular compounds that interfere with novel and un(der)exploited drug targets against bacterial (C3) as well as viral infections (D3). The longterm aim is to thereby contribute to new treatment options for chronic lung infections as well as for herpesviral disease. In particular, we want to open the door for combination therapies that either utilize an antibiotic backbone treatment (C3) or drugs acting at different stages of the viral life cycle (D3). Recently, we have contributed to the discovery of a first generation of small molecule inhibitors acting on LANA and a pK15-dependent signal transduction cascade. Over the course of the next 6 years we want to continue with the optimization and development of these inhibitors and other inhibitors and apply the experience gained in recent years to other herpesviruses. 

Dr. Empting about his scientific work

Dr. Martin Empting – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2017 Project Leader, PqsR Inverse Agonists, Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)¬†

  • Since 2017 Habilitand, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, Saarland University (UdS)¬†

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 2003 – 2009 Diploma in Chemistry, Technical University Darmstadt

  • 2009 – 2012 Doctoral thesis, Technical University Darmstadt. (Dr.-Ing.; Supervisor Prof. Dr. Harald Kolmar)

  • 2013 ‚Äď 2016 PostDoc with Prof. Rolf W. Hartmann, Department Drug Design and Optimization, Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)

  • Since 2017 Habilitation (Mentor Prof. Dr. Rolf Hartmann)¬†

Academic and Research Posts

  • Since 2017 Project Leader, PqsR Inverse Agonists, Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)¬†

Other Scientific Roles

  • 2019 Member of the Expert Centre ‚ÄúMedChem Plattform‚ÄĚ of the German Centers for Health Research (DZG)¬†

Awards and Prizes

  • 2009 Award of the ‚ÄėDr. Anton-Keller-Stiftung f√ľr die besten Absolventen des Fachbereichs Chemie der TU Darmstadt 2009‚Äô, TU-Darmstadt, Germany¬†

  • 2011 Award for the best Poster presentation, 10th German Peptide Symposium, Berlin, Germany.¬†

  • 2013 Award ‚ÄėBest Oral Presentation at the Antimicrobial Drug Discovery Conference‚Äô, Madrid, Spain¬†

  • 2013 Dissertation price of the ‚ÄėFamilie Bottling-Stiftung‚Äô for the doctoral thesis „Disubstituted 1,2,3-Triazoles: A Multitool for Biomolecular Chemistry“, TU- Darmstadt, Germany¬†

Recommended Links

For further information about Prof. Empting’s scientific work please check the following links:

10 Selected Publications

Abere B, Mamo TM, Hartmann S, Samarina N, Hage E, R√ľckert J, Hotop SK, B√ľsche G, Schulz TF. The Kaposi‚Äôs Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) non-structural membrane protein K15 is required for viral lytic replication and may represent a therapeutic target. PLoS Pathog. 2017; 3(9): e1006639.¬†

Zhang G, Chan B, Samarina N, Abere B, Weidner-Glunde M, Buch A, Pich A, Brinkmann MB, Schulz TF. Cytoplasmic isoforms of Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus LANA recruit and antagonize the innate immune sensor cGAS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113: E1034-43. 

Gramolelli S, Weidner-Glunde M, Abere B, Viejo-Borbolla A, Bala K, R√ľckert J, Kremmer E, Schulz TF. Inhibiting the recruitment of PLC1 to Kaposi‚Äôs Sarcoma Herpesvirus K15 protein reduces the invasiveness and angiogenesis of infected endothelial cells. PLoS Pathog. 2015; 11(8): e1005105.¬†

Hellert J, Weidner-Glunde M, Krausze J, L√ľnsdorf H, Ritter C, Schulz TF*, L√ľhrs T*. (2015) The 3D-structure of Kaposi‚Äôs sarcoma herpesvirus LANA c-terminal domain bound to DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112: 6694-9. *joint senior author¬†

Hellert J, Weidner-Glunde M, Krausze J, Richter U, Adler H, Fedorov R, Pietrek M, R√ľckert J, Ritter C, Schulz TF*, L√ľhrs T*. A structural basis for BRD2/4-mediated host chromatin interaction and oligomer assembly of Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus and murine gammaherpesvirus LANA proteins. PLoS Pathog. 2013; 9(10): e1003640. *joint senior authors¬†

Santag S, Jäger W, Karsten C, Kati S, Pietrek M, Steinemann D, Sarek G, Ojala P, Schulz TF Recruitment of the tumour suppressor protein p73 by Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus latent nuclear antigen contributes to the survival of primary effusion lymphoma cells. Oncogene. 2013; 32(32):3676-85. 

Bala K, Bosco R, Gramolelli S, Haas DA, Kati S, Pietrek M, H√§vemeier A, Yakushko Y, Singh VV, Dittrich- Breiholz O, Kracht M, Schulz TF Kaposi ŐĀs Sarcoma Herpesvirus K15 protein contributes to virus-induced angiogenesis by recruiting PLC1 and activating NFAT1-dependent RCAN1 expression. PLoS Pathog. 2012; 8:e1002927.¬†

Rainbow L, Platt GM, Simpson GR, Sarid R, Gao SJ, Stoiber H, Herringston CS, Moore PS, Schulz TF The 222-234 kd nuclear protein (LNA) of Kaposi’s sarcoma – associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV 8) is encoded by orf73 and a component of the latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA). J Virol. 1997; 71: 5915-21.¬†

Simpson GR, Schulz TF*, WhitbyD, Cook PM, Boshoff C, Rainbow L, Howard M, Gao SJ, Bohenzky RA, Simmonds P, Lee C, de Ruiter A, Hatzakis A, Tedder RS, Weller IVD, Weiss RA, Moore PS Prevalence of Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus infection measured by antibodies to recombinant capsid protein and latent immunofluorescence antigen. Lancet. 1996; 348: 1133‚Äď38 *corresponding author¬†

Whitby D, Howard MR, Tenant-Flowrs M, Brink NS, Copas A, Boshoff C, Hatzioannou T, Suggett FEA, Aldam DM, Denton AS, Miller RF, Weller IVD, Weiss RA, Tedder RS, Schulz TF. Detection of Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus in peripheral blood of HIV-infected individuals and progression to Kaposi’s sarcoma. Lancet. 1995; 346: 799-802.¬†


  Dr. Martin Empting
  Drug Design and Optimization, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)
Campus E8 1
66123 Saarbr√ľcken
  +49 681 98806-2031