Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller participates in RESIST research project C3.

My Research Interest in RESIST

As a part of the RESIST consortium, we will investigate molecular interactions within microbial communities relevant to human health and disease. A special focus will be put on the role of lung-based microbes and their influence on the emergence and progression of respiratory diseases. Previous studies by RESIST scientist Burkhard Tümmler identified a panel of bacteria that either positively or negatively affect the course of respiratory conditions.

We will apply a set of microbiological, analytical, and bioinformatics technologies developed in our institute to shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between these isolates. In these studies, we will leverage on our experience with analysing the molecular physiology of myxobacterial communities. The generated knowledge will contribute to a better understanding of the observed correlation between composition of the lung microbiome and disease progression.

Prof. Müller about his scientific work

Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2009 Managing Director of the newly established Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) 

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1986 – 1990 University of Bonn, Pharmacy Studies

  • 1991 Approbation as Pharmacist

  • 1991 – 1994 University of Bonn, Promotion (Ph.D.) 

  • 1995 University of Bonn, Post-doc at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology 

  • 1996 – 1997 University of Washington, Seattle, Research scholarship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) 

  • 2000 TU Braunschweig, Habilitation

Academic and Research Posts

  • 1998 – 2003 German Research Centre for Biotechnology in Braunschweig (GBF), Junior group leader

  • 1998 – 2003 Technical University Braunschweig, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology Research Assistant

  • Since 2003 Saarland University, Full professor for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

  • 2010 Co-founder of PharmBioTec GmbH in Saarbrücken

  • Since 2009 Managing Director of the newly established Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)

Other Scientific Roles

  • 2000 – 2013 Scientific Advisory Council, Biotica Technology Ltd.

  • Since 2005 Steering Committee DECHEMA board “Low molecular natural products with biological activity”

  • 2008 – 2014 Chairman, DECHEMA board “Low molecular natural products with biological activity”

  • Since 2009 Member of Selection Committee, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

  • Since 2010 Deputy Coordinator, DFG Research Units 1406 

  • 2012 – 2016 Coordinator, German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Natural Compound Library

  • Since 2013 Chairman of Scientific Advisory Council, LOEWE-Center for Synthetic Microbiology

  • Since 2013 Scientific Advisory Council, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-BI) Hinxton, UK

  • Since 2014 Expert Consultant, Support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the development of a China strategy 

  • Since 2015  Scientific Advisory Council, Foundation of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM)

  • Since 2016 Coordinator, German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Thematic Translational Unit “Novel Antibiotics”

  • Since 2017 Scientific Advisory Council, KIST Europe (Korea Institute of Science and Technology)

Awards and Prizes

  • 2001 & 2007 & 2016 PHOENIX Pharmacy Research Award

  • 2002 DECHEMA award for natural products research

  • 2003 BioFuture Award of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research

  • 2010 DECHEMA-Prize 2010 by Max Buchner Research Foundation

  • 2012 Elected member of acatech (National Academy of Science and Engineering)

  • 2012 Arthur E. Schwarting Award for best paper in the Journal of Natural Products

  • 2014 Honorary director of “Shandong University – Helmholtz Joint Institute for Biotechnology (SHIB)”, Qingdao, China

  • 2016 David Gottlieb Lecturer 2016, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Illinois

  • 2016 “Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan”, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

  • 2016 Elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)

  • 2017 Elected member of the German Academy of Sciences and Literature

  • 2018 Inhoffen Medal 2018

  • 2018 The 2018 Treat B. Johnson Lecture in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Yale  

  • 2019 Honorary doctorate from Shandong University, China

  • 2019 Honorary Professorship at the University of Cape Town, South Africa

  • 2020 Leibniz Research Award 2020, Leibniz Research Alliance „Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology“

  • 2023 Charles Thom Award, Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB)

Recommended Links

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

10 Selected Publications

Hoffmann, T., Krug, D., Bozkurt, N., Duddela, S., Jansen, R. Garcia, R., Gerth, K., Steinmetz, H. and Müller, R. Correlating chemical diversity with taxonomic distance for discovery of natural products in myxobacteria, Nature Communications, 2018, 9(1):803.

Hüttel, S., Giambattista, T., Herrmann, J., Planke, T., Gille, F., Moreno, M., Stadler, M., Brönstrup, M., Kirschning, A. and Müller, R.  Discovery and total synthesis of natural cystobactamid derivatives with superior activity against Gram-negative pathogens, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2017, 56 (41): 12760-64.

Fu, C., Sikandar, A., Donner, J., Zaburannyi, N., Herrmann, J., Reck, M., Wagner-Döbler, I., Koehnke, J. and Müller, R.  Carolacton is a potent myxobacterial inhibitor of folate biosynthesis via specific interaction with FolD/MTHFD, Nature Communications, 2017, 8 (1):1529.

Fu, C., Keller L., Bauer, A., Brönstrup, M., Froidbise, A., Hammann, P., Herrmann, J., Mondesert, G., Kurz, M., Schiell, M., Schummer, D., Toti, L., Wink, J. and Müller, R.  Biosynthetic studies of telomycin reveal new lipopeptides with enhanced activity, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, 137 (24): 7692-705.

Kling, A., Lukat, P., Almeida, D.V., Bauer, A., Fontaine, E., Sordello, S., Zaburannyi, N., Herrmann, J., Wenzel, S.C., König, C., Ammerman, N.C., Barrio, M.B., Borchers, K., Bordon-Pallier, F., Brönstrup, M., Courtemanche, G., Gerlitz, M., Geslin, M., Hammann, P., Heinz, D.W., Hoffmann, H., Klieber, S., Kohlmann, M., Kurz, M. Lair, C., Matter, H., Nuermberger, E., Sandeep T., Fraisse, L., Grosset, J.H., Lagrange, S. and Müller, R.  Antibiotics. Targeting DnaN for tuberculosis therapy using novel griselimycins, Science, 2015, 348 (6239): 1106-12.

Fu, J., Bian, X., Hu, S., Wang, H., Huang, F., Seibert, P.M., Plaza, A., Xia, L., Müller, R.*, Stewart, A. F.* and Zhang Y.*  Full-length RecE enhances linear-linear homologous recombination and facilitates direct cloning and bioprospecting, Nature Biotechnology, 2012, 30: 440-446. (* Corresponding authors)

Quade, N., Huo, L., Rachid, S., Heinz D.W. and Müller, R.  Unusual carbon fixation gives rise to diverse polyketide extender units, Nature Chemical Biology, 2012, 8 (1): 117-124.

Schneiker, S., Perlova, O., Kaiser, O., Gerth, K., Alici, A., Altmeyer, M.O., Bartels, D., Bekel, T., Beyer, S., Bode, E., Bode, H.B., Bolten, C.J., Choudhuri, J.V., Doss, S., Elnakady, Y.A., Frank, B., Gaigalat, L., Goesmann, A., Groeger, C., Gross, F., Jelsbak, L., Jelsbak, L., Kalinowski, J., Kegler, C., Knauber, T., Konietzny, S., Kopp, M., Krause, L., Krug, D., Linke, B., Mahmud, T., Martinez-Arias, R., McHardy, A.C., Merai, M., Meyer, F., Mormann, S., Muñoz-Dorado, J., Perez, J., Pradella, S., Rachid, S., Raddatz, G., Rosenau, F., Rückert, C., Sasse, F., Scharfe, M., Schuster, S.C., Suen, G., Treuner-Lange, A., Velicer, G.J., Vorhölter, F.J., Weissman, K.J., Welch, R.D., Wenzel, S.C., Whitworth, D.E., Wilhelm, S., Wittmann, C., Blöcker, H., Pühler, A. and Müller R.  Complete genome sequence of the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum, Nature Biotechnology, 2007, 25 (11): 1281-1289.

Gemperlein, K., Zipf, G., Bernauer, B.S., Wenzel, S.C. and Müller, R.  Polyunsaturated fatty acid production by Yarrowia lipolytica with myxobacterial PUFA synthases, Nature Communications, in press.

Gaitatzis, N., Kunze, B. and Müller, R.  In vitro reconstitution of the myxochelin biosynthetic machinery of Stigmatella aurantiaca Sg a15: Biochemical characterization of a reductive release mechanism from nonribosomal peptide synthetases, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2001, 98 (20): 11136-11141.


  Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller
  Microbial Natural Products, Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)
  Campus der Universität des Saarlandes
66123 Saarbrücken
  +49 681 98806 – 3000