Indonesian Plant Biodiversity and Human Health (BIOHEALTH)

The project is part of a research cluster involving several German working groups and their Indonesian partners studying the systematics, evolution and bioactive compounds of Indonesian plants (and fungi).

The research cluster is designed to jointly contribute to the identification of naturally occurring substances in Indonesian plants and fungi with anti-infective effects, potentially suitable for the development of new active pharmaceutical compounds. The aim is to identify and describe so far unknown or already known, but not yet sufficiently investigated Indonesian plant (and fungal) species with their specific properties, and to document them scientifically by applying international standards. By combining the predictive power of molecular phylogenetics with metabolomics in an innovative-integrative approach, the project cluster will target specifically taxonomic groups for which existing knowledge (literature, databases, ethnobotanical information) has already proven, or strongly suggests, the occurrence of substances with anti-infective effects, but which have not been used so far as active ingredients for pharmaceuticals.

The working group Molecular Evolution and Plant Systematics of the University of Leipzig seeks highly motivated candidates holding degrees in a relevant subject (e.g. Botany, Plant Evolution, Plant Biochemistry) with a sound background in molecular systematics techniques (incl. DNA lab work) and plant morphology, or plant biochemistry. Good communication skills, the ability to work independently and the willingness to conduct fieldwork are essential. A good working knowledge of English or the motivation to follow extracurricular English lessons is required. Prior knowledge on plant taxonomy will be of advantage.

The IPB is one of Europe’s best equipped places for work on secondary metabolites from plants and higher fungi. We seek coworkers who preferentially possess an excellent degree, MSc or equivalent,  in organic chemistry, phytochemistry, analytical chemistry, pharmaceutical biology, bioinformatics, mycology/microbiology, or a related subject, and a sound knowledge of English (or of German, or the will to learn it), keen to contribute to the discovery of novel bioactive compounds from Indonesian biodiversity useful for medicines or in agriculture. A future coworker – PhD student, sandwich PhD student or postdoctoral fellow – is invited to apply in one or more of the following areas:

  • Isolation and structural elucidation of bioactive ingredients of plants or fungi
  • Metabolomics / metabolic profiling, based on LC-MS or NMR (i.e., instrumental analysis)
  • Antiinfective compounds discovery and improvement (i.e. bioassay development, screening medicinal chemistry optimization)
  • Applied scientific informatics (bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, medicinal chemistry, database analytics, omics, statistics)

Interested candidates should consult our web pages: http://www.ipb-halle.de/en/research/bioorganic-chemistry/ or if open questions remain consult Prof. Wessjohann directly by email:  wessjohann@ipb-halle.de

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alexandra Muellner-Riehl, Molecular Evolution and Systematics of Plants, Universität Leipzig

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ludger Wessjohann, Bioorganic Chemistry, Leibniz-Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle

Dr. Jan Schnitzler, Molecular Evolution of Systematics of Plants, Universität Leipzig

Ms Atik Retnowati, Mycology, Research Center of Biology, Indonesia Institute of Sciences, Cibinong (RCB-LIPI)

Dr. Kustiariyah Tarman, Pharmaceutical Biology, Marine Natural Products, Marine Mycology/Microbiology, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB)

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