Welcome to the HelfrichLab! Explorative Natural Product Genomics Genomics-driven identification, deciphering and
of natural product biosynthetic blueprints

Welcome to the Helfrich lab

We are part of the Institute of Molecular Bioscience at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany and the LOEWE Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics. Our interdisciplinary team works at the interface of bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular biology, chemical ecology, synthetic biology, analytical and organic chemistry. We develop tools and workflows for the identification of novel bioactive metabolites from a wide variety of bacterial phyla and diverse ecological niches. In addition, we are interested in deciphering the genetic blueprints that govern their biosynthesis and aim at understanding the role of the identified natural products in their native environment.

Our technologies & platforms

Natural Product Biosynthesis

We study the biosynthesis of unusual natural products and decipher universal biosynthetic principles that can be used to identify other members of the natural product class/family.

Genome Mining

We decipher biosynthetic principles for poorly studied classes/families of natural products and develop bioinformatic platforms for the annotation of natural product biosynthetic pathways and the prediction of the structures of the associated metabolites based on genome sequence information.

Chemical Ecology

We study ecological niches that are likely shaped by the production of natural products with a particular bioactivity and use a hypothesis-driven, function-first approach for the targeted identification of these metabolites.

Open positions

We are constantly looking for talented scientists at all levels to join our team.

Our latest publications

Hidden Treasures: Microbial Natural Product Biosynthesis off the Beaten Path I mSystems I 2021

Evolution of combinatorial diversity in trans-acyltransferase polyketide synthase assembly lines across bacteria I Nature Communications I 2021

A community resource for paired genomic and metabolomic data mining I Nature Chemical Biology I 2021

Specialized Metabolites Reveal Evolutionary History and Geographic Dispersion of a Multilateral Symbiosis I ACS Central Science I 2021

Our partners & collaborators