Marine Natural Products Chemistry

Marine natural products are prolific source of many life-saving drugs and functional ingredients. The research unit Marine Natural Product Chemistry deals with all aspects of marine biotechnology and marine biodiscovery using the enormous biodiversity of marine micro- and macro-organisms to culture, extract, purify and chemically characterize their novel bioactive molecules. Main target area is drug discovery against cancer, infectious diseases and crop diseases.

We also study and collaborate with our colleagues at the Research Division Marine Ecology in chemical ecology. Our interest spans from chemical characterization of ecologically significant secondary metabolites, host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions to determination of seasonal / geographical variations in chemistry of marine organisms.

For these purposes, we use modern fermentation technology (including OSMAC and co-cultivation approaches), automated solvent extraction, hyphenated chromatography and metabolomics tools (e.g. molecular networks) as well as high-resolution spectroscopic and Imaging Mass-Spectrometry (DESI-IMS) methods.

GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology GEOMAR-Biotech, is an integral part and the applied arm of the research unit Marine Natural Products Chemistry.