Bioinformatics & Biochemistry

Department of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry

Bioinfo & Biochemie Group
Bildnachweis: Julia Helmecke/TU Braunschweig

About us:

The Department of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry (head: Prof. Dr. Karsten Hiller) dedicates its research to understand the role of metabolism during disease development. We are interested in both, the metabolic adaptations of immune cells during inflammation, and the metabolism of microorganisms during an infection. Our research also touches cells of the central nervous system and how these cells are impacted during neuro-inflammation. The most obvious way to profile metabolism is through metabolomics. This technique aims to determine quantitative or semi-quantitative concentrations of as many metabolites as possible. However, due to its static nature, metabolomics can not provide information on enzyme activities or metabolic turnover rates in a biological system. Metabolic flux analysis on the other hand, intends to quantify the turn-over of pathway metabolites and thus adds dynamic aspects of metabolism thereby providing unprecedented insights in the actual metabolic state. This knowledge can directly link to potential intervention points. To determine the metabolic phenotype, we apply and develop analytical and computational technologies centered around mass spectrometry (MS) and stable-isotope labeling. In addition, our department hosts the team of Prof. Dr. Schomburg and the BRENDA database - the world's largest repository of enzyme function and activity.