PhD program iCA

Lower Saxony doctoral program "Drug Discovery and Cheminformatics for New Anti-Infectives (iCA)"

Antibiotics are drugs that reduce the proliferation of bacteria and have been used very successfully for decades in the treatment of bacterial infections. In earlier times fatal infectious diseases can often be treated with very few side effects with these drugs. However, more and more resistant bacteria occur, which can only be fought insufficiently with the available antibiotics. Multi-resistant pathogens in particular now pose a serious threat to the health of the population, even in Western industrial nations. The situation with diseases caused by parasitic single-cell organisms, which include many of the so-called neglected tropical diseases, is similarly dramatic as with bacterial infections.

The development of new effective drugs against bacterial and parasitic infectious diseases (anti-infectives) requires on the one hand the development of innovative active compounds that differ chemically from the previously used drugs, and on the other hand the identification of new biological targets that are not yet addressed by the established drugs. Both goals can already be supported today with digitalization techniques. Based on such innovative methods, the iCA PhD program is working on new anti-infectives that are introduced through cooperation between Technische Universität Braunschweig, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Ostfalia Hochschule. The combination of drug research with digital methods can provide important impulses for the identification of substantially new drugs and new targets. Through the extensive use of digital technologies (especially from chemistry, bioinformatics and theoretical chemistry) in all areas of the PhD program, a significant added value will be achieved, which should enable significant advances in the treatment of infectious diseases.