Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Big research on the smallest organisms

02.08.2018

Whoever takes one of Prof. Dr. Matthias Ullrich’s courses may have to deal with Jon Schnee or Arya Stark. The microbiologist is a fan of "Game of Thrones", and in his lectures he likes to relate to his students' real lives. It helps students to internalize the subject matter better. And with the help of the series, he says, it can be superbly demonstrated how people already in the Middle Ages treated their wounds with substances that are still used in hospitals today. For him it is also important that his students remember: "What they learn with us they don't learn because it's in the curriculum, but because they will be able to use it one day.”

He also faces the reality of life outside - outside the gates of Jacobs University Bremen. Ullrich is not someone who hides in the laboratory. In "Science goes Public", a format for communicating scientific topics, he advertises his research in pubs.


Dr. Matthias Ullrich, Professor of Microbiology at Jacobs University Bremen.

Jacobs University Bremen

The 54-year-old is present on the research mile at the Schlachte fair, has organized the lecture series in the Spicarium for a long time and continues this now with "Science for everyone" in the Bürgerhaus Vegesack. He cooperates with schools and is committed to "Jugend forscht", a German youth science competition. Transferring knowledge in an easy-to-understand way is extremely important to him, he says. "For me it makes no sense at all to work on something if we don't succeed in making the topic public."

His topic is microorganisms. He has been fascinated by microorganisms since studying biology at the University of Jena, way back when the German Democratic Republic still existed. At that time, he quickly realized that the dissection of rats and mice was not his thing. He came across plant biology and with it microscopically small organisms, fungi, algae, bacteria and viruses. The extreme diversity of unicellular organisms and their ability to adapt and interact inspire him. "There is no other form of life that has so many different varieties.”

This diversity is also reflected in Ullrich's research. The scientist is working on the production of new antibiotics from rhododendrons, the decoding of cocoa bean ingredients and, in marine microbiology, also on the production of antibiotics from algae. The wide range of his tasks is also reflected in a transformation in his specialist field. Microbiology has evolved from a discipline-oriented science to a sought-after problem-solving science that interacts with many other disciplines. "That's what makes it so easy for me to work with others," he says.

On the campus of Jacobs University, he cooperates with chemists, biochemists, geneticists and cell biologists. He conducts research and teaches together with scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research and the Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Research. "I love interdisciplinary research," says Ullrich. It was also one of the reasons why he moved from the Max Planck Institute in Marburg to the newly founded International University of Bremen after several years in the United States.

That was in 2002. "I knew right away: this is the perfect place for me. The idea of training highly motivated young people from all over the world is obviously my destiny. I have always believed in this idea and continue to do so," says Ullrich, who lives not far from Jacobs University in Bremen-North. He is pleased that he was and is able to contribute to the success of this idea. He is also pleased about the results of 16 years of research, which manifest themselves in publications in renowned scientific journals from vastly differing fields: marine microbiology, antibiotics research and cocoa research. "This sometimes leads to confusion," says Ullrich. “But it is something to be proud of.”

This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University is featuring students, alumni, professors and employees. For more stories, please have a look at https://www.jacobs-university.de/faces

More information can be found at:
http://mullrich.user.jacobs-university.de/?_ga=2.65402414.1872262312.1531732726-...

About Jacobs University Bremen:
Studying in an international community. Obtaining a qualification to work on responsible tasks in a digitized and globalized society. Learning, researching and teaching across academic disciplines and countries. Strengthening people and markets with innovative solutions and advanced training programs. This is what Jacobs University Bremen stands for. Established as a private, English-medium campus university in Germany, it is continuously achieving top results in national and international university rankings. Its almost 1,400 students come from more than 100 countries with around 80% having relocated to Germany for their studies. Jacobs University’s research projects are funded by the German Research Foundation or the European Research Council as well as by globally leading companies.

For more information:
https://www.jacobs-university.de
https://www.facebook.com/jacobs.university
https://www.youtube.com/user/JacobsUni
https://twitter.com/jacobs_bremen
https://www.instagram.com/jacobsuniversity/
https://www.weibo.com/jacobsuniversity

Heiko Lammers | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Varied Menu
25.03.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Key evidence associating hydrophobicity with effective acid catalysis
25.03.2019 | Tokyo Metropolitan University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Laser processing is a matter for the head – LZH at the Hannover Messe 2019

25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

A Varied Menu

25.03.2019 | Life Sciences

‘Time Machine’ heralds new era

25.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>