Chair of Bioinformatics

    Program details

    Programme details

    Lectures and labs will be held daily from 9.00 a.m. to 5.15 p.m. The main meeting point is lecture theatre A 103.

    Monday September 21st

    Parasitic Helminths

    Prof. Dr. K. Brehm (Homepage)

    Medical Parasitology

    Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology


    Figure: Echinokokkus

    On the first day of the workshop the labs and lectures will not be at the Biocentre but at the University Clinics Department Hygiene and Microbiology (Haus E1).

    Please find the written directions and maps below: 

    (please click the pictures to enlarge them)

    You can reach the main area of the University Hospital with the streetcar routes 1 and 5. You get on the streetcar at the Hautpbahnhof Ost (Main Station East) in the direction of Grombühl and get off at stop “Uniklinikum Bereich D (University Hospital area D; Petrinistrasse)". You can reach the Institute of Hygiene and Microbiology by walk (5 min) as indicated on the map. (The walk from the Main Station takes about 20-25 minutes.)

    Parasitic Flatworms: A tale of mortality and immortality.

    Parasitic helminths are a major cause of so-called ‘Neglected Diseases’. And Neglected Diseases are called ‘neglected’ because nobody (or only very few) has/have an interest to study them. So, why are we doing it? This is something we’re going to figure out in the ‘Parasitic Helminth’-day of the summer school. We shall learn that the development of novel therapies is not the only motivation to do infectious disease research and that these parasites (like many others) are highly fascinating from the view-point of immunologists as well as cell-, developmental- and evolutionary biologists. Above all, we shall learn how molecular research can be done in a ‘non-mainstream’ setting and which strategies should be followed to establish an infectious disease model system from scratch.


    9:00-10:30 Introduction: Parasitic helminths and the spellbinding world of tapeworm infections (including tapeworm movie; demonstration of specimen; narration of the ultimate tapeworm joke)

    10:30-10:50 Coffee break

    10:50-12:00 Interactive Teaching: how to develop a research model system from scratch.

    12:00-13:00 Lunch break

    13:00-14:20 Würzburg’s current tapeworm research projects: PhD students report

    14:20-15:50 Practical aspects of tapeworm and larval tapeworm research (in small groups)

    15:50-16:10 Coffee break

    16:10-18:00 Final discussion (including Quiz Show ‚Who wants to be a Parasitonaire?‘)

    Tuesday September 22nd

    Systems Biology of Infection

    Prof. Dr. Th. Dandekar (Homepage)

    Chair, Bioinformatics


    Pseudomonas Syringae attacks the host -- how do you understand the host response?
    (A) Phenotype: Pst (104 CFU/ml) infection; red arrows indicate pathogen inoculation; black arrow indicates mock (10mM MgCl2) inoculation. Symptoms weare photographed three days post pathogen inoculation (DPPI). (B) Network: Topology of Pst- mediated hormone disease networks in Arabidopsis. Connectivity among nodes is based either on activation (->) or inhibition (-|). Node designation: blue, enzymes of hormone biosynthesis and degradation; yellow, active hormone molecules; green, host regulatory factors; red, Pst- originated pathogenicity factors responsible for triggering immunity in Arabidopsis; pink, “PR-1”, marker node for immunity against the infection of Pst in Arabidopsis. All nodes are denoted by abbreviations.
    More information on these questions is found in our plant cell paper: Naseem M, Philippi N, Hussain A, Wangorsch G, Ahmed N, Dandekar T. Integrated systems view on networking by hormones in Arabidopsis immunity reveals multiple crosstalk for cytokinin. Plant Cell. 2012 May;24(5):1793-814.
    However, the same techniques can also be applied (and are shown in the course) to study human infection defense against pathogens. 


    Location: lecture theatre A103 and CIP pool, You find that easily, if you are in the main hall or Foyer of the Biocentre of the University of Würzburg

    Equipment: computers – these are provided (CIP pool)
    09:00-10:00 Introduction: Prof. Thomas Dandekar, Systems biology of infection – bioinformatical approaches (lecture theatre  A103)
    10:00-11:30 Part I: Databanks and Resources (CIP pool in the basement, we will lead you to it if not yet known)

    11:30-14:15 Part II Getting into -omics: transcriptomics and proteomics (lecture theatre A103)

    • 11:30-12:30 Dr. Konrad Förstner (Dual RNA sequencing in infection biology)

    12:30-13:30 Lunch break

    • 13:30-14:00 Dr. Elena Bencúrová (Proteomics in infection biology)
    • 14:00-14:15 Discussion

    14:15-14:30 Break

    14:30-15:15 Part III Analyzing regulatory networks (CIP pool)

    • Dr. Muhammad Naseem (Introduction)

    15:15-15:30 Coffee break

    15:30-16:30 Part IV Signalling in infectious biology (CIP pool)

    • Dr. Muhammad Naseem (Using Squad, gene expression data, semi-quantitative models, in essence the cell paper)

    16:45-18:00 Part V Current trends in systems biology in infectious biology (lecture theatre A103)

    • Dr. Sergey Shityakov (Drug design in infection biology)
      Rational drug design and discovery of novel antiretroviral compounds against HIV
    • Prof. Thomas Dandekar (we will show and discuss current trends in systems biology with a focus on computer-based approaches, what they can and what they can not elucidate)

    Checks and balances of the host against the pathogen better eludicated:
    PLOS pathogen paper

    Optimize Antibiotic therapy looking at timing and combinations
    --> Janina Zirkel Paper

    Optimizing Ebola containment and therapy in Africa

    Wednesday September 23rd

    Location: Lecture Theatre A103

    09:00-09:30  Welcome of the students, first discussion with the students on the summer school (Prof. Thomas Dandekar)

    09:30-10.00  "Diseases of the New World coming to the Old World, Leishmaniasis and Chagas Disease" (Prof. Alicia Ponte-Sucre)

    10:00-10:15  Discussion block on the presentation (Prof. Alicia Ponte-Sucre)

    10:15-10:30  "Epidemiology and issues facing Tuberculosis Research" (Mr. Alakaye)

    10:30-11:00  General discussion on the summer school (Prof. Klaus Brehm)

    11:00-11:45  Presentation on the GSLS (Dr. Xaver Kober)

    Thursday September 24th

    Intracellular S. aureus

    Dr. M. Fraunholz (Homepage)

    Microbiology (Lectures: A 103; Practicals: CIP pool)


    Figure: Staphylococcus 

    Topic areas: Intracellular bacterial host-pathogen interactions, microscopy and image analysis demonstrated here by means of Intracellular S. aureus

    Upon infection Staphylococcus aureus is readily phagocytosed by macrophages and neutrophils but is also to invade epithelial and endothelial cells, fibroblast, osteoblasts, and keratinocytes. The uptake by latter so-called non-professional phagocytes has been proposed to play a role in evasion of the innate immune system. Further survival of phagolysosomal killing by S. aureus may also lead to disseminating infections within migrating phagocytes. We and others have shown that S. aureus is capable of escaping from host cell phagosomes. One of our methods is microscopy based and relies on the recruitment of a cytoplasmically expressed host cell marker that is recruited to the bacterial cell wall upon phagosomal membrane rupture. Another tool in the laboratory is photoactivatable GFP (PA-GFP), which allows to selectively activate the fluorescence by laser light and thus „label“ as well as follow dynamics/movements of the organisms.

    Depicted are two different strains of S. aureus (magenta), of which the left is uanable to escape from phagosomes, whereas the one on the right translocates to the host cell cytoplasm and thereby recruits the escape marker (green). Scale Bar: 5 µm.

    On the third day of the summer school we will address theoretical and practical aspects of confocal laser scanning microscopy as well as photoactivatable proteins. We will analyze images using the powerful freeware Fiji/ImageJ and will even introduce macro writing that can be used by the participants in other aspects of research as well.

    Location: Lecture Theatre A103

    Friday September 25th

    Trypanosomes (Lectures, practical: A 103)

    Dr. S. Kramer (Homepage)

    Zoology I


    The African Trypanosome: A killer and a survival genius

    African trypanosomes cause African Sleeping Sickness as well as the related cattle disease Nagana, affecting people’s health both directly and indirectly in sub-saharan Africa. During the ‘Trypanosome-day’ of the summerschool we will look at the parasites from the point of view of a parasitologist, but also from the point of view of a cell biologist: you will see that trypanosomes are model organisms for many biological questions. A non-conventional teaching method will be used to explore the non-conventional biology of trypanosomes: Pantomine. We will also have a look at the ‘real beast’ by high resolution microcospy and we will get an insight view into the actual research that is currently taking place in the four trypanosome labs that are settled in Würzburg (Engstler, Janzen, Siegel, Kramer).


    Location: Lecture Theatre A103

    9:00-9:45 Introduction lecture to Trypanosomes / Safety instructions

    9:45-10:30 Movie (African sleeping sickness)

    10:30-11:00 Coffee break

    11:00-12:30 Reading time

    12:30-13:30 lunch break

    13:30-14:30 Current Research in Würzburg trypanosome labs: PhD students report

    14:30-16:30 Preparing the pantomime presentation (Coffee break in between) parallel High resolution microscopy of life trypanosomes (in small groups)

    16:30-18:00 Pantomine presentations