Bacterial Networks and Interactions


We study the interaction between bacteria and the viruses (phages) infecting them. Our goal is to gain fundamentally new insights into the bacterial immune system and to apply this knowledge for the development of innovative applications in synthetic biology and biotechnology. Furthermore, we are interested in the design and dynamics of complex regulatory networks enabling microorganisms to adapt to ever changing environments and to discriminate between ‘self’ and ‘foreign’. Microbial model hosts used in our laboratory include the biotechnological platform strain Corynebacterium glutamicum and Streptomyces – the source of most of our antibiotics.

Research Topics

Phage-host interaction: We study how phages target key regulatory hubs of the host cell and how bacteria protect themselves against this attack.

Gene regulatory networks: We study the design and architectures of regulatory networks enabling bacteria to respond to environmental stresses and to interact with other microbes.

Evolutionary engineering: We are harnessing the power of evolution for the development of microbial production strains by using synthetic regulatory circuits and transcription factor-based biosensors.

Further links:


Prof. Dr. Julia Frunzke


Building 15.4 / Room 239

+49 2461/61-5430




News and Highlights

January 2023

Tom publishes a paper in microLife, doi:

Aileen successfully defends her PhD - Congratulations!

November 2022

Annual Group Retreat Waimés, BE

October 2022

The SPP 2330 project “Going-viral 2022”, a phage-hunting experiment for school kids starts!

The Annual SPP 2330 Meeting was held in Rösrath

September 2022

Aileen publishes a paper in frontiers in Microbiology, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.997448

Aileen wins a poster prize at BacNet22!

August 2022

Aël and Larissa publish a review in Trends in Microbiology, doi:

June 2022

Sebastian publishes a paper in Viruses, doi:

Johanna receives a poster prize at the ISBA Meeting. Congratulations!

April 2022

Aël successfully defends his PhD. Congratulations!

Aël and Larissa publish a paper in mbio, doi: 10.1128/mbio.00783-22

February 2022

Larissa receives a prize for the best short talk at the VAAM 2022

January 2022

Aileen publishes a review in FEMS Microbiology Reviews, doi:



Last Modified: 09.02.2023