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Henrichfreise lab


Research focus


Peptidoglycan biosynthesis in cell wall-lacking bacteria

For the obligate intracellular Chlamydiaceae, there is no need to resist osmotic challenges. Thus the genomically-reduced pathogens lack a cell wall. Nevertheless, Chlamydiaceae synthesize peptidoglycan at certain locations and times during their biphasic life cycle to control immune modulation and to support cell division. During the unusual process of chlamydial cell division asymmetric cell poles mature into two equally sized daughter cells separated by a septum which contains a short-lived peptidoglycan ring. Moreover, the cell wall-targeting penicillin does not kill Chlamydiaceae but blocks cell division and induces reversible persistence. The underlying mechanisms of these phenomena are not fully understood.

We use Chlamydiaceae as a model system to explore how a minimal and modified cell wall biosynthesis machinery supports prokaryotic cell division. Moreover, we study the effects of (cell wall) antibiotics on chlamydial cell biology.

 Henrichfreise research 0


Research examples


Chlamydial AmiA is a novel penicillin target enzyme with dual activity

Henrichfreise research 1


Chlamydial GlyA serves as a source of D-alanine

Henrichfreise research 2


Spacial organization of the peptidoglycan biosynthesis machinery

Henrichfreise research 3


Functional conservation of  the peptidoglycan precursor lipid II pathway

Henrichfreise research 4




Team members


BeateHenrichfreise.jpgBeate Henrichfreise
Group Leader

Beate Henrichfreise studied biology and gained her PhD on antibiotic multi-resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 2006. In parallel to her PhD, she worked with Antiinfectives Intelligence, a service provider specialized in antiinfectives. Following a postdoctoral training at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, University Hospital Bonn, she joined industry in 2009 to gain experience in biotech and pharma industry working on peptides for technical and antimicrobial applications. Until 2012 she worked 50% at Novozymes A/S, Denmark at the Departments for Anti-Infective Discovery, Pharma Discovery and Peptide & Cell Discovery in the course of Marie Curie Actions and 50% at University Hospital Bonn to establish in parallel her independent field of basic research on cellular functions of peptidoglycan biosynthesis in cell wall lacking Chlamydiaceae. Returning to Germany for good in 2012, she attracted funding for a junior research group from the intramural funding scheme of the Medical Faculty of Bonn. In 2015 she became group leader at the inter-faculty Institute for Pharmaceutical Microbiology, University Hospital Bonn, University of Bonn.

room 15
phone: +49(0)228 73 4637




Iris LöckenerIris Löckener
PhD student

room 21
phone: +49(0)228 73 5269




Julia HeymuthJulia Dannenberg
PhD student








SebastianKrannich.jpgSebastian Krannich
PhD student

room 21
phone: +49(0)228 73 5269




ChristianOtten.jpgChristian Otten
Postdoctoral Researcher

Christian Otten studied pharmacy and received his PhD as a scholar of the Jürgen Manchot foundation in 2014 from the University of Bonn investigating the molecular mechanisms of cell wall biosynthesis in Chlamydia. In 2015, he joined the research group of Prof. Dr. Waldemar Vollmer at the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB) in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) working on cell wall biosynthesis and precursor recycling in E. coli.Returning to Bonn in 2018, he joined the group of Dr. Beate Henrichfreise at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Microbiology focussing on peptidoglycan processing and remodeling in Chlamydia.

room: 15
phone: +49(0)228 73 7923




JulaReuter.jpgJula Reuter
PhD student/ Jürgen Manchot scholar

room 20

phone: +49(0)228 73 2113














  • DFG: „Characterization of the chlamydial machinery for peptidoglycan remodelling“
  • Maria von Linden program: support for accomplishing habilitation
  • BONFOR: “The chlamydial anomaly: processing and recycling of the cell wall building block lipid II in cell wall-lacking bacteria“
  • Fonds der chemischen Industrie e.V.: “Sachkostenzuschuss für den Hochschullehrernachwuchs”