Who we are

The DFG Research Unit miTarget 5042 brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts in a coordinated programme to specifically study this single economically important and prototypically complex inflammatory disease.
The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since March 1st 2020 for a first funding period of 4 years.

In miTarget we will:

  • further establish metagenome sequencing and metabolic modelling approaches as a routine method in IBD microbiome research
  • move from associations to functional studies of microbiome alterations and interventions in IBD using gnotobiotics, FMT or pre- and probiotics approaches
  • develop innovative bioinformatics methods and approaches for microbiome analysis
  • explore imaging techniques for microbiota analyses
  • establish culturing facilities for gut microbiota from individual patients/mice


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andre Franke (*1978)

  • molecular biologist and informatician by training
  • published over 429 articles from 2005 until today
  • h-index of 87 (according to Scopus; cumulative impact factor >4743)

Participating Institutes


Graduate Center at Kiel University

The Graduate Center at Kiel University is a central service facility for all doctoral researchers at the university.

The Graduate Center offers doctoral candidates a transdisicplinary programme of courses as well as career planning events. It supports initiatives and the academic independence of registered users and contributes to the internationalisation of the doctorate. The service office of the office of the Graduate Center offers advice and consulting on the doctorate and on academic careers. Applicants applying for third-party funded doctoral programme may request support as well.

On a wider regional level Kiel University is a member of UniWIND, an alliance of different universities to improve the training of young academics in Germany. These universities have implemented joint networks to support doctoral candidates and to improve the doctorate.


Research Training Group 1743

The RTG 1743 (2012-2021) was a structural qualification programme including projects from Universities in Kiel and Lübeck under the lead of spokesperson Andre Franke. The programme led 71 international doctoral researchers in Natural Sciences and Medicine towards their doctorate. Junior scientists were part of an interdisciplinary network of experts who mentored them to conduct independent scientific research by studying environmental influences responsible for the development of complex, chronic diseases. Additionally, a structured qualification programme consisting of structured supervision, regular group meetings, lab and conference visits as well as special lectures and workshops in key soft skills prepared them for future tasks in academia or industry. Since October 2021, a similar qualification programme within the RU 5042 follows based on the experience of the RTG 1743. External and associated junior scientists working in a related field are welcome to join.


PMI Academy

The measures implemented by the PMI-Academy are based on the training needs of young scientists and clinicians at different career levels. They are designed to promote the scientific and personal development, national and international networking and the independence of the young scientists. Measures include seminars, regular meetings and self-organized retreats, summer schools, cluster lectures and mentoring.


International scientist exchange program

miTarget closely cooperate with the group of Curtis Huttenhower at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA, one of the key scientists of the Human Microbiome Project Phase I and II driven by the National Institutes of Health. Each year, one to two doctoral researchers/postdocs of miTarget PIs can visit the Huttenhower group for a further training in computational methods and to jointly work on a project.


Equality and Diversity

We invite all members of the of the RU 5042 miTarget to watch the remarkable film Picture a Scientist about the experiences of three renowned experienced female researchers in the sciences – overcoming harassment, institutional discrimination and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science. Online Screening: Sun May 30, 2021, 17:30 – Tue June 1, 2021, 17:30 (48h access), trailer


More Informations you can find here

The panel discussion, Tue June 1, 2021, 18:00-19:30 , moderated by Dr Sabine Blackmore (Berlin), gives the opportunity to refect on the documentary in order to draw parallels with ones own working situation and to discuss strategies for change in academic institutions.

Please contact Ms Zell in case you have not received in the e-mail with further information send on 4 May.

The universities of Kiel and Lübeck have a very strong and committed interest in promoting female scientists and the CAU is certified as a family-friendly university. Apart from providing children care for small children and for schoolchildren including special offers during school holidays CAU extended its services during the last years to grant gender equality and the reconciling of study/work and family life.

All miTarget doctoral researchers will be associated with the DFG RTG 1743, which offers common workshops and talks on gender topics.

Via central offices CAU offers services and counselling in the fields of gender equality, diversity and family:

Head at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel:

Dr. Iris Werner
Phone: +49 431 880-1651

Head at Universität zu Lübeck:

Dr. Solveig Simowitsch
Phone: +49 451 3101-1220


Mentoring for female postdoctoral researchers at Kiel University

Via:mento supports female scientists who aim for an academic career from doctorate to professorship. Main aim of the programme is to encourage the young scientists by assigning each participant a professor from another university as mentor. Furthermore, via:mento offers workshops on many topics concerning career planning, appointment, personnel management, application for third-party funds etc., promotes the training of interdisciplinary competences and creates space for networking between the program participants.

The German-language line, which is successfully running since 2010, is geared towards the German academic system. The more recent programme via:mento_international (in English) is particularly suitable for female academics who are either new to Kiel University from abroad or are planning an extensive stay abroad.

The program starts every two years and runs for 21 months, application deadline for 2022/2023 is September 18, 2022. The programme will start on November 10, 2022 with a joint kick-off.

Please find additional information here:

German programme

International programme

Project coordination via:mento:

Dr. Ruth Kamm
Phone: +49 431 880-1833

Project coordination via:mento international:

Dr. Julia Schreiner
Phone: +49 431 880-1018



Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
Kiel University
Rosalind-Franklin-Str. 12
24105 Kiel


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andre Franke
Fon: +49(0)431-500-15112


Annika Gröning
Fon: +49 (0)431 500-15115

Coordinator doctoral qualification programme

Eike Zell
Fon: +49 (0)431 500-15113


The main office is located on the campus Kiel of the

University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein
Rosalind-Franklin-Str. 12,
Haus 5, 2. Floor
24105 Kiel

By train:
from the main station it takes about 15 minutes by bus (lines as above) or 5 minutes by taxi

By bus:
no. 61 or 32/33; exit at the stop: “Uni Kliniken”.

Most of the employees are located at the Center of Molecular Life Sciences (ZMB) at the campus of

Kiel University
Am Botanischen Garten 11
24118 Kiel

By car:
ask for passage at the barrier on Leibnizstraße. Then drive almost to the end of the street. Turn right into the parking lot in front of the Zentrum für Molekulare Biowissenschaften.

By train:
from the main station it takes about 20-30 minutes by bus (lines as above) or 15 minutes by taxi

By bus:
no. 60 S (express bus) or 81; exit at the stop: “Botanischer Garten”.

Participating Institutes