Jörn Piel: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2022

Name Prof. Dr. Jörn Piel
FieldMicrobial Interactions
Institut für Mikrobiologie
ETH Zürich, HCI G 431
Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1-5/10
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 07 55
RelationshipFull Professor

551-0125-00LFundamentals of Biology I: From Molecules to the Biochemistry of Cells6 credits5GJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, N. Ban, R. Glockshuber, K. Locher, J. Piel
AbstractThe lecture provides an introduction to the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology as well as evolutionary principles. The focus is on bacteria and archaea under consideration of universal concepts.
ObjectiveIntroduction to biochemistry, molecular biology and evolutionary principles
ContentThe lecture introduces biology as an interdisciplinary science. Links to physics and chemistry will manifest as biological processes that operate within the laws of thermodynamics and are rooted in elements, molecules and chemical reactions. The transition from geochemistry to biochemistry is discussed and considered in relation to the origin of life. Evolutionary principles are introduced and resulting processes are used as a guiding principle. Unifying concepts in biology are presented, including the structure and function of cellular macromolecules and the ways in which hereditary information is encoded, decoded and replicated. Central principles of universal energy conversion are looked at, starting from redox processes and focusing on bacteria and archaea. Finally, biological processes are put into an ecosystems perspective.

The lecture is divided into different sections:
1. Geochemical perspectives on Earth and introduction to evolution
2. Building blocks of life
3. Macromolecules: Proteins
4. Membranes and transport across the plasma membrane
5. Universal mechanisms of inheritance, transcription and translation
6. Reaction Kinetics, binding equilibria and enzymatic catalysis
7. Essentials of Catabolism
8. Essentials of Anabolism
9. Metabolism and biogeochemical cycling of elements
Lecture notesThe newly conceived lecture is supported by scripts.
LiteratureThe lecture is supported by scripts.
The lecture contains elements of "Brock Biology of Microorganisms", Madigan et al. 15th edition, Pearson und "Biochemistry" (Stryer), Berg et al. 9th edition, Macmillan international.
551-0313-00LMicrobiology (Part I)3 credits2VW.‑D. Hardt, L. Eberl, B. Nguyen, J. Piel, M. Pilhofer, A. Vagstad
AbstractAdvanced lecture class providing a broad overview on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ObjectiveThis concept class will be based on common concepts and introduce to the enormous diversity among bacteria and archaea. It will cover the current research on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ContentAdvanced class covering the state of the research in bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
Lecture notesUpdated handouts will be provided during the class.
LiteratureCurrent literature references will be provided during the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeEnglish
The lecture "Grundlagen der Biologie II: Mikrobiologie" is the basis for this advanced lecture.
551-1106-00LProgress Reports in Microbiology and Immunology
Students must sign up via secr.micro.biol.ethz.ch
0 credits5SJ. Piel, W.‑D. Hardt, A. Oxenius, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractPresentation and discussion of current research results in the field of Microbiology and Infection Immunology
ObjectivePrecise and transparent presentation of research findings in relation to the current literature, critical discussion of experimental data and their interpretation, development and presentation of future research aims
551-1109-00LSeminars in Microbiology0 credits2KS. Sunagawa, W.‑D. Hardt, M. Künzler, J. Piel, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractSeminars by invited speakers covering selected microbiology themes.
ObjectiveDiscussion of selected microbiology themes presented by invited speakers.
551-1147-00LBioactive Natural Products from Bacteria Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 8.
The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
6 credits7PJ. Piel
AbstractLab course. In small groups projects of relevance to current research questions in the field of bacterial natural product biosynthesis are addressed.
ObjectiveIntroduction to relevant subjects of the secondary metabolism of bacteria. Training in practical work in a research laboratory. Scientific writing in form of a research report.
ContentResearch project on bacteria that produce bioactive natural products (e.g., Streptomycetes, Cyanobacteria, uncultivated bacteria). The techniques used will depend on the project, e.g. PCR, cloning, natural product analysis, precursor feeding studies, enzyme expression and analysis.
Lecture notesnone.
LiteratureWill be provided for each of the projects at the beginning of the course.
551-1149-00LDiscovery of Drugs from Blue-Green Algae Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 3.
The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
6 credits7PA. E. Fraley, J. Piel
AbstractNatural products have long been used as medicine. Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) are particularly renowned for producing compounds with antibacterial, anticancer, and insecticidal properties. In this block course, students explore Switzerland’s algal communities in habitats including lakes, marshes, streams, peat and raised bogs, and alluvial and riverine forests.
ObjectiveThe students will receive an introduction to relevant subjects of the secondary metabolism of bacteria. Lectures will include an introduction to blue-green algae natural history, systematics and distribution, natural products and drug discovery, bioprospecting and industrial fermentation, relevant analytical methods, microbial communities and metagenomics. The students will receive training in practical work in a research laboratory as well as scientific literacy skills in the form of a research report and oral presentation.
ContentThe students will work on a research project focusing on the discovery of bioactive natural products from regional blue-green algae known to produce bioactive molecules. Students will learn from lectures in class, lab and in the field and gain experience with field collection techniques and the sequence of steps required for natural products discovery including organic extraction, fractionation, and column chromatography. They will use analytical techniques such as HPLC and mass spectrometry for initial characterization of the purified secondary metabolites. Primary biological assays will be conducted to identify natural product extracts and fractions with antibiotic activity as a first step in the drug discovery process.
Lecture notesProvided after each lecture.
Additional materials will be provided before the start of the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeNone