DRUID Novel drug targets against poverty-related and neglected tropical infectious diseases

© Thomas Strecker

The global significance of neglected, poverty-associated tropical diseases such as dengue fever, Ebola and Zika virus infections, as well as leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis is receiving more and more recognition. More than a billion people in 149 countries suffer from neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These can take on highly acute, life-threatening forms, but they can also lead to severe chronic illnesses. Fighting them is necessary from both a medical and a humanitarian standpoint and contributes decisively to breaking the cycle of poverty. Moreover, there are too few effective medications for most NTDs, a situation that is exacerbated by negative drug side effects and increasing microbial resistance. In the LOEWE Centre DRUID (Novel Drug Targets against Poverty-Related and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases), urgent questions will be addressed concerning the identification and characterization of potential target molecules for drug, vaccines, and diagnostic tool development in the fight against tropical infectious diseases.

In DRUID, coordinated by Prof. Stephan Becker, virologist at the Philipps University of Marburg, 29 working groups across Hesse are currently cooperating and bundling capacities and expertise on the topic with the greatest synergy.

LOEWE Research Centre


  • Philipps-University Marburg
  • Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
  • Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
  • Paul-Ehrlich-Institute Langen
  • Technical University of Central Hesse Giessen
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP

Fields of study

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Virology
  • Parasitology
  • Veterinary Medicine

Funding period

since 2018

Project Coordinator

  • Professor Dr Stephan Becker, Institute for Virology, Philipps-University Marburg
  • Professor Dr Christoph Grevelding, Institute for Parasitology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen


  • Frankfurt am Main
  • Gießen
  • Marburg

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