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Forschungsgruppe Metabolische Interaktionen

Dr. Manuel Liebeke

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-8220

Dr. Manuel Liebeke

Academic career

since 4/2023

Full Professor for Metabolomics, Kiel University


Visiting Professor (Otto Monstedt Foundation) at DTU Copenhagen (CEMIST)
since 07/2018

Independent Research Group Leader Metabolic Interactions at Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Dept. of Symbiosis (HoD N. Dubilier)

01/2014 Offer Juniorprofessur Chemische Biologie at University of Marburg - declined

Research associate at Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Dept. of Symbiosis, main topics: Development of methods for ultra-high resolution mass spectral imaging of metabolites and proteins in host-microbe interactions


Honorary research associate at Imperial College London, Dept. of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Computational and Systems Medicine

06/2010-10/2013 Research associate at Imperial College London, Dept. of Surgery and
Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Biomolecular Medicine, HoD Professor Jeremy Nicholson, group of Dr. Jake Bundy
Main topic: environmental metabolomics, metabolic profiling on invertebrates, analytical method development, mass spectral imaging of metabolites in animal and plant tissue

Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) in pharmaceutical biology with ,summa cum laude’
Thesis: “Establishment and application of techniques for microbial metabolomics”, Advisor: Professor Dr. Michael Lalk

12/2006-05/2010 Ph.D. student at the Institute of Pharmacy, Dept. of Pharmaceutical Biology,
University of Greifswald, Germany
12/2006 Approbation as pharmacist

Student apprentice (as part of Approbation) in a pharmacy, Greifswald, Germany


Diploma student at the Institute of Pharmacy, Dept. of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Greifswald
Thesis: “Correlations between the cytotoxicity of anticancer drugs, especially platinum(IV) complexes and the enzymatic status in different human cancer cell lines”, Advisor: Professor PJ. Bednarski


2001-2005 Studies in pharmacy at the University of Greifswald, Germany

Main fields: pharmaceutical chemistry, biology, technology and pharmacology


                           >60 peer-reviewed publications (12 corresponding authorships, 16 first-/shared-first authorships), 1 book chapter

(for full list see List of publications or GoogleScholar)



Searching for solutions for Carbon-sequestration in coastal ecosystems: sea4soCiety (total: 5Mio. €, own working package as PI: 400.000 €)


2021 Otto Monstedt guest professorship to visit Danish Technical University Copenhagen (stipend, 140.000 DKK)
2009-2010 Alfried-Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach PhD scholarship “A Functional Genomics Approach to Infection Biology” (30.000 €)

“Apotheker-Paul-Marshall” scholarship for diploma thesis (12.000 €)



Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for Breinlinger et al. 2021 Science paper Science News


Mass Spectrometry Imaging Award 2018 by ImaBiotech for correlative imaging pipeline, awarded to PhD student B. Geier (5 000 $)

2012 Travel fellowship from “Fonds der chemischen Industrie”
2010 Travel award received for presentation at “metabolomics society conference”, Edmonton, Canada
2008                     Poster award “innovative method” at “20th natural products conference”, Irsee, Germany

Invited Talks

2022 Gordon Research Conference “Marine Natural Products”
  Gordon Research Conference “Molecular Basis of Microbial One-Carbon Metabolism”

Seminar Series: Recent Progress in Infection Biology, University of Basel
Taking a Microscale Look at Host-Microbe Interactions: Visualising Cells and Chemicals in One Picture


Keynote lecture “Natural Products” at MiComm, Jena


Otto Mønsted guest professor lecture, DTU Copenhagen
A microscale look at host-microbe interactions & visualize cells and their chemicals in one picture.


„2nd workshop on Metabolomics in Chronic Inflammatory Barrier Diseases”, CAU Kiel


mSystems thinking series ‘Technologies in systems microbiology’ – online talk (400 participants)

Spatial Metabolomics of in Situ Host–microbe Interactions at the Micrometre Scale


International conference Microbial secondary metabolites in microbiomes, Copenhagen, Denmark

Chemical detection and visualization of microbial secondary metabolites -Spatial metabolomics of in situ, host-microbe interactions


International Imaging Mass Spectrometry Conference OurCon VI, Charleston, USA

High resolution mapping of microbes and metabolites exposes a network of beneficial metabolic interactions

8th nanoSIMS user meeting, Bremen, Germany

Spatial mapping of metabolites in host-microbe interactions


Mass Spectrometry Seminar of the Medical Faculty at the University of Münster, Germany

FISHing for molecules - probing metabolic signatures of intracellular bacteria with mass spectrometry imaging


Invited speaker and session convener at ISME Montreal

FISHing for Molecules - Probing metabolic signatures of intracellular symbiotic bacteria with mass-spectrometry imaging


Invited talk at the Microbiology and Infectious Disease Colloquium of the University of Greifswald, Germany

Spatial mapping of metabolites and proteins in host-microbe interactions at the micrometer scale


Invited speaker at OurCon Imaging Mass Spectrometry Conference, Pisa, Italy

Opening a new can of worms with high resolution multimodality imaging?

Invited speaker - Internal Seminar at Dept. of BioScience, University of Aarhus, Denmark

Spatial mapping of metabolites and proteins in host-microbe interactions

Invited speaker - Microbial Ecology Lecture Series, University of Vienna, Austria

Mass spectral imaging of metabolites and proteins in host-microbe interactions


Invited speaker - DFG Core Facility workshop "MALDI-MULTI", Bremen, Germany

Diving deep – Mass spectral imaging in marine and terrestrial invertebrates

Teaching and Outreach


Member of the faculty of the International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic) - Teaching in MSc program ‘Marine Microbiology’ practical and seminars “Symbiosis”


Featured on the German and French TV show Arte Xenius “Der Regenwurm: Der König der Bodentiere”

2013 Teaching assistant “Toxicology and Pharmacokinetics”, seminars
2008-2010 Teaching assistant “pharmaceutical biology”, practical course and seminars

Assistant in instruction for diploma students in “pharmaceutical biology”


Currently supervised students:

  • Patric Borceau –supervisor for PhD thesis (since 2 years),
  • Grace D’Angelo - supervisor for PhD thesis (1 year)

Past: official supervisor 

  • 2021 - Dr. D. Michellod
  • 2020 - Dr. B. Geier
  • 5 Master theses (D. Jakob, P. Bourceau, M. Janda, D. Michellod, B. Geier),
  • 2 Bachelor theses, planning and supervision of four internships for lab technician job (1 year each)

Academic Service and Societies

Editor for Journals:

  • mSystems (ASM Press)

 Ad-hoc Reviewer:

  • Analytical Chemistry, Analytical Biochemistry, Analyst, Biointerphases, Chemosphere, Current Biology, Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Processes, Frontiers in Microbiology, Metabolomics, Metabolites, Metallomics, mSystems, Nature Microbiology, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Ecology and Evolution, PloS One, New Biotechnology, Journal of Proteome Research

 Member of Societies:

  • Biochemical Society, Metabolomics Society, Mass spectrometry Imaging Society, German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG), VAAM
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