Improving established antibiotics


The aim of this project is to develop new, highly potent antibiotics based on the aminoglycoside compound class.

Portrait / project description (ongoing research project)

The aminoglycosides are a class of highly potent antibiotics that are active against numerous bacterial pathogens such as enterobacteria, staphylococci and tuberculosis bacteria. Aminoglycosides are used predominantly in the hospital setting to treat serious infectious diseases. In the past decades, increasing resistance to these antibiotics has developed, and their use is additionally limited by considerable side effects. Taking recent findings on the complex mechanisms of action and resistance of aminoglycosides into account, our aim is to further develop this substance class.


Although aminoglycosides have been used in medicine for many decades, we are still lacking a definite explanation for their toxicity. However, recent ground-breaking findings have led to a mechanistic understanding of the side effects of these substances, thus allowing their targeted further development for the first time.


We are pursuing two goals in the further development of the aminoglycosides: minimisation of the toxic side effects and efficacy against multiresistant bacterial pathogens.


The use of aminoglycosides is limited by considerable side effects and increasingly resistant pathogens. Targeted further development of this substance class will make an important contribution to efforts to control life-threatening infectious diseases.

Original title

Aminoglycoside Drug Development

Project leaders

  • Prof. Erik Christian Böttger, Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Universität Zürich, Zürich
  • Dr. David Crich, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA



Further information on this content



Prof. Erik Christian Böttger Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie Universität Zürich Gloriastrasse 30/32 8006 Zürich +41 44 634 26 61