Axel Brakhage is a microbiologist and director of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI) in Jena and at the same time holds the position of Professor and chair of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. He is speaker of the DFG-funded cluster of excellence Balance of the Microverse, of the BMBF-funded program InfectControl, and speaker of the collaborative research center/transregio on human-pathogenic fungi. In addition, Axel Brakhage serves as the DFG vice president. His research is focused on infections and inflammation and the role of microbial natural products in these processes and their use as therapeutics. In the excellence cluster, he and his colleagues investigate the effect of human microbiomes on diseases and how rebalancing of a diseased microbiome can cure disease.