Technische Universität München, ZIEL-Institute for Food & Health, Munich, Germany.
The overarching theme of Dr. Haller’s whole scientific career is to develop a fundamental understanding of how the community of intestinal microbes contributes to tissue homeostasis and inflammatory disease susceptibility in the digestive tract. Dr. Haller and his laboratory pioneered the idea that non-pathogenic bacteria trigger a regulated circuit of intestinal epithelial cell activation (Haller, 2000 Gut), indicative of a changing paradigm of how the host is sensing the non-infectious bacterial environment. Over the last decade, they identified protective and pro-inflammatory molecular structures of commensal bacteria (Steck, 2011 Gastroenterology; von Schillde, 2012 Cell Host & Microbe; Ozvirk, 2015 PLOS Pathogens), and applied Koch’s postulates to confirm a causal role of bacteria and bacterial metabolites in shaping active disease phenotypes in germ-free mouse models for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) (Schaubeck, 2016 Gut; Metwaly, 2020 Nature Commun.). In recent years, they started to employ clinical and population studies and defined the impact of nutrition (Reitmeier, 2020 Cell Host & Microbe; Khaloian, 2020 Gut; Bazanella, 2018 Am. J. Clin. Nutrition; Lee, 2017 Gut), thereby broadening the breadth of our research towards human translation. Parallel to understanding microbe-host interactions, Dr. Haller and his laboratory started to explore the intriguing idea that disruption of metabolic homeostasis in the intestinal epithelium contributes to aberrant tissue responses and the risk to develop chronic inflammation (Shkoda, 2007 Gastroenterology; Rath, 2011 Gut). They developed novel mouse models for mitochondrial dysfunction and unfolded protein response signaling in the intestine and liver, and thereby coined the concept of metabolic injury in tissue pathology (Berger, 2016 Nature Commun.; Yan, 2017 Cancer Cell). In line with Dr. Haller’s unconventional track record in interdisciplinary research (complete CV at www.nutrition-immunology.de), he developed comprehensive research program at the national (DFG) Priority Program SPP 1656) and local level (DFG Collaborative Research Center CRC 1371; ZIEL Institute for Food & Health) to unravel the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease. These questions not only represent the key scientific focus of his activities but also inspire his ongoing efforts to bridge basic and clinical aspects in microbiology, gastroenterology, and metabolism. Receiving distinguished awards from the German Society of Medical Microbiology and the United European Gastroenterology Association underlines Dr. Haller’s recognition as a basic scientist in medicine. Dr. Haller published 199 publications in many international journals (H-index = 57, Scopus; ranked 1% most cited scientists).
Probiotics, Microbiology, Probiotic bacteria