Foto von Dirk Haller

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Haller

Technische Universität München

Lehrstuhl für Ernährung und Immunologie (Prof. Haller)


Gregor-Mendel-Str. 2
85354 Freising

Current Position

Director of Corporate Research Institute, Food & Health (ZIEL), Technical University of Munich, Germany

Full Professor and Chair Nutrition and Immunology, School of Life Sciences, (co-affiliation with Faculty of Medicine), Technical University of Munich, Germany

Vice-Dean Research & Innovation, School of Life Science, Technical University of Munich, Germany


Academic Education

1990 - 1997 Food Technology, University of Hohenheim
1993 - 1996 Nutrition Science, University of Hohenheim
2000 Dr. rer. nat. in Microbiology and Immunology ’summa cum laude’
  ’Modulation of the immune response by non-pathogenic bacteria’

Postgraduate Positions

2014 to date Director of ZIEL - Institute for Food & Health, Technical University of Munich/Germany
2008 to date Full Professor (W3) at the Technical University of Munich/Germany, Nutrion and Immunology (Chair)
2007 - 2016 Head of Department, Nutrition and Food Sciences
2007 Declined Full Professorship at ETH Zürich/Switzerland, Nutritional Biochemistry (Chair)
2006 - 2008 Associate Professor (W2) at the Technical University of Munich/Germany, Experimental Nutritional Medicine
2005 Declined Associate Professorship at University of Alberta/Canada, Department of Medicine
2003 - 2006 DFG Emmy Noether Group, Technical University of Munich/Germany
2001 - 2002 DFG Emmy Noether research fellow at the University of North Carolina/USA, Department of Medicine
1999 - 2000 Scientist at Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne/Switzerland, Department of Immunology

Scientific Leadership

2019 - 2022 Coordinator of the DFG Collaborative Research Center (CRC1371) Microbiome Signatures – Functional Relevance in the Digestive Tract
2016 - 2019 Coordinator of the European Joint Programming Initiative (JPI); Diet-induced Arrangement of the Gut Microbiome (DINAMIC)
2012 - 2020 Coordinator of the DFG Priority Program (SPP1656) – Intestinal Microbiota
2011 - 2017 Coordinator of the DFG Research Training Group (RTG 1482)
2010 Scientific Chair of the European Science Foundation (ESF), Forward Look initiative – Gene environment interaction in chronic disease

Honors and Awards

2021 Distinguished Research Prize of the United European Gastroenterology Association

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal awarded for Scientific Excellence in Nutrition and Microbiome by the Technical University of Munich

2015 Main Award of the German Society of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene (DGHM)
2007 - 2009

German American Frontiers of Science, National Acadamy of Sciences of America and Humboldt Foundation

2001 - 2006 Emmy Noether Career Award, German Research Foundation (DFG)

Professional Activities

2021 - present TUM Asia Faculty Member and TUM Create Research Program, Proteins for Singapore (P4S)
2021 - present Vice-Dean Research & Innovation, School of Life Science, Technical University of Munich, Germany
2020 - present European Joint Programming Initiative “A healthy diet for a healthy life” Scientific Advisory Board
2020 - present Permanent Senate Commission on Food Safety, German Research Foundation (DFG) 
2020 - present Associate Editor of Mucosal Immunology
2019 UK Research and Innovation, Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC) Institute Evaluation, UK
2018 - present Litwin IBD Pioneer and Senior Research Program of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Amerika
2018 - present Science and Innovation Advisory Committee of Quadram Institute Bioscience, UK
2018 - present ICREA Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studie, Life & Medical Science Senior Call Evaluator (2018, 2020, 2022)
2017 - present Associate Editor of Inflammatory Bowl Disease 
2017 - present Scientific Board of the German Society of Nutrition (DGE)
2017 - present Associate Editor Inflammatory Bowel Disease
2017 - present Board of the German Society of Nutrition (DGE)
2015 - 2019 European Research Council (ERC), Panel Head, Consolidator Grants (2015, 2017, 2019)
2007 - 2011 Founding Section Head of the German Society of Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) 'Microbiota, Probiotics and Host'
2007 - 2016 Head of Department, School of Life Sciences, Technical University of Munich

Research Sketch

In the past years, Prof. Haller established comprehensive research programs at the international (EU), national (DFG Priority Program SPP 1656) and local level (DFG Collaborative Research Center CRC 1371) to unravel the functional role of the gut microbiome in health and disease. Nutrition and food exposure influences the composition and function of gut microbial communities and is considered as important risk factor in the development of chronic disorders. Prof Haller established the Institute for Food & Health (Zentralinstitut für Ernährung und Lebensmittelforschung; ZIEL) to implement these research question across scientific disciplines at TUM. Novel infrastructure and technology platforms, including microbiome-related next-generation sequencing (NGS) as well as gnotobiotic mouse housing, contribute to cutting-edge research at the interface of nutrition science and biomedicine.

Prof. Haller is dedicated to understand mechanisms of microbe-host interactions in the digestive tract and explores the question how the microbiome affects chronic pathologies, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). The intestinal epithelium provides a dynamic interface to sense the metabolic and microbial environment in the gut and is therefore prime target of his research activities. In the past years, Prof. Haller and his team generated a comprehensive understanding how commensal bacteria affect intestinal epithelial cell homeostasis. Tissue-specific mouse models under germ-free conditions and selective microbial colonization (gnotobiology) are key methodologies to achieve a mechanistic understanding for mitochondrial dysfunction and activated ER stress signaling in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory and tumorigenic disorders. In the past few years, the research program involved human studies and one important aspect of this work is to define the functional relevance of microbiome signatures in populations at risk of inflammatory and metabolic disorders.


  • Basics in Immunology
  • Biofunctionality of Food
  • Nutrition and Microbe-Host Interaction
  • Experimental Immunology
  • Food and Health

Top 10% Publications

1. Metwaly A, Dunkel A, Waldschmitt N, Chakravarthy Durai Raj A, Lagkouvardos I, Corraliza AM, Mayorgas A, Martinez-Medina M, Reiter S, Schloter M, Hofmann T, Allez M, Panes J, Salas A, Haller D. Integrated microbiota and metabolite profiles link Crohn's disease to sulfur metabolism. Nature Commun 2020 Aug 28;11(1):4322.
2. Reitmeier S, Kiessling S, Clavel T, List M, Almeida EL, Ghosh TS, Neuhaus K, Grallert H, Linseisen J, Skurk T, Brandl B, Breuninger TA, Troll M, Rathmann W, Linkohr B, Hauner H, Laudes M, Franke A, Le Roy CI, Bell JT, Spector T, Baumbach J, O'Toole PW, Peters A, Haller D. Arrhythmic Gut Microbiome Signatures Predict Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Cell Host Microbe. 2020 Jun 29:1931-3128(20)30343-7.
3. Khaloian S, Rath E, Hammoudi N, Gleisinger E, Blutke A, Giesbertz P, Berger E, Metwaly A, Waldschmitt N, Allez M, Haller D. Mitochondrial impairment drives intestinal stem cell transition into dysfunctional Paneth cells predicting Crohn's disease recurrence. Gut. 2020 Nov;69(11):1939-1951
4. Coleman OI, Lobner EM, Bierwirth S, Sorbie A, Waldschmitt N, Rath E, Berger E, Lagkouvardos I, Clavel T, McCoy KD, Weber A, Heikenwalder M, Janssen KP, Haller D. Activated ATF6 Induces Intestinal Dysbiosis and Innate Immune Response to Promote Colorectal Tumorigenesis. Gastroenterology 2018 Nov;155(5):1539-1552
5. Rath E, Moschetta A, Haller D. Mitochondrial function – gatekeeper of intestinal epithelial cell homeostasis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018 Aug;15(8):497-516.
6. Yuan D, Huang S, Berger E, Liu L, Gross N, Heinzmann F, Ringelhan M, Connor TO, Stadler M, Meister M, Weber J, Ollinger R, Simonavicius N, Reisinger F, Hartmann D, Meyer R, Reich M, Seehawer M, Leone V, Hochst B, Wohlleber D, Jors S, Prinz M, Spalding D, Protzer U, Luedde T, Terracciano L, Matter M, Longerich T, Knolle P, Ried T, Keitel V, Geisler F, Unger K, Cinnamon E, Pikarsky E, Huser N, Davis RJ, Tschaharganeh DF, Rad R, Weber A, Zender L, Haller D*, Heikenwalder M*. Kupffer Cell-Derived Tnf Triggers Cholangiocellular Tumorigenesis through JNK due to Chronic Mitochondrial Dysfunction and ROS. Cancer Cell 2017;31:771-789. * shared last authorship
7. Lee T, Clavel T, Smirnov K, Schmidt A, Lagkouvardos I, Walker A, Lucio M, Michalke B, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Fedorak R, Haller D. Oral versus intravenous iron replacement therapy distinctly alters the gut microbiota and metabolome in patients with IBD. Gut 2017;66:863-871.
8. Bazanella M, Maier TV, Clavel T, Lagkouvardos I, Lucio M, Maldonado-Gòmez MX, Autran C, Walter J, Bode L, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Haller D. Randomized controlled trial on the impact of early-life intervention with bifidobacteria on the healthy infant fecal microbiota and metabolome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Nov;106(5):1274-1286
9. Schaubeck M, Clavel T, Calasan J, Lagkouvardos I, Haange SB, Jehmlich N, Basic M, Dupont A, Hornef M, von Bergen M, Bleich A, Haller D. Dysbiotic gut microbiota causes transmissible Crohn's disease-like ileitis independent of failure in antimicrobial defence. Gut 2016;65:225-37.
10. Berger E, Rath E, Yuan D, Waldschmitt N, Khaloian S, Allgauer M, Staszewski O, Lobner EM, Schottl T, Giesbertz P, Coleman OI, Prinz M, Weber A, Gerhard M, Klingenspor M, Janssen KP, Heikenwalder M, Haller D. Mitochondrial function controls intestinal epithelial stemness and proliferation. Nat Commun 2016;7:13171.
11. Ocvirk S, Sava IG, Lengfelder I, Lagkouvardos I, Steck N, Roh JH, Tchaptchet S, Bao Y, Hansen JJ, Huebner J, Carroll IM, Murray BE, Sartor RB, Haller D. Surface-Associated Lipoproteins Link Enterococcus faecalis Virulence to Colitogenic Activity in IL-10-Deficient Mice Independent of Their Expression Levels. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jun 12;11(6):e1004911.
12. Rath E, Berger E, Messlik A, Nunes T, Liu B, Kim SC, Hoogenraad N, Sans M, Sartor RB, Haller D. Induction of dsRNA-activated protein kinase links mitochondrial unfolded protein response to the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation. Gut 2012;61(9):1269-78.
13. von Schillde MA, Hormannsperger G, Weiher M, Alpert CA, Hahne H, Bauerl C, van Huynegem K, Steidler L, Hrncir T, Perez-Martinez G, Kuster B, Haller D. Lactocepin secreted by Lactobacillus exerts anti-inflammatory effects by selectively degrading proinflammatory chemokines. Cell Host Microbe 2012;11:387-96.
14. Steck N, Hoffmann M, Sava IG, Kim SC, Hahne H, Tonkonogy SL, Mair K, Krueger D, Pruteanu M, Shanahan F, Vogelmann R, Schemann M, Kuster B, Sartor RB, Haller D. Enterococcus faecalis metalloprotease compromises epithelial barrier and contributes to intestinal inflammation. Gastroenterology 2011;141:959-71.
15. Werner T, Wagner S, Martinez I, Walter J, Chang JS, Clavel T, Kisling S, Schuemann K, Haller D. Depletion of luminal iron alters the gut microbiota and prevents Crohn´s disease-like ileitis. Gut 2011;60(3):325-33.
16. Shkoda A, Ruiz PA, Daniel H, Kim SC, Rogler G, Sartor RB, Haller D. IL-10 blocked endoplasmatic reticulum stress in the intestinal epithelium: impact on chronic inflammation. Gastroenterology 2007;132(1):190-207.
17. Haller D, Russo MP, Sartor RB, Jobin C. IKKß and PI3K/Akt participate in non-pathogenic Gram-negative enteric bacteria-induced RelA phosphorylation and NF-kB activation in both primary and intestinal epithelial cell lines. J. Biol. Chem. 2002; 277:38168-38178
18. Haller D, Bode C, Hammes WP, Pfeifer AMA, Schiffrin EJ, Blum S. Non-pathogenic bacteria elicit a differential cytokine response by intestinal epithelial cell/leukocyte co-cultures. Gut 2000;47:79-87