The immuno-metabolism team (head: Prof. Karsten Hiller) investigates cellular and mitochondrial metabolism of immune cells. We are interested in the role of metabolism during inflammation and how metabolism is involved in the immune response of cells of the innate immune system. On the one hand, we study macrophage metabolism during an infection with bacterial pathogens and on the other hand the role of microglia cells during neuro-degeneration. The team has developed a strong expertise in stable-isotope assisted metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis both on a whole cell as well as on a mitochondrial sub-compartment level. We take advantage of our bioinformatics background to develop tailored tools for the analysis of GC/MS based data which we obtain from stable-isotope labeling experiments.
To understand the role of nutrition in health and well-being, we apply in vivo 13C labeling in human subjects and integrate the results with mathematical modeling approaches. This way, we gain quantitative insights into otherwise not accessible metabolic mechanisms such as Cori cycle fluxes or postprandial metabolism after food consumption.