Prof. Dr. Dirk Haller

Technical University of Munich
TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
Chair of Nutrition and Immunology
Gregor-Mendel-Str. 2
D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan

Tel.: +49 (0) 8161-71 2026
Fax: +49 (0) 8161-71 2824

EMail: dirk.haller [at] tum.de

Wissenschaftlicher CV - PDF

Current Position
Chair of Nutrition and Immunology (W3 Professor), TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan; Director of ZIEL - Institute for Food & Health, Technical University of Munich
Academic Education
1990-1997 Food Technology, University of Hohenheim, Diploma ’summa cum laude’
1993-1996 Nutrition Science, University of Hohenheim, Diploma ’summa cum laude’
1999 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
Honors/ Awards/ Professional Activities
2017 ERC Panel Head, Consolidator Grants
2017 to date Board of the German Society of Nutrition (DGE)
2015 Main Award from the German Medical Society (DGHM)
2015 ERC Panel Head, Consolidator Grant
2012 to date Coordinator of the DFG Priority Program (SPP1656) – Intestinal Microbiota
2011-2017 Coordinator of the DFG Research Training Group (GRK1482)
2010 Scientific Chair of the European Science Foundation (ESF), Forward Look initiative – Gene environment interaction in chronic disease
2007-2009 German American Frontiers of Science Alumni at the National Acadamy of Sciences of America and the Humboldt Foundation
2003-2006 DFG Emmy Noether Group Leader
2001-2002 DFG Emmy Noether Research Fellow

Biosketch and Research

Dirk Haller is Director of the Institute for Food & Health (ZIEL) and Professor for Nutrition and Immunology (Chair) at the Technical University of Munich. He received his academic training at the University of Hohenheim, graduating in Nutrition Science and Food Technology, and completed his education with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology. Following periods of research in Switzerland (Nestlé Research Center) and USA (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), he received an Emmy Noether carreer award from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to work at TUM. He declined international professorships in Canada (University of Alberta) and Switzerland (ETH Zurich) and is Kavli Frontiers of Science alumni (US National Academy of Science and Humboldt Foundation). He recently received the Main Award of the German Society of Medical Microbiology (DGHM). 

The main areas of reseach of Prof. Haller are dedicated to the understanding of gut health and the pathogenesis of inflammation-related chronic disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Nutrition and the intestinal microbiome are prime environmental factors and play a pivotal role in the developement of these complex pathologies. A key question is of how these environmental factors integrate their signals into host functions. In this context, he suggests that the intestinal epithelium provides a dynamic interface to sense these nutritional and microbial factors by integrating innate immune recognition mechanisms and cell stress responses (unfolded protein responses; UPR). In the past years, he and his group generated a variety of novel tissue-specific mouse models and identified an essential role of unfolded protein responses (UPR) in the regulation of gut homeostasis. Failure of organelle-specific (endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria) UPR signaling contributes to chronic inflammation and tumorigenesis. Gnotobiotic studies in germ-free models identified novel mechanisms of microbe-host interactions and the impact of nutritionin inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Human intervention trials support the mechanistic studies in models and aim at defining the relevance of microbiome signatures in healthy populations (prospective cohort KORA and infants) and patients (IBD and CRC).

Prof. Haller estabished in the past years a comprehensive research program to unravel the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease. This program is integrated into TUM cooperate research center ZIEL - Institute for Food &Health. Novel infrastructure and technology platforms, including microbiome-related next-generation sequencing (NGS) and gnotobiotic mouse housing, are estabished and allow cutting-edge research at the interface of nutrition science and biomedicine.

Head of Coordinated Research Programs
2016-2019 Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) “Intestinal Microbiomics“, DINAMIC – Diet-induced Arrangement of the gut Microbiome
2013-2019 German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Program SPP1656, Intestinal Microbiota: a microbial ecosystem at the edge between immune homeostasis and inflammation
2011-2015 DFG Research Training Group RTG1482, Interface function of the intestine between luminal factors and host signals
2009-2014 German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Coordinated Research for Innovation in Food Science, Impact of high fat diet on gut functions and metabolic disorders
Basics in Immunology
Biofunctionality of Food
Nutrition and Microbe-Host Interaction
Experimental Immunology
Food and Health
Selected Memberships
German Society of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene (DGHM)
German Society of Mucosal Immunology and Microbiome (DGMIM)
European Network of Excellence on Nutrigenomics
Member of the reviewer Committee of the Leibniz Society
Member of the BMBF Road Map Committee
German American Frontiers of Science at the National Acadamy of Sciences
ILSI Expert Group on Probiotics
ILSI Expert Group on Biomarkers of Inflammation
European Science Foundation Forward Look
Editor of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
European Research Council (ERC) Panel Head