The major research interest of our group is to understand the evolutionary history of and the molecular framework underlying lifestyle diseases such as asthma, Crohn’s disease, obesity and diabetes as well as Parkinson’s disease.
Lifestyle diseases, also known as diseases of civilization, are defined by positive correlations between disease frequency and society development (industrialization) or between disease development and age. Usually, to develop the pathogenic phenotype, genetic predisposition and environmental factors have to come together. Surprisingly, most of the underlying molecular systems are highly conserved throughout evolution. We aim to understand these systems and why they are prone to disease development.
The group provides an international and stimulating environment and welcomes applications from those interested in our work. Work in our group is funded by the DFG, the Cluster of Excellence „Inflammation at Interfaces“, the BMB+F, the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), the International Max-Planck Research School on Evolutionary Biology (IMPRS), DZL (Deutsches Zentrum für Lungenforschung) / Airway Research Center North (ARCN), the Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1182 "Origin and Function of Metaorganisms" and the Leibniz Wissenschafts Campus LWS "Evolutionary Medicine of the Lung" (EvoLUNG).