Felix Sommer

Consolidated Researcher Details:

Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel Germany
Felix Sommer
f.sommer [at] ikmb.uni-kiel.de
+49 (0) 431 / 500 - 15 133

Why this profession?

I have always had a prominent interest in natural sciences and especially biological processes. I therefore studied biology and performed my PhD thesis at Kiel University, where I learned about developmental biology, evolution and that we are not alone due to our association with microorganisms. I then joined the lab of Fredrik Bäckhed at Gothenburg University (Sweden) and am now a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (Kiel University). My studies focus on the intricate and complex interactions between the host, its associated microbiota and environmental factors that determine a healthy homeostasis of the metaorganism. A particular focus lies on selection mechanisms shaping the intestinal ecosystem and how the microbiota contributes to host metabolism and immune responses. My current research investigates the functional effects of nutritional variations, i.e. malnutrition or excessive caloric regimes, on host-microbe interactions and host health. Together my research projects aim to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treating common metabolic and inflammatory disorders by targeting the microbiota

Why RTG Genes, Environment and Inflammation?

Interactions between the host and its microbiota are highly complex and tightly controlled by intrinsic (e.g. genetics) and environmental factors (e.g. diet, life-style, exposure, antibiotics, etc.). Similarly, the microbiota has been linked to numerous complex diseases such as chronic inflammatory diseases or the metabolic syndrome. To understand the mechanisms causing disease and to enable the development of novel therapeutic approaches of these complex microbiota-dependent diseases requires a multidisciplinary approach with experts of various fields working together. The RTG provides just that: a platform for collaborations among expert researchers, and at the same time allows junior scientists to get deep insights into a highly interesting field and an excellent training.