Consolidated Researcher Details:
Why this profession?
After finishing my medical training in Egypt I have been studying several aspects of autoimmunity for the last 20 years with a primary focus on genetics. At Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Helsinki University, where I obtained my doctoral degree in iImmunology, I studied the potential influence of a bacterial surface protein and the B_cell repertoire. In Helsinki, I received my basic training in molecular immunology and immunochemistry. I then moved to the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, USA, in 1993 where I studied mechanisms of B cell tolerance. During that time I gained experience in advanced molecular biology and genetics methods. I also gained experience in generating transgenic and knock-out mice. In 1996 I moved to the University of Rostock, Germany, where I spent a few years establishing my group. There I developed mouse models to study the genetics of autoimmune diseases. In 2008 I moved to the University of Lübeck as an Excellence Cluster professor with a research focus on the genetics of skin inflammatory diseases.
Why RTG Genes, Environment and Inflammation?
For many years, we and others have observed the differences in inflammatory disease phenotypes in animal models in different environments (e.g. different laboratories, different animal houses of different hygiene status) and speculated that the environment, primarily the commensal bacteria/diet, etc., are responsible. However, causal evidence has been lacking. Now, with the availability of new technologies, e.g. next generation sequencing, germ-free facilities and statistical tools, we are able for the first time to systemically address the role of gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disorders.