Nutritional immunology and metabolism
It is common knowledge that prenatal and early life nutrition - together with lifestyle and environmental factors - influence civilisation disease development, especially childhood allergic diseases and obesity. Herein, nutrition interacts via multiple direct and indirect mechanisms with immune system and metabolism related pathways within the body.
A main key aspect within this theme is investigating the role of diet/nutritional compounds, and in particular the interplay of nutrition and environmental chemicals, shaping either disease preventive or triggering exposure scenarios the unborn foetus or child is exposed to during highly sensitive time periods early in life.
Especially with respect to drawing prevention or intervention strategies for early infant civilisation disease development, the identification of nutritional compounds/patterns that could act as resilience factors by offering higher coping capacity for chemical induced stress or adverse health outcomes in infancy is of high relevance.
In general, this theme is aiming on analyses in a translational setting combining data from human epidemiological cohort studies with mechanistic investigations via disease associated stem cell culture models (adipocyte differentiation from mesenchymal stem cells, eosinophil/basophil progenitor cell differentiation/hematopoietic stem cells).