Disease Systems Biology

Infection Biology

Our group aims to overcome the challenges that currently limit the development and exploitation of novel personalized combinatorial therapies for sepsis by improving the understanding of infections and sepsis pathophysiology, developing novel approaches for the early diagnosis and optimal treatment of sepsis and sepsis-related organ failure. The specific objectives of our group are: to identify host biomarker signatures through multi-omics high-throughput analysis that would enable early diagnosis of infection and sepsis, and that can trigger early pre-symptomatic treatment; to recognize appropriate subsets of sepsis patients through integration of biological and clinical data to target with novel therapies; and to design combinatorial therapies based on in-silico pathway drug networks and validate them in preclinical and clinical studies.

Personalized diet

It is well known that nutrition is the cornerstone of an individual’s environment, as such understanding how diet influences metabolic regulation and how dietary interventions can improve health is a key scientific goal. Furthermore, diet has a major influence on the overall quality of life beyond the prevention of diseases and its role is fundamental for individual performance and enjoyment. Even though the personalized approach to diet is the logical next step – much like the transition from pharmacology to personalized medicine – this task is extraordinarily complicated. Most foods are composed of hundreds of bioactive compounds, often interacting with each other. Furthermore, the targets are of varied concentrations and different targets have different affinities and specificities. Unfortunately, nutritional trials are not designed for mechanism-based preclinical studies, and little is known about their molecular targets. Our group integrates chemoinformatics, in-silico metabolic modelling, microbiome and network biology for performing global analyses of diet that elucidates the synergistic interactions of small molecules that yield specific phenotypes and hopefully contribute towards personalized nutrition.


Albert García López
Mohammadhassan Mirhakkak Esfahani
Tongta Sae-Ong
Sascha Schäuble
Bastian Seelbinder
Lin Lin Xu


Brandt P, Gerwien F, Wagner L, Krüger T, Ramírez-Zavala B, Mirhakkak MH, Schäuble S, Kniemeyer O, Panagiotou G, Brakhage AA, Morschhäuser J, Vylkova S (2022) Candida albicans SR-like protein kinases regulate different cellular processes: Sky1 is involved in control of ion homeostasis, while Sky2 is important for dipeptide utilization. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 12, 850531.
Tappe B, Lauruschkat C, Strobel L, Garcia JP, Kurzai O, Rebhan S, Kraus S,Tappe B, Lauruschkat C, Strobel L, Garcia JP,, Bussemer L, Possler L, Held M, Huenniger K, Kniemeyer O, Schaeuble S, Brakhage A, Panagiotou G, White L, Einsele H, Löffler J, Wurster S (2022) COVID-19 patients share common, corticosteroid-independent features of impaired host immunity to pathogenic molds. Front Immunol [Accepted]
Li Z, Geffers R, Jain G, Klawonn F, Kökpinar Ö, Nimtz M, Schmidt‐Heck W, Rinas U (2021) Transcriptional network analysis identifies key elements governing the recombinant protein production provoked reprogramming of carbon and energy metabolism in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) Engineering Reports , e12393.
Mazumdar T, Teh BS, Murali A, Schmidt-Heck W, Schlenker Y, Vogel H, Boland W (2021) Transcriptomics reveal the survival strategies of Enterococcus mundtii in the gut of Spodoptera littoralis. J Chem Ecol 47(2), 227-241.
Barber AE, Riedel J, Sae-Ong T, Kang K, Brabetz W, Panagiotou G, Deising HB, Kurzai O (2020) Effects of agricultural fungicide use on Aspergillus fumigatus abundance, antifungal susceptibility, and population structure. mBio 11(6), e02213-20.
Cakir T, Uddin R, Panagiotou G, Durmuş S (2020) Novel approaches for systems biology of metabolism-oriented pathogen-human interactions: A mini-review Front Cell Infect Microbiol 10, 52. (Review)
Campos G, Schmidt-Heck W*, De Smedt J, Widera A, Ghallab A, Pütter L, González D, Edlund K, Cadenas C, Marchan R, Guthke R, Verfaillie C, Hetz C, Sachinidis A, Braeuning A, Schwarz M, Weiß TS, Banhart BK, Hoek J, Vadigepalli R, Willy J, Stevens JL, Hay DC, Hengstler JG, Godoy P (2020) Inflammation-associated suppression of metabolic gene networks in acute and chronic liver disease. Arch Toxicol 94(1), 205-217.
Dissanayake TK, Schäuble S, Mirhakkak MH, Wu WL, Ng CK, Yip C-Y, García-López A, Wolf T, Yeung ML, Chan KH, Yuen KY, Panagiotou G, To KKW (2020) Comparative transcriptomic analysis of rhinovirus and influenza virus infection. Front Microbiol 11(1580), 1-13.
Gill H, Leung GMK, Yim R , Lee P, Pang HH, Ip HW, Leung RYY, Li J, Panagiotou G, Ma ESK, Kwong YL (2020) Myeloproliferative neoplasms treated with hydroxyurea, pegylated interferon alpha-2A orruxolitinib: Clinicohematologic responses, quality-of-life changes and safety in the real-world setting. Hematology 25(1), 247-257.
Gill H, Yim R, Pang HH, Lee P, Chan TSY, Hwang YY, Leung GMK, Ip HW, Leung RYY, Yip SF, Kho B, Lee HKK, Mak V, Chan CC, Lau JSM, Lau CK, Lin SY, Wong RSM, Li W, Ma ESK, Li J, Panagiotou G, Sim JPY, Lie AKW, Kwong YL (2020) Clofarabine, cytarabine, and mitoxantrone in refractory/relapsed acute myeloid leukemia: High response rates and effective bridge to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Cancer Med 9(10), 3371-3382.