Microbial Interactions and Processes

Microorganisms in the environment are living in complex and interacting communities. Also the surfaces of the human body are inhabited by microorganisms, where the bacterial cell number significantly exceeds that of the human cells. These communities have co-evolved with the human host and are important for human health. They can, however, also be a reservoir for pathogenic microorganisms.


Prof Dr Dietmar Pieper

Only the minority of microorganisms can so far be cultured in the laboratory. If we want to understand, how microbial communities behave, we need to analyze them with novel culture independent methods.

Dietmar Pieper

Dietmar Pieper studied biology at the universities of Gießen and Göttingen. During his PhD at the universities of Göttingen and Wuppertal (1986) he analyzed the microbial degradation of pollutants. In the following years he proceeded to work on biodegradation by bacteria and fungi at the Institute of Microbiology of the University of Stuttgart (1986-1988) and the Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology of the Helmholtz Centre Munich (formerly GSF 1988-1990).

In 1991 he moved to HZI (formerly GBF) where he headed the Research Group Microbial Interactions and Processes, which specialized on the analysis of the functioning and the optimization of microbial communities for the in-situ biodegradation. Currently, he is working on human associated microbial communities and their interactions with pathogens. Due to the change in focus, the Resaerch Group changed its name to „Microbial Interactions and Processes“.

Bachelor & Master
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Audio Podcast

  • Staphylococcus aureus – der Feind in meiner NaseEin kräftiger Nieser und der Luftdruck katapultiert Millionen von Bakterien aus unserer Nase. Auch wenn wir keinen Schnupfen haben. Ein häufiger Nasenbewohner ist Staphylococcus aureus und wenn der mit dem Luftstoß zufällig auf eine Wunde trifft, haben wir ein Problem… Dietmar Pieper und sein Team wollen wissen, wer noch so alles in unserer Nase lebt – und was wir gegen unerwünschte Bewohner wie Staphylococcus aureus unternehmen können.
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