Microbial Communication

If when you wake up in the morning your teeth feel sticky, this indicates bacteria that live in your mouth have formed a slimy structure called a biofilm. To do this, they engage in a very special form of communication using chemical signals. Furthermore, bacteria in the ocean communicate with one another as well as with the tiny planktonic algae which provide about half of the world´s primary production to the global carbon cycle. Our scientists are deciphering these processes in order to be able to influence them, for instance to prevent caries.



Prof Dr Irene Wagner-Döbler

Head of the Research Group Microbial Communication

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Employment

* 1985 - 1988

Management Assistant to the Director, GBF, Braunschweig 

* 1989 - 2004

Research Scientist, Div. Microbiology, Head: Prof. K.N. Timmis, GBF  

* since 2004

Head of Research Group “Microbial Communication”, Div. Cell Biology, HZI

* since 2007

extraordinary (apl.) Professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig



* Sept. 2001

Vega Special Prize for excellence in scientific broadcasting, together with Edward Goldwyn, BBC
* Dec. 2001

Erwin-Schrödinger-Award of the Helmholtz-Society, together with Prof. Deckwer and Prof. Timmis: „A new technology for mercury remediation“



* Coordinator of EU funded projects in the 4th, 5th and 6th Framework programme
* 5-year-grant “Marine Biotechnology” from the Volkswagenfoundation through the State of Lower Saxony


Peer reviewer

Editorial Board Member of Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Section Editor for BMC Microbiology
Review services for journals (Molecular Microbiology, Microbiology, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, ISME Journal, Journal of Dental Research) and science organizations (DFG)
Reviewer for the European Community
Alumna of the Studienstifung des Deutschen Volkes





Audio Podcast

  • Störfunk im Mund - Ein neuer Weg gegen PlaquePelz auf den Zähnen ist nicht nur unangenehm, sondern vor allem der Auslöser für Karies. Das einzige Mittel gegen den Bakterienangriff: Zahne putzen. Weshalb nach jeder neuen Nacht wieder Millionen Bakterien unsere Zähne besiedeln und was wir in Zukunft dagegen tun können, erklärt Ihnen Irene Wagner-Döbler. Und legen Sie die Zahnbürste schon einmal bereit...
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