Heimesaat and Bereswill Lab

Gastrointestinal Microbiology

Prof. Dr. Stefan Bereswill
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bereswill
PI Gastrointestinal Microbiology


+49 (0)30 450 524 328


PD Dr. Markus Heimesaat
PD Dr. Markus Heimesaat
PI Gastrointestinal Microbiology


+49 (0)30 450 524 318



Gastrointestinal Microbiology

Our group is specialized in the global analyses of microbial communities in the mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We characterize interactions of gut bacteria with host cells and investigate the microflora composition in situations of intestinal inflammation.

Campylobacter and Helicobacter research

Another research branch focussing on pathogenic bacteria in the GI tract, aims to further understanding of the biology of Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. We investigate molecular mechanisms underlying environmental adaptation, intestinal colonization capacity, and virulence.

Other projects

Evaluation of molecular strategies for prevention and therapy of intestinal Graft-versus-Host-Disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation in mouse models (funded by the “Deutsche José Carreras Leukämie-Stiftung e. V.”).

Lab Members

Nizar Shayya
Nizar Shayya
PhD student


Dr. Sebastian Schmidt
Dr. Sebastian Schmidt


+49 (0)30 450 524 274

Dr. Soraya Mousavi
Dr. Soraya Mousavi


+49 (0)30 450 524 474 (lab)

+49 (0)30 450 524 315 (office)

Ines Puschendorf
Ines Puschendorf
Research Assistant


+49 (0)30 450 524 345

Gernot Reifenberger
Gernot Reifenberger
Technical Assistant


+49 (0)30 450 524 248

Ulrike Fiebiger
Ulrike Fiebiger
Research Assistant


+49 30 450 524 474 (lab)

+49 30 450 524 319 (office)

Alexandra Bittroff-Leben
Alexandra Bittroff-Leben
Research Assistant


+49 30 450 524 474 (lab)

+49 30 450 524 319 (office)


1. Fetal meconium does not have a detectable microbiota before birth. 
Kennedy KM, Gerlach MJ, Adam T, Heimesaat MM, Rossi L, Surette MG, Sloboda DM, Braun T.
Nat Microbiol. 2021 Jul;6(7):865-873. doi: 10.1038/s41564-021-00904-0. Epub 2021 May 10.
PMID: 33972766 
2. Peptidase PepP is a novel virulence factor of Campylobacter jejuni contributing to murine campylobacteriosis. 
Heimesaat MM, Schmidt AM, Mousavi S, Escher U, Tegtmeyer N, Wessler S, Gadermaier G, Briza P, Hofreuter D, Bereswill S, Backert S.
Gut Microbes. 2020 Nov 9;12(1):1770017. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2020.1770017. Epub 2020 Jun 25.
PMID: 32584649 
3. Vitamin C alleviates acute enterocolitis in Campylobacter jejuni infected mice. 
Mousavi S, Escher U, Thunhorst E, Kittler S, Kehrenberg C, Bereswill S, Heimesaat MM.
Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 19;10(1):2921. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-59890-8.
PMID: 32076081
4. Murine Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Alleviates Intestinal and Systemic Immune Responses in Campylobacter jejuni
Infected Mice Harboring a Human Gut Microbiota. 
Heimesaat MM, Mrazek K, Bereswill S.
Front Immunol. 2019 Sep 24;10:2272. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02272. eCollection 2019.
PMID: 31616437
5. Antibiotic treatment-induced secondary IgA deficiency enhances susceptibility to Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. 
Robak OH, Heimesaat MM, Kruglov AA, Prepens S, Ninnemann J, Gutbier B, Reppe K, Hochrein H, Suter M, Kirschning CJ, Marathe V,
Buer J, Hornef MW, Schnare M, Schneider P, Witzenrath M, Bereswill S, Steinhoff U, Suttorp N, Sander LE, Chaput C, Opitz B.
J Clin Invest. 2018 Aug 1;128(8):3535-3545. doi: 10.1172/JCI97065. Epub 2018 Jul 16.
PMID: 29771684
6. Immune Responses to Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Treatment and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Mice. 
Ekmekciu I, von Klitzing E, Fiebiger U, Escher U, Neumann C, Bacher P, Scheffold A, Kühl AA, Bereswill S, Heimesaat MM.
Front Immunol. 2017 Apr 19;8:397. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00397. eCollection 2017.
PMID: 28469619 
7. Regulatory T Cell Specificity Directs Tolerance versus Allergy against Aeroantigens in Humans. 
Bacher P, Heinrich F, Stervbo U, Nienen M, Vahldieck M, Iwert C, Vogt K, Kollet J, Babel N, Sawitzki B, Schwarz C, Bereswill S,
Heimesaat MM
, Heine G, Gadermaier G, Asam C, Assenmacher M, Kniemeyer O, Brakhage AA, Ferreira F, Wallner M, Worm M, Scheffold A.
Cell. 2016 Nov 3;167(4):1067-1078.e16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.050. Epub 2016 Oct 20.
PMID: 27773482 
8. Ly6C(hi) Monocytes Provide a Link between Antibiotic-Induced Changes in Gut Microbiota and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis. 
Möhle L, Mattei D, Heimesaat MM, Bereswill S, Fischer A, Alutis M, French T, Hambardzumyan D, Matzinger P, Dunay IR, Wolf SA.
Cell Rep. 2016 May 31;15(9):1945-56. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.074. Epub 2016 May 19.
PMID: 27210745
9. Depletion of Cultivatable Gut Microbiota by Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Pretreatment Worsens Outcome After Murine Stroke. 
Winek K, Engel O, Koduah P, Heimesaat MM, Fischer A, Bereswill S, Dames C, Kershaw O, Gruber AD, Curato C, Oyama N, Meisel C,
Meisel A, Dirnagl U.
Stroke. 2016 May;47(5):1354-63. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.011800. Epub 2016 Apr 7.
PMID: 27056982
10. Interleukin-22 induces interleukin-18 expression from epithelial cells during intestinal infection. 
Muñoz M, Eidenschenk C, Ota N, Wong K, Lohmann U, Kühl AA, Wang X, Manzanillo P, Li Y, Rutz S, Zheng Y, Diehl L, Kayagaki N,
van Lookeren-Campagne M, Liesenfeld O, Heimesaat MM, Ouyang W.
Immunity. 2015 Feb 17;42(2):321-331. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.01.011. Epub 2015 Feb 10.
PMID: 25680273