The microbiome strongly influences the function of the immune system and consequently the development of various disorders. We focus on how microbiome-immune interactions affect the development, progression and therapy of inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

Our Aims:

We study how microbiome-host interactions, particularly the effect on the immune system, drive or contribute to the development and progression of inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Moreover, we also assess how the microbiome may be used as a therapeutic option for the treatment of these disorders. We are particularly interested in revealing the mechanisms of bacteria and how they facilitate these effects to eventually use this information for the development of tailored precision medicine approaches.

Research and Projects

We have a strong interest in oncoimmunology, particularly checkpoint blockade inhibitors. Currently we work on a two projects in the field of checkpoint blockade inhibitor and the T cell-DC synapse.

The microbiome is a crucial contributor for inflammatory bowel disease. However, specific bacteria and how they trigger inflammatory bowel disease is unclear. We thus aim to identify specific bacterial taxa that impact on inflammatory bowel disease.

Metastasis, is the main reason for cancer related morbidity. We are investigating if and how microbial therapies and the microbiome impact on metastasis in colorectal cancer.

To translate our findings from preclinical studies we work on establishing a novel cancer organoid co-culture. This system will allow us to evaluate the effect of microbial derived therapies on cancer organoids from patients with colorectal cancer.

Group Members

Lukas Mager MD, PhD

Independent group leader

Einrichtung: M3 Research Center
Institute of Internal Medizine I, University Hospital Tübingen
Ottfried Müller Str. 37
72076 Tübingen, Germany

E-Mail-Adresse: Lukas.Mager@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Adresse: Mager lab Home

Lisa Überrück


E-Mail-Adresse: Lisa.Ueberrueck@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Mahana Sabachvili

PhD student

E-Mail-Adresse: mahana.sabachvili1@ucalgary.ca

Marian Mortega

Lab Technician

E-Mail-Adresse: Marian.Mortega@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Romulo Silva di Oliveira


E-Mail-Adresse: Romulo.Silva-de-Oliveira@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Tim Krause

PhD student

E-Mail-Adresse: Tim.Krause@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Trang Le


E-Mail-Adresse: Trang.Le-Thi@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Zeynep Özcelik

Lab Technician

E-Mail-Adresse: Zeynep.Oezcelik@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Kirsten Bucher


E-Mail-Adresse: Kirsten.Bucher@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Hannah Krämer


E-Mail-Adresse: Hannah.Kraemer@med.uni-tuebingen.de


1. Kara Sampsell, Weilan Wang, Christina Ohland, Lukas F Mager, Nicola Pett, Dana E Lowry, Kate M Sales, Margaret L McNeely, Kathy D McCoy, S Nicole Culos-Reed, Raylene A Reimer. Exercise and Prebiotic Fiber Provide Gut Microbiota-Driven Benefit in a Survivor to Germ-Free Mouse Translational Model of Breast Cancer. Cancers (Basel). doi: 10.3390/cancers14112722. (2022) 

2. Kathy D McCoy and Lukas F Mager. Impact of the microbiome on tumor immunity. Curr Opin Immunol. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2021.01.002 (2021). 

3. Lukas F. Mager, Regula Burkhard, Nicola Pett, Noah C.A. Cooke, Kirsty Brown, Hena Ramay, Seungil Paik, John Stagg, Ryan A. Groves, Marco Gallo, Ian A. Lewis, Markus B. Geuking, Kathy D. McCoy. Microbiome-derived inosine modulates response to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.abc3421 (2020). 

4. Eva Pastille, Marie-Hélène Wasmer, Alexandra Adamczyk, Vivian P. Vu, Lukas F. Mager, Nhi Ngo Thi Phuong, Vittoria Palmieri, Cedric Simillion, Wiebke Hansen, Stefan Kasper, Martin Schuler, Beat Muggli, Kathy D McCoy, Jan Buer, Inti Zlobec, Astrid M. Westendorf, Philippe Krebs. The IL-33/ST2 pathway shapes the regulatory T cell phenotype to promote intestinal cancer. Mucosal Immunology. doi: 10.1038/s41385-019-0176-y (2019) 

5. Neunkirchner, A., Kratzer, B., Kohler, C., Smole, U., Mager, L. F., Schmetterer, K. G., Trapin, D., Leb-Reichl, V., Rosloniec, E., Naumann, R., Kenner, L., Jahn-Schmid, B., Bohle, B., Valenta, R. & Pickl, W. F. Genetic restriction of antigen-presentation dictates allergic sensitization and disease in humanized mice. EBioMedicine 31, 66-78, doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.04.001 (2018). 

6. Saurer, L., Zysset, D., Rihs, S., Mager, L., Gusberti, M., Simillion, C., Lugli, A., Zlobec, I., Krebs, P. & Mueller, C. TREM-1 promotes intestinal tumorigenesis. Sci Rep 7, 14870, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14516-4 (2017). 

7. Mager, L. F., Koelzer, V. H., Stuber, R., Thoo, L., Keller, I., Koeck, I., Langenegger, M., Simillion, C., Pfister, S. P., Faderl, M., Genitsch, V., Tcymbarevich, I., Juillerat, P., Li, X., Xia, Y., Karamitopoulou, E., Lyck, R., Zlobec, I., Hapfelmeier, S., Bruggmann, R., McCoy, K. D., Macpherson, A. J., Muller, C., Beutler, B. & Krebs, P. The ESRP1-GPR137 axis contributes to intestinal pathogenesis. Elife. doi:10.7554/eLife.28366 (2017) 

8. Mager, L. F., Wasmer, M. H., Rau, T. T. & Krebs, P. Cytokine-Induced Modulation of Colorectal Cancer. Front Oncol 6, 96, doi:10.3389/fonc.2016.00096 (2016). 

9. Mertz, K. D., Mager, L. F., Wasmer, M. H., Thiesler, T., Koelzer, V. H., Ruzzante, G., Joller, S., Murdoch, J. R., Brummendorf, T., Genitsch, V., Lugli, A., Cathomas, G., Moch, H., Weber, A., Zlobec, I., Junt, T. & Krebs, P. The IL-33/ST2 pathway contributes to intestinal tumorigenesis in humans and mice. Oncoimmunology 5, e1062966, doi:10.1080/2162402X.2015.1062966 (2016).  

10. Mager, L. F., Riether, C., Schurch, C. M., Banz, Y., Wasmer, M. H., Stuber, R., Theocharides, A. P., Li, X., Xia, Y., Saito, H., Nakae, S., Baerlocher, G. M., Manz, M. G., McCoy, K. D., Macpherson, A. J., Ochsenbein, A. F., Beutler, B. & Krebs, P. IL-33 signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms. J Clin Invest 125, 2579-2591, doi:10.1172/JCI77347 (2015). 

11. Klampfl, T., Bogner, E., Bednar, W., Mager, L., Massudom, D., Kalny, I., Heinzle, C., Berger, W., Stattner, S., Karner, J., Klimpfinger, M., Furstenberger, G., Krieg, P. & Marian, B. Up-regulation of 12(S)-lipoxygenase induces a migratory phenotype in colorectal cancer cells. Exp Cell Res 318, 768-778, doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2011.12.017 (2012).