Prof. Michael Muller

Research Leader

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I am a professor of nutrigenomics and systems nutrition at the University of East Anglia (Norwich/UK). Before I was attracted to the Norwich Research Park as director of the Food and Health Alliance I was Professor of Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics at the Wageningen University, NL until 2014. I started, together with my chair group in 2000, pioneering work in molecular nutrition and nutrigenomics to become an internationally leading group in this innovative field of nutrition research.

I have a successful track record in different aspects of the mechanistic aspects of nutritional regulation of metabolism (molecular nutrition) and specifically with application of comprehensive ‘omics tools such as transcriptomics, metabolomics and metagenomics to nutrition research. I have supervised 25 PhD students and I was scientific director of the Netherlands Nutrigenomics Centre (20 Mill. €) until end of 2013. With my former group (Wageningen University, NL) I studied the involvement of nuclear receptors (e.g. PPARs) in the genome-wide transcriptional control of hepatic fatty acid homeostasis under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

I am currently supervising 3 PhD students. The group covers a broad area of disciplines including molecular nutrition and physiology, molecular hepatology and applications of systems biology to integrate (systems nutrition). The group has great expertise in investigating different signalling pathways involved in the response of the healthy liver and the gut to nutritional challenges and under conditions of chronic liver injury.

We work with a wide variety of experimental models of metabolic syndrome and chronic liver disease and have a range of transgenic animals that allow us to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of liver pathologies related to e.g. NAFLD.  Moreover, our expertise in gut physiology provides us with the opportunity to perform integrative research, focusing in defining the key elements that regulate the gut-liver axis. Our expertise in bile acid metabolism and its differential regulation in the liver and the gut is key to develop this research.

I published more than 230 peer-reviewed papers (H-index 64) and from 2000-2017 180 papers on topics that are relevant for our current work at the NRP: Liver (71), gut (37), transcriptomics and related bioinformatics (109), microbiome (11), bile acids (13) or dietary fibres (6).

I was member of the editorial boards of “Frontiers in Genomics”; “BMC Genomics” (Associate Editor until 2014); of “European Journal of Nutrition” (Section editor “Nutrigenomics” until 2014); “PLOS ONE” (Academic editor until June 2015).

I was member of several scientific advisory boards including the International Advisory Board of COSBI (The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology), International Advisory Board of Biopolis S.L. Valencia, Spain and the scientific advisory board of Genome Quebec (Canada).

Currently I am visiting professor at Nanijng Agricultural University and a member of the “Faculty of 1000” (Biology/Physiology). I am member of the BBSRC Bioscience for Health Strategy Advisory Panel 2016-2018 (UK) and member of the MRC Population Health and Systems Medicine Panel 2017-2019 (UK).


Key Publications

Stienstra R, Saudale F, Duval C, Keshtkar S, Groener JEM, van Rooijen N, Staels B, Kersten S, Müller M. Kupffer cells promote heptic steatosis via IL-1β dependent suppression of PPARalpha activity. Hepatology. 2010;51:511-22.

Duval C, Thissen U, Keshtkar S, Accart B, Stienstra R, Boekschoten MV, Roskams T, Kersten S, Müller M. Adipose tissue dysfunction signals progression of hepatic steatosis towards nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in C57BL/6 mice. Diabetes. 2010;59:3181-91.

Haenen D, Souza da Silva C, Zhang J, Koopmans SJ, Bosch G, Vervoort J, Gerrits WJ, Kemp B, Smidt H, Müller M, Hooiveld GJ. Resistant starch induces catabolic but suppresses immune and cell division pathways and changes the microbiome in the proximal colon of male pigs. J Nutr. 2013; 143:1889-98.

Hangelbroek, R. W., Fazelzadeh, P., Tieland, M., Boekschoten, M. V., Hooiveld, G. J., van Duynhoven, J. P., Timmons, J. A., Verdijk, L. B., de Groot, L. C., van Loon, L. J., Müller, M. (2016) Expression of protocadherin gamma in skeletal muscle tissue is associated with age and muscle weakness. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2016;5:604-14.

Rusli F, Lute C, Boekschoten MV, van Dijk M, van Norren K, Menke AL, Müller M, Steegenga WT. Intermittent calorie restriction largely counteracts the adverse health effects of a moderate-fat diet in aging C57BL/6J mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Dec 20.