Prof Alexander Westermann


Alexander Westermann studied Molecular Biosciences at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and worked as a visiting scholar in 2009 at UC Berkeley (California, USA). He obtained his PhD and worked as a Postdoc in the lab of Prof. Jörg Vogel at the Institute of Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB) in Würzburg. In 2017 and 2018, he was a visiting researcher in the labs of Prof. Andreas Bäumler (UC Davis, USA) and Prof. David Holden (Imperial College London, UK). Since March 2018, he has been a Junior Professor at IMIB, and has since led the HOPI group at HIRI. In July 2023, he was appointed to a W2 professorship at the JMU Biocenter.


A primary cell-based in vitro model of the human small intestine reveals host olfactomedin 4 induction in response to Salmonella Typhimurium infection

Däullary T, Imdahl F, Dietrich O, Hepp L, Krammer T, Fey C, Neuhaus W, Metzger M, Vogel J, Westermann AJ, Saliba AE, Zdzieblo D (2023)

Gut Microbes 15 (1): 2186109DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2023.2186109

RNA recording in single bacterial cells using reprogrammed tracrRNAs

Jiao C, Reckstadt C, König F, Homberger C, Yu J, Vogel J, Westermann AJ, Sharma CM, Beisel CL (2023)

Nature Biotechnology 41 (8): 1107-1116DOI: 10.1038/s41587-022-01604-8


TFEB induces mitochondrial itaconate synthesis to suppress bacterial growth in macrophages

Schuster EM, Epple MW, Glaser KM, Mihlan M, Lucht K, Zimmermann JA, Bremser A, Polyzou A, Obier N, Cabezas-Wallscheid N, …, Westermann AJ, Rambold AS (2022)

Nature Metabolism 4 (7): 856-866DOI: 10.1038/s42255-022-00605-w

The ambivalent role of Bacteroides in enteric infections

Bornet E, Westermann AJ (2022)

Trends in Microbiology 30 (2): 104-108DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2021.11.009

Comparative genomics provides structural and functional insights into Bacteroides RNA biology

Prezza G, Ryan D, Mädler G, Reichardt S, Barquist L, Westermann AJ (2022)

Molecular Microbiology 117 (1): 67-85DOI: 10.1111/mmi.14793


SPI2 T3SS effectors facilitate enterocyte apical to basolateral transmigration of Salmonella-containing vacuoles in vivo

Fulde M, van Vorst K, Zhang K, Westermann AJ, Busche T, Huei YC, Welitschanski K, Froh I, Pägelow D, Plendl J, …, Repnik U, Hornef MW (2021)

Gut Microbes 13 (1): 1973836DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2021.1973836

MAPS integrates regulation of actin-targeting effector SteC into the virulence control network of Salmonella small RNA PinT

Correia Santos S, Bischler T, Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2021)

Cell Reports 34 (5): 108722DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108722

Cross-species RNA-seq for deciphering host–microbe interactions

Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2021)

Nature Reviews Genetics 22 (6): 361–378DOI: 10.1038/s41576-021-00326-y


An RNA-centric view on gut Bacteroidetes

Ryan D, Prezza G, Westermann AJ (2020)

Biological Chemistry 402 (1): 55-72DOI: 10.1515/hsz-2020-0230

A global data-driven census of Salmonella small proteins and their potential functions in bacterial virulence

Venturini E, Svensson SL, Maaß S, Gelhausen R, Eggenhofer F, Li L, Cain AK, Parkhill J, Becher D, Backofen R, …, Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2020)

microLife 1 (1): 597DOI: 10.1093/femsml/uqaa002

Triple RNA-Seq Reveals Synergy in a Human Virus-Fungus Co-infection Model

Seelbinder B, Wallstabe J, Marischen L, Weiss E, Wurster S, Page L, Löffler C, Bussemer L, Schmitt A, Wolf T, …, Schäuble S, Loeffler J (2020)

Cell Reports 33 (7): 108389DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108389

Amidochelocardin Overcomes Resistance Mechanisms Exerted on Tetracyclines and Natural Chelocardin

Hennessen F, Miethke M, Zaburannyi N, Loose M, Lukežic T, Bernecker S, Hüttel S, Jansen R, Schmiedel J, Fritzenwanker M, …, Herrmann J, Müller R (2020)

Antibiotics 9 (9): 619DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics9090619

A high-resolution transcriptome map identifies small RNA regulation of metabolism in the gut microbe Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

Ryan D, Jenniches L, Reichardt S, Barquist L, Westermann AJ (2020)

Nature Communications 11 (1): 3557DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17348-5

Dual RNA-seq of Orientia tsutsugamushi informs on host-pathogen interactions for this neglected intracellular human pathogen

Mika-Gospodorz B, Giengkam S, Westermann AJ, Wongsantichon J, Kion-Crosby W, Chuenklin S, Wang LC, Sunyakumthorn P, Sobota RM, Subbian S, …, Barquist L, Salje J (2020)

Nature Communications 11: 3363DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17094-8

Improved bacterial RNA-seq by Cas9-based depletion of ribosomal RNA reads

Prezza G, Heckel T, Dietrich S, Homberger C, Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2020)

RNA 26 (8): 1069-1078DOI: 10.1261/rna.075945.120

An Advanced Human Intestinal Coculture Model Reveals Compartmentalized Host and Pathogen Strategies during Salmonella Infection

Schulte LN, Schweinlin M, Westermann AJ, Janga H, Santos SC, Appenzeller S, Walles H, Vogel J, Metzger M (2020)

mBio 11 (1): e03348-19DOI: 10.1128/mBio.03348-19


Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Brain Endothelial Cells as a Cellular Model to Study Neisseria meningitidis Infection

Martins Gomes SF, Westermann AJ, Sauerwein T, Hertlein T, Förstner KU, Ohlsen K, Metzger M, Shusta EV, Kim BJ, Appelt-Menzel A, Schubert-Unkmeir A (2019)

Frontiers in Microbiology 10: 1181DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01181

The Major RNA-Binding Protein ProQ Impacts Virulence Gene Expression in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium

Westermann AJ, Venturini E, Sellin ME, Förstner KU, Hardt W, Vogel J (2019)

mBio 10 (1): e02504-18DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02504-18


Toward Cell Type-Specific In Vivo Dual RNA-Seq

Frönicke L, Bronner DN, Byndloss MX, McLaughlin B, Bäumler AJ, Westermann AJ (2018)

Methods In Enzymology 612: 505-522DOI: 10.1016/bs.mie.2018.08.013

Regulatory RNAs in Virulence and Host-Microbe Interactions

Westermann AJ (2018)

Microbiology Spectrum 6 (4): 305-337DOI: 10.1128/microbiolspec.RWR-0002-2017

MetaMap: an atlas of metatranscriptomic reads in human disease-related RNA-seq data

Simon LM, Karg S, Westermann AJ, Engel M, Elbehery AH, Hense B, Heinig M, Deng L, Theis FJ (2018)

GigaScience 7 (6): giy070DOI: 10.1093/gigascience/giy070

Salmonella persisters undermine host immune defenses during antibiotic treatment

Stapels DA, Hill PW, Westermann AJ, Fisher RA, Thurston TL, Saliba AE, Blommestein I, Vogel J, Helaine S (2018)

Science 362 (6419): 1156-1160DOI: 10.1126/science.aat7148

CRP-cAMP mediates silencing of Salmonella virulence at the post-transcriptional level

El Mouali Y, Gaviria-Cantin T, Sánchez-Romero MA, Gibert M, Westermann AJ, Vogel J, Balsalobre C (2018)

PLOS Genetics 14 (6): e1007401DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007401

Host-Pathogen Transcriptomics by Dual RNA-Seq

Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2018)

In: Arluison V., Valverde C. (eds) Bacterial Regulatory RNA, Methods in Molecular Biology 1737: 59-75DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7634-8_4


P5SM suicide exon for regulating gene expression

Hammond MC, Westermann AJ, Qin Q (2017)

Patent (US9637750B2)

Einzelzell-RNA-Sequenzierung beleuchtet den Infektionsprozess

Saliba AE, Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2017)

BIOspektrum 23 (5): 525-528DOI: 10.1007/s12268-017-0836-y

RNA target profiles direct the discovery of virulence functions for the cold-shock proteins CspC and CspE

Michaux C, Holmqvist E, Vasicek E, Sharan M, Barquist L, Westermann AJ, Gunn JS, Vogel J (2017)

PNAS 114 (26): 6824-6829DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620772114

Resolving host-pathogen interactions by dual RNA-seq

Westermann AJ, Barquist L, Vogel J (2017)

PLOS Pathogens 13 (2): e1006033DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006033


An NK Cell Perforin Response Elicited via IL-18 Controls Mucosal Inflammation Kinetics during Salmonella Gut Infection

Müller AA, Dolowschiak T, Sellin ME, Felmy B, Verbree C, Gadient S, Westermann AJ, Vogel J, LeibundGut-Landmann S, Hardt W (2016)

PLOS Pathogens 12 (6): e1005723DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005723

Single-cell RNA-seq ties macrophage polarization to growth rate of intracellular Salmonella

Saliba AE, Li L, Westermann AJ, Appenzeller S, Stapels DA, Schulte LN, Helaine S, Vogel J (2016)

Nature Microbiology 2: 16206DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.206

Molecular phenotyping of infection-associated small non-coding RNAs

Barquist L, Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2016)

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 371 (1707): 20160081DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0081

Dual RNA-seq unveils noncoding RNA functions in host-pathogen interactions

Westermann AJ, Forstner KU, Amman F, Barquist L, Chao Y, Schulte LN, Muller L, Reinhardt R, Stadler PF, Vogel J (2016)

Nature 529 (7587): 496-501DOI: 10.1038/nature16547


Dual 3'Seq using deepSuperSAGE uncovers transcriptomes of interacting Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and human host cells

Afonso-Grunz F, Hoffmeier K, Müller S, Westermann AJ, Rotter B, Vogel J, Winter P, Kahl G (2015)

BMC Genomics 16: 323DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1489-1


Single-cell RNA-seq: advances and future challenges

Saliba AE, Westermann AJ, Gorski SA, Vogel J (2014)

Nucleic Acids Research 42 (14): 8845-60DOI: 10.1093/nar/gku555


Differential activation and functional specialization of miR-146 and miR-155 in innate immune sensing

Schulte LN, Westermann AJ, Vogel J (2013)

Nucleic Acids Research 41 (1): 542-53DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks1030


Transgene regulation in plants by alternative splicing of a suicide exon

Hickey SF, Sridhar M, Westermann AJ, Qin Q, Vijayendra P, Liou G, Hammond MC (2012)

Nucleic Acids Research 40 (10): 4701-10DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks032

Dual RNA-seq of pathogen and host

Westermann AJ, Gorski SA, Vogel J (2012)

Nature Reviews Microbiology 10 (9): 618-30DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2852