Christian Diener

Assistant Professor, Medical University of Gratz

I am a scientist studying the interactions between microbial communities and their environment using genomic and experimental strategies. I am mainly studying the gut microbiota – the community of bacteria living in our gut – and its impact on our health. For that, I use a variety of computational strategies revolving around statistics and mechanistic models to identify potential connections between the microbiome and host health and validate them in the wet lab.


I was originally trained in Computational Biology during my Bachelors degree at the Free University in Berlin and transitioned to Systems Biology during my Ph.D. studies at the International Max Planck Research School for Computational Biology and Scientific Computing where I worked on signaling pathways in yeast communities. I became interested in the areas of microbial communities and human health and dove deeper into these topics in my subsequent positions. In my first postdoctoral fellowship, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico I designed multifunctional antimicrobial peptides and in my second postdoc at the National Institute for Genomic Medicine, in Mexico, I studied metabolic alterations in human cancers and the microbiome in type 2 diabetes. This ignited my passion for metagenomics and molecular ecology as an interface between microbes and human health and led to my time as a postdoc, a research scientists, and a senior research scientists at ISB. I am now an Assistant Professor at the Medical University of Graz, in Austria.


Outside of academics, I am passionate about Data Science and its application in transforming humanity into a knowledge-based society. In that context, I have taught many students and industry professionals in fields like programming, Data Science, Machine Learning, and reproducible workflows. I also enjoy cooking and food, and especially like to bake bread. I currently live in Graz with my amazing wife Erika and our eternal puppy Bruno.