Gilles Storelli

University of Cologne, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Dr. Gilles Storelli CECAD Cologne
Dr. Gilles Storelli

Principal Investigator  

Gut, Microbes and Metabolism

We use genetically tractable symbiotic systems -Drosophila associated with human gut bacteria- to understand how perturbations in host-microbiome interactions contribute to metabolic disorders, diseases and aging.

Research Focus

Metabolism is not just about energy production: it produces cellular building blocks and signaling molecules that are essential for development, reproduction, and maintenance of homeostasis in all organisms. The overall metabolic capabilities of metazoans are encoded in their genome and in their microbiome (the set of genes carried by symbiotic microorganisms). Our group is interested in the mechanisms that regulate metabolism in animal hosts and in their gut microbiota. We aim to understand how perturbations in host-microbe metabolic interactions contribute to diseases such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. We also believe that these studies will advance our understanding of aging, a complex biological process characterized by nutritional, metabolic and immune defects.

The gut microbiome shapes animal nutrition, health and aging. However, we cannot fully understand these effects without knowing how animals themselves shape the function of their microbiome, or, more globally, how the two parties cooperate to support each other’s metabolic needs.

Our Goals

The microbiome shapes host nutrition and health. However, we cannot fully understand these effects without knowing how hosts themselves shape the function of their microbiomes, or, more globally, without considering metabolism and physiology at the scale of the holobiont, the biological entity composed of an animal and its symbiotic bacteria.

Our group studies host-microbiome interactions in their three dimensions: from microbes, to hosts and finally to holobionts.

  • We investigate how the digestive system shapes bacterial metabolism and physiology, and how bacteria in turn control gut function.
  • We also integrate our observations in animals and in their symbiotic bacteria to understand how holobionts cope with nutritional perturbations and how disruptions in host-microbiome interactions lead to disease.

Key Publications

  1. Storelli, G.*, Defaye, A.*, Erkosar, B., Hols, P., Royet, J., and Leulier, F. (2011). Lactobacillus plantarumpromotes Drosophila systemic growth by modulating hormonal signals through TOR-dependent nutrient sensing. Cell Metab. 14(3):403-414.- *Co-first author
  2. Erkosar, B.*, Storelli, G. *, Mitchell, M., Bozonnet, L., Bozonnet, N., and Leulier, F. (2015). Pathogen virulence impedes mutualist-mediated enhancement of host juvenile growth via inhibition of protein digestion. Cell Host Microbe. 18(4):445-55. - *Co-first author
  3. Schwarzer, M., Makki, K., Storelli, G., Machuca-Gayet, I., Srutkova, D., Hermanova, P., Martino, M.E., Balmand, S., Hudcovic, T., Heddi, A., et al. (2016). Lactobacillus plantarum strain maintains growth of infant mice during chronic undernutrition. Science. 351(6275):854-857.
  4. Storelli, G.#, Strigini, M., Grenier, T., Bozonnet, L., Schwarzer, M., Daniel, C., Matos, R., and Leulier, F#. (2018). Drosophila perpetuates nutritional mutualism by promoting the fitness of its intestinal symbiont Lactobacillus plantarum. Cell Metab. 27(2):362-377.e8. -#Co-corresponding author
  5. Storelli, G.#, Nam, H.J., Simcox, J., Villanueva, C.J., and Thummel, C.S.# (2019). Drosophila HNF4 directs a switch in lipid metabolism that supports the transition to adulthood. Dev Cell. 48(2):200-214.e6. - #Co-corresponding authors


Dr. Gilles Storelli CECAD Cologne
Dr. Gilles Storelli

Principal Investigator