Illig, Thomas

Illig, Thomas, Prof. Dr. rer. nat.

Scientific Head and CEO

Hannover Unified Biobank

Biography / About

Date of Birth:February, 1965
Function:Adjunct (APL) Professor, Head of HUB and Head of Research of the Department of Human Genetics, MHH


1986-1991Study of Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany
1995Doctor in biology by thesis ‘O-Glycosilation in Saccharomyces cerevisae’, Department of Cell Biology, University of Regensburg
2006Post-doctoral lecturing qualification (‘Habilitation’) and conferral of associate professorship (“Priv.-Doz.”) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany ‘Concepts of genomic association studies to decipher complex diseases’
2010Professor at Ludwig Maximilians-University Munich
Since 01/2012 Professor at MHH

Academic appointments and Research posts:

2001-2010Group leader of working group ‘Epidemiology-Biobanking-Genomics’ in the Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany
2009-2012Head of Biobanking Group of the German National Cohort (200,000 participants)
2011Head of Department of Molecular Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich
01/2012Scientific Head of HUB, MHH
06/2016Head of Research and Vice Director of Department of Human Genetics, MHH

Other professional activities:

Since 2016Associate editor of Journal of Community Genetics (JOCG)
Since 2016Coordinator of the Lower Saxony Omics Consortium TRAINomics

Awards and Prizes:

2005“Paula and Richard von Hertwig” Price for interdisciplinary projects at Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, Munich, Germany
2006Herbert-Herxheimer-Price of the German Society of Allergy and Immunology (DGAKI)
2010“Paula and Richard von Hertwig” Price for interdisciplinary projects at Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, Munich, Germany

Major research interests:

  • Human genetics
  • Cancer research
  • Biobanking research
  • Omics
  • Systems biology


In total more than 580 original publications in peer-reviewed journals (total Impact Factors according to Google Scholar: >5 000, citations: >49 000, h-factor 104). In a recent analysis of Thomson Reuters Prof. Illig was classified as one of the worldwide most frequently cited scientist in 2014 and 2015 in the field of molecular biology & genetics.

Selected Publications:

  1. Penkert J, Ripperger T, Schieck M, Schlegelberger B, Steinemann D, Illig T. On metabolic reprogramming and tumor biology: A comprehensive survey of metabolism in breast cancer. Oncotarget. 2016. 11;7(41):67626-67649. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.11759.
  2. Fuchsberger C, Flannick J, Teslovich TM, …Ingelsson E, Im HK, Illig T, … Boehnke M, Altshuler D, McCarthy MI. The genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes. Nature. 2016. 4;536(7614):41-7. DOI: 10.1038/nature18642.
  3. Wang-Sattler R, Yu Z, Herder C, … Pischon T, Adamski J, Illig T. Novel biomarkers for pre-diabetes identified by metabolomics. Mol Syst Biol. 2012. 2012;8:615. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2012.43.
  4. Mittelstrass K, Ried JS, Yu Z, Krumsiek J, Gieger C, Prehn C, Roemisch-Margl W, Polonikov A, Peters A, Theis FJ, Meitinger T, Kronenberg F, Weidinger S, Wichmann HE, Suhre K, Wang-Sattler R, Adamski J, Illig T. Discovery of sexual dimorphisms in metabolic and genetic biomarkers. PLoS Genet. 2011. 7(8):e1002215. DOI:
  5. Suhre K, Wallaschofski H, Raffler J, Friedrich N, Haring R, Michael K, Wasner C, Krebs A, Kronenberg F, Chang D, Meisinger C, Wichmann HE, Hoffmann W, Völzke H, Völker U, Teumer A, Biffar R, Kocher T, Felix SB, Illig T, Kroemer HK, Gieger C, Römisch-Margl W, Nauck M. A genome-wide association study of metabolic traits in human urine. Nat Genet. 2011. 43(6):565-9. DOI: 10.1038/ng.837.
  6. Suhre K, Shin SY, Petersen AK, Mohney RP, Meredith D, Wägele B, Altmaier E; CARDIoGRAM, Deloukas P, Erdmann J, Grundberg E, Hammond CJ, de Angelis MH, Kastenmüller G, Köttgen A, Kronenberg F, Mangino M, Meisinger C, Meitinger T, Mewes HW, Milburn MV, Prehn C, Raffler J, Ried JS, Römisch-Margl W, Samani NJ, Small KS, Wichmann HE, Zhai G, Illig T, Spector TD, Adamski J, Soranzo N, Gieger C. Human metabolic individuality in biomedical and pharmaceutical research. Nature. 31;477(7362):54-60. DOI:10.1038/nature10354
  7. Illig T, Gieger C, Zhai G, Römisch-Margl W, Wang-Sattler R, Prehn C, Altmaier E, Kastenmüller G, Kato BS, Mewes HW, Meitinger T, de Angelis MH,Kronenberg F, Soranzo N, Wichmann HE, Spector TD, Adamski J, Suhre K. A genome-wide perspective of genetic variation in human metabolism. Nat Genet. 2010 Feb;42(2):137-41.
  8. Kretzschmar H, Illig T. Are further genetic factors associated with the risk of developing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? Lancet Neurol. 2009. 8(1):25-6. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70266-7.
  9. Weidinger S, Gieger C, Rodriguez E, Baurecht H, Mempel M, Klopp N, Gohlke H, Wagenpfeil S, Ollert M, Ring J, Behrendt H, Heinrich J, Novak N, Bieber T, Krämer U, Berdel D, von Berg A, Bauer CP, Herbarth O, Koletzko S, Prokisch H, Mehta D, Meitinger T, Depner M, von Mutius E, Liang L, Moffatt M, Cookson W, Kabesch M, Wichmann HE, Illig T. Genome-wide scan on total serum IgE levels identifies FCER1A as novel susceptibility locus. PLoS Genet. 2008. 4(8):e1000166. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000166.
  10. Laumen H, Saningong AD, Heid IM, Hess J, Herder C, Claussnitzer M, Baumert J, Lamina C, Rathmann W, Sedlmeier EM, Klopp N, Thorand B, Wichmann HE, Illig T*, Hauner H* (*equal contriburtion). Functional characterization of promoter variants of the adiponectin gene complemented by epidemiological data. Diabetes. 2009. 58(4):984-91. DOI: 10.2337/db07-1646.

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