Adrian Gihring

Immunological characterization of pathophysiological changes in obesity and the effect of weight loss after bariatric surgery


Obesity, characterized by an abnormal fat accumulation and defined by a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2, is considered as one of the major global health problems of the 21st century that is not only prevalent in industrial countries but also in low- and middle-income countries. Obesity is described as a state of low-grade chronic inflammation provoked by a dysfunction of adipose tissue also affecting the peripheral blood immune cells in composition and state of activation. For patients with obesity class III (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), bariatric surgery often is the only way to achieve normal weight as conservative therapies including sports and fasting are mostly not sufficient. Bariatric surgery rapidly improves glycemic control in diabetes patients driven by weight-loss dependent and independent mechanisms most likely due to immediate adaptions in the microbiota-gut-brain axis. However, the short- and long-term effects of these nonreversible surgical interventions on the peripheral blood immune system remains to be further elucidated. The aim of this study is to monitor and characterize pathophysiological changes in peripheral blood immune cells of morbid obese patients and potential effects of weight loss after bariatric surgery using high-dimensional mass cytometry.


Adrian Gihring is a PhD student in the International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine at Ulm University working in the research field of obesity. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biotechnology at University of Applied Sciences Biberach in 2017 followed by a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at Ulm University finished in 2019. He gained first experience in cytometry and mass cytometry working within the research field of trauma and obesity during his master thesis in 2019 applying this knowledge on his current research.


University Hospital Ulm, Department of General and Visceral Surgery