Corinna Dawid heads the professorship for functional phytometabolomics

Research, Campus, Studies |

Corinna Dawid has been acting head of the Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science since 2019 while Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann holds his office as TUM President. She has now also been appointed Head of the Chair of Functional Phytometabolomics. In this short interview, she talks about what she is currently working on, what she finds important about interacting with students and the practical relevance of her work.

Corinna Dawid and Christoph Hald in the laboratory
Corinna Dawid and Christoph Hald in the laboratory with a beaker full of rapeseed. (Image: Sabrina Schalk/TUM)

What exciting research projects are you working on?

My team and I are looking at the extent to which different environmental conditions, in particular biotic and abiotic stress factors, influence the quality of plants and food. We are particularly interested in which value-adding ingredients, e.g. which resistance-giving, human-toxic or flavor-active components, are formed or changed in their content due to stress. We use the latest metabolomics, sensomics and natural product characterization techniques.

What topic would you like to discuss with students in a relaxed atmosphere?

I would find it very exciting to brainstorm with students about what the diet of the future will look like, how it should perhaps look better and how we can ensure that the growing world population is fed in the future.

And how does practice benefit from your research findings

We are developing new mass spectrometry-based quantification methods that can be used to characterize the "gold standard" of a plant food. On the other hand, our results help to preselect the optimal, resistant, high-quality crop genotypes. In addition, our measurements can be used to monitor and control technological processes in food processing. My team and I are trying to help ensure that future crops and plant-based foods are available in sufficient quantities and, above all, in very high quality.


Baumann T, Dunkel A., Schmid C, Schmitt S, Hiltensperger M, Lohr K,  Laketa V, Donakonda S, Ahting U, Lorenz-Depiereux B, Heil J, Schredelseker J, Simeoni L, Fecher C, Körber N, Bauer T, Hüser N, Hartmann D, Laschinger M, Eyerich K, Eyerich S, Anton  M, Streeter M, Wang T, Schraven B, Spiegel D, Assaad F,  Misgeld T, Zischka H, Murray P, Heine A, Korn T, Dawid C, Hofmann T, Knolle PA, Höchst B: “Regulatory myeloid cells paralyze T cell immunity through cell-cell transfer of the metabolite methylglyoxal“. Nature Immunaology. 2020; 21(5): 555–566. Abstract

Kutschera A, Dawid C, Gisch N, Schmid C, Raasch L, Gerster T, Schäffer M, Smakowska-Luzan E, Belkhadir Y, Vlot AC, Chandler CE, Schellenberger R, Schwudke D, Ernst RK, Dorey S, Hückelhoven R, Hofmann T, Ranf S: “Bacterial medium-chain 3-hydroxy fatty acid metabolites trigger immunity in Arabidopsis plants”. Science. 2019; 364: 178-181. Abstract

Dawid C, Hille K: “Functional metabolomics—a useful tool to characterize stress-induced metabolome alterations opening new avenues towards tailoring food crop quality”. Agronomy. 2018; 8(8): 138. DOI:10.20944/preprints201807.0052.v1. Abstract

Dawid C, Hofmann T: “Quantitation and bitter taste contribution of saponins in fresh and cooked white asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.)”. Food Chemistry. 2013; 145: 427−436. Abstract

Dawid C, Henze A, Frank O, Glabasnia A, Rupp M, Buening K, Orlikowski D, Bader M, Hofmann T: “Structural and sensory characterization of key pungent and tingling compounds from black pepper (Piper nigrum L.)”. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2012: 60(11): 2884–2895. Abstract

More information:

Prof. Corinna Dawid introduces herself in a short video.
Professorship overview of the TUM School of Life Sciences
Professorship website

Susanne Neumann
TUM School of Life Sciences
Press Officer

Scientific contact:
Prof. Dr. Corinna Dawid
TUM School of Life Sciences
Chair of Functional Phytometabolomics