Lehrstuhl für Immunologie & Pathophysiologie

We work on the differentiation and function of leukocytes as well as mechanisms of immunity and immune tolerance. Phagocytes and dendritic cells are highly important in the recognition of microbes, dying cells and antigen presentation. Naive T cells develop into specialized T cells that coordinate immune response, induce effector functions and allow self-tolerance. These processes are controlled by endogenous and exogenous dietary factors. Close cooperation within the division in alignment with the center's main topics of interest ensures optimal research conditions.

Entzündung, Autoimmunität und Krebs

Inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer

We investigate the significance of T-lymphocytes in inflammation and autoimmunity with a special emphasis on metabolic regulation of T cell reactions. We apply a multidisciplinary approach that comprises in vitro studies and in vivo disease models in order to identify new molecular and metabolic pathways that control the pathogenicity of T cells.

The research focus of the lab is on regulating immune responses in the context of autoimmune disease. Special attention is paid to explaining the role of environmental factors such as aging, nutrition and metabolism as well as their interaction in the regulation of autoreactive T cells.

Dendritic cells are present in many organs and tissues and are capable of activating naive T lymphocytes and thus inducing immune responses to microbial and cell antigens. They appear to drive immunity vs. tolerance and exist as multiple functionally relevant subsets. We investigate their development and function in immune homeostasis and disease processes.

    Stoffwechsel und Darm

    Metabolism and the gut

    We investigate the role of plant compounds such as vitamins, carotenoids and polyphenols in nutritional immunometabolism in dentritic cells and T cells from a translational perspective. Another focus is the influence of food quality and the gut microbiome on the immune system in connection with eating disorders, lifestyle, body fat and age.