Project areas

 

Area A) is devoted to basic research that investigates cellular reactions in Innate Immunity. It focuses on neutrophils, dendritic cells, mast cells, natural killer cells, and thrombocytes on one hand and on microbial modifiers of Innate Immunity and their respective pattern recognition receptors and receptor-related molecules and signaling pathways on the other.

Area B) combines research on T cells, molecules involved in signaling in adaptive immunity, and the development of methods relevant for designing and assessing T cell mediated immunity, spanning immunoinformatics, structural biology, in vivo imaging of T-cell trafficking, NFκB and NFAT signaling, Th2 regulation, and signaling in lymphoma development.

Area C) represents an ambitious consortium of 7 projects which stand at the forefront of the “next generation” immunotherapy of cancer. Two projects address non-cytotoxic T cell effector mechanisms against experimental tumors and precancerous cells in mice. All other projects are either preparative for new clinical studies in patients or will accompany ongoing courses of therapy. Mandatory for these developments is the solid basis of immunological research in project areas A) and B), as innate and adaptive control circuits will affect the outcome of immunotherapy. In particular, the expertise of project B01 (Kohlbacher) in immunoinformatics, and the expertise and support of the central project Z05 (Gouttefangeas) in immunomonitoring will be critical for the success of the CRC in the four years to come. 

Central Projects) Z03: Administration and central tasks: Documentation of the central activities of the CRC. Z04: Education and training of our young scientists within our Integrated Graduate School Opens internal link in current window(IRTG). Z05: Service project in the development and optimization of immunomonitoring techniques and their organization.

Our overall vision is to usher in the “next generation” of immunotherapy and in doing so, to provide, eventually, another addition to the standard repertoire of cancer therapy that currently involves surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Ideally, this would complement patient treatment or possibly even replace the latter, partially at least. Finally, using our gathered experience and the principles of immunotherapy established within the CRC, our knowledge can also be used to enhance desired immune responses in infectious diseases, and to inhibit undesired responses in states of autoimmunity and inflammation.