Pre-clinical translational research
Since pathogenesis studies are mostly carried out in animal models, we know comparably little about the development of infectious diseases in humans. However, a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms is needed in order to develop new diagnostic approaches, new biomarkers, and new preventive and therapeutic strategies against infectious diseases. In particular, chronic virus infections and lung infections constitute major clinical challenges. Surprisingly little is known about how the balance between pathogen attack and tissue damage is maintained while the immune system is defending tissues such as the gut, liver, lung and the central nervous system against invading pathogens.
Before new intervention strategies can be tested in patients, a plethora of in vitro studies and animals experiments have to be carried out in order to address mode of action and tolerability of the intervention. We study the pathogenesis of selected infections and develop predictive in vitro test systems and animal models.