Organ specific immunity

Immune responses are usually induced in secondary lymphoid organs, while the effector function of antigen-specific immune cells can also manifest locally within the infected tissue. Of note, tissue cells modulate the activity of locally active immune cells in order to minimize tissue damage during pathogen attacks. Although these mechanisms are of great clinical importance, they remain only partially understood.

Gut

Gastrointestinal infections with bacterial pathogens such as EHEC or Clostridium difficile represent a major threat to our health care system. We study the regulatory mechanisms of the intestinal immune system and try to understand how an effective immune response against intestinal pathogens can be induced without concomitantly harming the tissue.

Central nervous system

So far, mechanisms of pathogen control within the central nervous system are only partially understood. Therefore, we study how pathogens are sensed within the central nervous system and we address the molecular basis of the communication between neurons, astrocytes and microglia.