Head: Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Krönke
Insights into basic principles of immunity are a key for the better understanding of autoimmunity and inflammation. Simultaneously, they allow the development of new therapeutic strategies for autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Our lab studies molecular mechanisms that link innate and adaptive immunity and thus influence inflammation, tolerance and autoimmune responses. Our aim is to understand key decisions points that trigger a physiological immune response or cause autoimmunity (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus). At a cellular and molecular level, we focus on the role of myeloid cells (e.g. macrophages, dendritic cells and granulocytes) and study their interaction with cells of the adaptive immune system (T- and B-cells). We are especially interested in the underlying molecular events, which involve changes in the biophysics of cellular membranes as well as the immunological role of cytokines, lipid mediators and nuclear receptors.