Molecular Immunology

Head of Division - Dr Gitta Stockinger

Regulated immune responses are of paramount importance for the survival of mammalian organisms and protection from infection by viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. This is achieved by a complex interactive network of immune cells ranging from innate cells that are capable of sensing invading pathogens to the adaptive response carried out by lymphocytes. While certain functions such as the generation of immunological memory depend on the adaptive T and B cell response, the initiation of appropriate immune responses is instructed by wide range of signals involving tissue cells and the evolutionary more ancient innate immune system. Spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression and modulation of responses by environmental triggers are vital for the functioning and homeostasis of the immune system.

The focus of the Division of Molecular Immunology is on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying functions of the immune system. This is spanning developmental aspects from haematopoietic progenitor cells to development of the thymus and other lymphoid organs, regulation of gene expression and control of lineage commitment to the analysis of immune functions in steady state as well as during infections or aberrations of immune functions such as autoimmunity.

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