SFB 914 Trafficking of Immune Cells in Inflammation, Development and Disease

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Barbara Schraml associated with SFB 914

Emmy Noether junior research group to investigate how dendritic cells coordinate innate leukocyte trafficking


Barbara Schraml will be associated with SFB 914 "Trafficking of Immune Cells in Inflammation, Development and Disease” starting on March 1, 2015. Funded by the Emmy Noether program of the German Research Foundation, Barbara Schraml has recently established her research group at the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, Technische Universität München. Her research focuses on understanding the ontogeny and function of dendritic cells in organ-specific immune responses.

Taking an ontogenetic perspective to cell definition

Dendritic cells are versatile controllers of adaptive immune responses, best known for their superior capacity to activate T cells but also maintain T cell self-tolerance. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that dendritic cells also coordinate innate immune responses through the functional regulation and recruitment of innate leukocytes (Schraml et al., Current Opinion in Immunology, 2015). During her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Caetano Reis e Sousa at the London Research Institute, UK, Barbara Schraml has generated models with which to define and study dendritic cells based on their ontogenetic descendance from a committed progenitor (Schraml et al., Cell, 2013). As such, her studies have contributed to resolving ongoing debates regarding the lineage affiliation of dendritic cells (Guilliams et al., Nature Reviews Immunology, 2014).

Novel insights into the regulation of innate immune cell trafficking

Taking an ontogenetic view to the cellular definition of dendritic cells, the newly established group will study how dendritic cells coordinate the trafficking of innate leukocytes to non-lymphoid tissues. Using cell depletion, the molecular mechanisms by which DCs influence innate leukocyte trafficking in steady state as well as to sites of infection will be studied. An additional focus will be placed on visualising the migratory patterns and cellular interactions of dendritic cells in the tissue microenvironment before and after pathogen encounter. Understanding the dendritic cell-centric regulatory circuits underlying innate leukocyte migration into inflamed and infected tissues will help gain a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating acute inflammatory responses.

Barbara Schraml, PhD
Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene
Technische Universität München
Trogerstr. 30
81675 Munich

Tel: +49 (0)89 4140 4132
Email: Barbara.Schraml@tum.de