Immune Recognition Unit, Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology
Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology
Medical University of Vienna
Our aim is to understand the mechanisms underlying T-cell antigen recognition in health and disease. We are addressing three main questions:
- How do T-cells manage to recognize single antigens?
- How do professional antigen presenting cells or target cells modulate T-cell antigen recognition?
- What are differences and communalities in T-cell antigen recognition in settings of a viral infection, transplantation medicine, cancer and autoimmunity?
We are aiming for quantitative answers by cell biological, biophysical and genetic means to explain how T-cells establish their exquisite antigen selectivity and sensitivity and maintain the right balance between tolerance and immunity. We work to exploit our findings to harness T-cells for advanced immunotherapies.
To this end we engineer fluorescent probes and functionalized planar supported lipid bilayers, which we employ to study primary T-cells and antigen presenting cells via advanced molecular imaging modalities. We complement microscopy with methods in immunology, molecular biology and systems biology to monitor and manipulate gene expression and immune function.