Immune Response in Infectious Diseases –

Regulation between Innate and Adaptive Immunity

Lecture Series

Upcoming lecture

29 October 2019

Cellular Restrictions and Sensing Machineries:
HIV-1 outsmarts them all

Prof. Dr. Christine Goffinet

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Berlin Institute of Health
Institute of Virology

Scientific Retreat 2019

Gruppenfoto Retreat 2019 Gross


This year, the members of the RTG 1949 met at the Parkhotel in Velbert. The PhD students, already in third year of studies, reported on their current work progress. The supervisors gave direct feedback and suggestions as to further aspects worth considering. The aim of the meeting is to foster the exchange among top-class infection immunologists. Furthermore, it is an ideal platform to create new collaborations and to facilitate networking between young and experienced researchers.

Four international infection immunologists completed the meeting with keynote lectures on their field of expertise: Thomas Jacobs (Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine Hamburg), Mathias Müller (Vetmed University Vienna), Lutz Walter (German Primate Center Göttingen), Andrea Zelmer (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine London).

Cover picture

Graduate student designs journal cover

The publication „Imaging of cytotoxic antiviral immunity while considering the 3R principle of animal research” in the Journal of Molecular Medicine by our graduate student Lucas Otto was chosen for the cover picture in the April issue 2018. Shown is a look into the tibial bone marrow of a living Friend retrovirus infected mouse during an ongoing adaptive immune response. Virus-specific CD8+ T cells (red) and their migration tracks (yellow lines) are depicted together with the bone surface (white) and the blood vessels (cyan). Besides the imaging aspect, the paper also offers a valuable cell transfer method that reduces the number of donor animals substantially.

Our field of research

Rtg 1949 Titel Graphik

Infectious diseases are worldwide among the ten leading causes of mortality. Despite intensive research efforts, effective therapies or prophylactic vaccines are available only for a limited number of pathogens. A detailed understanding of the pathomechanisms of infectious diseases is most important for the development of future therapeutic interventions. Traditionally, the host response to pathogens is divided into the innate and the adaptive immune response.

To date, research with a specific focus on the interaction between innate and adaptive immunity is still underrepresented. The scientific goal of the proposed Research Training Group (RTG) is to fill this gap by bringing together highly qualified researchers working on different aspects of the immune response in various infectious diseases or in vaccine development against pathogens. The mutual scientific question is: How is the adaptive immune response against pathogens modulated by the innate immune response, and how does the adaptive immune response influence innate immunity? The training program will ensure long-term progress in this important research field in the Rhine-Ruhr Area and provide the PhD students with fundamental education in the science of infection and immunity.


Research Training Group 1949
Immune Response in
Infectious Diseases -
Regulation between Innate
and Adaptive Immunity

Prof. Dr. Astrid Westendorf

Deputy: Prof. Dr. Jörg Timm
Deputy: Prof. Dr. Mirko Trilling

Coordination: Daniela Catrini

Phone: +49 201 723 35 88