Immunological Engineering

Immunological biotechnology represents a key strategy for dissecting and manipulating molecular processes in health and disease and is crucial for development and optimisation of proteins for diagnostics as well as therapeutic intervention.

Central for our research is the molecular access to the pathological condition and a consequent and mechanism-driven development of biologicals at the interface of immunology, protein biochemistry, biotechnology, and chemistry. Within this concept the specific needs for patient tailored, precision medical treatment are addressed.

One essential fundament of our approaches and projects is the establishment of recombinant molecules of precisely defined characteristics by using and engineering of expression systems. Major projects are focussed on the development and optimization of recombinant immunoglobulins. Here we have a particular interest in isotypes such as IgE that are associated with pathological conditions, their characteristics and glycosylation and non-human immunoglobulins.

Dissection of immune repertoires by combinatorial approaches helps to understand principles of molecular recognition, identifies potential target structures and allows for design of novel target structures of improved characteristics.

Another focus is the molecular basis, diagnosis and therapeutic intervention in allergy and anaphylaxis, particularly allergy to insect venom, food and pollen. The variant routes of uptake and the response of the organism to the environmental allergen/toxin can be considered prototypic for a variety of therapeutic settings.

Carbohydrates are increasingly recognised as important players in driving and modulating immune responses. Understanding molecular principles of their recognition in health and disease offers a large potential for novel and optimised biologicals and targeting approaches.

Understanding molecular functions, structures and interactions allows for redesign of biologicals and offers novel opportunities for shaping of immune responses.

Specific research interests and projects primarily focus on molecular immunology and allergology in research, diagnostics and therapy: