Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
Franz-Josef-Strauß-Allee 11 - D-93053 Regensburg

PD Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Ehrenschwender

phone   +49 (0) 941 - 944 6440   Ehrenschwender Lab Logo red
fax   +49 (0) 941 - 944 6402      
e-Mail               This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.             


No cell lives in isolation. Interaction with the surrounding and adjustment to alterations is of vital importance. Consequently, every cell has to sense what is going on out there. Receptors located at the cell surface do exactly this job as they get activated for example by binding of cytokines and transmit these signals into the interior of the cell. Subsequently, these signals can result in changes of e.g. metabolism or protein production, which ensures proper adjustment to the current conditions.
Our group focuses on members of the Tumor-Necrosis-Factor Receptor superfamily. This group consists of more than 25 receptor-ligand pairs and has a plethora of roles in processes like inflammation, immunity & infection but also cancer. Detailed descriptions of the projects are listed below.

our projects

All current projects of our research group at a glance:

Title and brief descriptions of the projects

Targeting the tumor microenvironment to increase efficacy of cancer therapy

The surrounding of cancer cells (“tumor microenvironment) is a critical determinant of treatment responsiveness. Especially in many solid malignancies, the malformed tumor vasculature fails to meet the demand for oxygen. Oxygen deprivation renders many standard-of-care anti-cancer treatments significantly less effective compared to normoxic conditions. Notably, oxygen content is only one of many p...

Signal transduction of Death Receptor 3

Death Receptor 3 (DR3) belongs to the subgroup of so-called death receptors among the Tumor-Necrosis Factor (TNF) superfamily. DR3 is primarily expressed on the surface of leucocytes and has a fundamental role in polarization of the T-cell response, T-cell hemostasis and T-cell-mediated immune responses against bacteria, viruses and parasites. In addition, the TL1A/DR3 system has been implicated i...

lab members, news and publications


our news

All news of our working group at a glance:

28. Feb. 2017 (15:11 Uhr)
17. Dez. 2015 (15:12 Uhr)
14. Jul. 2015 (14:11 Uhr)
11. Dez. 2014 (12:00 Uhr)
02. Jul. 2014 (11:00 Uhr)
28. Mai. 2014 (11:00 Uhr)

our publications

All recent publications of our research group at a glance:


lab mission

Our Mission:

We cannot do all the things the big-shots and high-flying labs in the field do. The number of projects we work on is certainly smaller and the work is probably more focused, as our resources and capacities are more limited. So what? This does not impact the scientific value of our projects. For the science we do, we definitely aim for the top-level. We put an enormous amount of effort in every phase of every single project: planning, conducting experiments, interpreting data and publication of results. It is taxpayers’ money we are spending, and we do that carefully.

Scientific integrity:
Misconduct or fraud shakes science to the very foundations and severely damages the reputation of scientists in the public. The scientific process slows down when researchers unconsciously follow or built their work on intentionally falsified data. Often patients hope for cure when ground-breaking results are announced in medical research. When it turns out later on that data has been manipulated to better fit the scope of high-impact journals, this is a painful experience. Beside obvious manipulation, scientific integrity has also other aspects. Every scientist is responsible that the work that led to results is traceable. That means i.e. that exact experimental conditions can be identified or unmanipulated raw data is stored and (more importantly) can be found even after years. Sloppy record keeping causes confusion in the short-term but is the starting point of total disaster in the long-term. Finally, results become irreproducible, which threatens the scientific basis and credibility of every lab. We are aware of these problems and took measures to minimize these issues.

Our lab is placed at an academic institution. It is our demand and responsibility to offer scientific training to talented bright young minds. We are glad to do that with all the resources we have at hands. Scientific training is a very intense, sometimes frustrating, often challenging, and occasionally exhausting phase of professional training. But it is thrilling. Every day. Every night. Every weekend. Every second. Inside and outside the lab. We love sharing our passion with upcoming enthusiastic young scientists, seeing them improve their skills at every level of training. But on the basis what we offer, we are also demanding: we offer science, not an entertainment show. Scientific training is a bilateral give and take with high intrinsic motivation as indispensable requirement.

Lab culture:
Most of us spend more hours at work than at home, so it is important that people are comfortable with the microclimate in the lab. As a lab citizen, everybody has the responsibility to act in a way that is not offensive to other people inside and outside the lab. We take a stand against discrimination of people due their ethnicity, gender, religion or any other aspect. Cultural differences are best dealt with when addressed early and in a respectful way. Finally: everyone has a tight schedule and being on time helps a lot to keep things going smoothly.

Regensburg, 8th of January 2015


If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
Albert Einstein

Lab Rotations, Bachelor & Master Thesis
We are happy to see enthusiastic students in our lab and offer projects suitable for lab rotations, bachelor and master thesis. However, our capacity is limited as planning and adequate supervision of each project demands resources in time, personnel and, last but not least, money. Therefore, we demand a high level of intrinsic motivation and profound interest. Please check in advance with your university or coordinator of your studies if a lab rotation, bachelor or master thesis in our lab fulfils all requirements of your study regulations.

MD thesis
We also offer projects to medical students for their MD thesis, but as stated above, our capacities are limited. All projects require real hands-on lab work and are definitely demanding. That said, we provide you insights how science is working at the bench and encourage you to take over your “own” project after sufficient training.
We are often asked about the minimal amount of time needed for completing an MD thesis. Although projects for MD thesis have shorter durations than projects for PhD thesis in life or natural sciences, 2 years of lab work seems a reasonable time frame. Scientific work at the weekend is encouraged. We know that these are strict requirements, but we consider the lab work during a MD thesis as an intense training period that qualifies for scientific working later on. Therefore, every applicant should ask her/himself if both of us are expecting the same. In case we do, we’re looking forward to hear from you.

Our principles for lab rotations, bachelor, master and MD thesis
  • Every single project is scientifically sound and based on a valid hypothesis
  • We support you best we can. After an intense training period at the start of a project, you’ll learn to gain stepwise independence. We are always around if questions occur or help is needed.
  • We strictly adhere to the principles of “Good Scientific Practice”. We generate an atmosphere in the lab and the institute that is both, supportive and stimulating.
  • We are well aware of time constrains for projects and try to implement this in our planning. However, science is not always straight forward and reaching a goal may take some detours. Therefore we cannot guarantee a strict deadline for finishing a project.
What we expect from you:
  • A high level of motivation.
  • Profound interest in research
  • It is „your“ project, so you’ll be doing the hands-on work and driving the project. You can count on our support.

Please send inquiries via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please attach your CV, record of study and a letter of motivation (1/2 page). We’re eager to learn which of our projects attracted your interest and why.


Kostenz 2017
Forschungsretreat Kloster Kostenz  21.-22.07.2017

Retreat 2016 MS
Forschungsretreat Kloster Kostenz 22.-23.07.2016

Forschungsretreat Kloster Kostenz 10.-11.07.2015

Kristina heller
Kristina Seibold - Verteidigung Dissertation am 11.12.2015

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