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

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmidt

Phone +49 (0) 941 - 944 6404
Fax +49 (0) 941 - 944 6402
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Innate immunity represents the first line of defense against bacterial and viral infections. A proinflammatory immune response is induced within a few hours, which subsequently triggers adaptive immunity. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) are an important component of the innate immune system. In 1999, these cells were identified as main producers of type I interferons by two independent research groups. Although PDC are rare in the peripheral blood, representing only 0.2-0.8% of mononuclear cells, they are essential coordinators of anti-viral immunity. On the other hand, persisting viral infections can induce chronic activation of the immune system, which may result in immunopathogenesis.

our projects

All current projects of our research group at a glance:

Title and brief descriptions of the projects

Design of new immunotherapeutic HSV-1 vectors

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) causes cytolytic infections which are controlled by innate and adaptive immune responses. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells and natural killer cells are particularly important during primary infection, whereas cytotoxic CD8+ T cells control viral reactivation. We develop new HSV-1 vectors for immunotherapies against tumors.

New HIV-1 restriction factors

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) can be infected by HIV-1. Productive virus infection in these immune cells, however, is restricted by cell-intrinsic factors. Within the third-party funded project 'Partnering-for-Cure', Dr. Philipp Schuster, PhD, will search for new factors which restrict HIV-1 replication in PDC.

Peptide mimicry in HIV-1 infection

In collaboration with Prof. Jutta Eichler, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, we investigate functional aspects of peptides which mimic viral or cellular structures involved in the entry of HIV-1 into target cells.

lab members, news and publications

Three members of our research group are currently finalizing their Ph.D. thesis at the Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, Erlangen: Dipl. biol. Karin Vogel (née Tennert), B.Sc. Sabrina Thomann und M.Sc. cand. med. Jan B. Boscheinen. The projects are funded through the graduate training program GRK1071 (“Viruses of the Immune System”; Speaker: Prof. Dr. B. Fleckenstein) and the fast-track graduate training program GK1660 (“Key-signals of adaptive immunity”; Speaker: Prof. Dr. H.-M. Jäck).

our news

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our publications

All recent publications of our research group at a glance:

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