Basic aspects of Immunity
Despite recent progress in our understanding of the immune system, still little is known about the exact mechanisms how differentiation and function of the various types of leukocytes and antigen presenting cells is regulated, and how they interact with each other for the defense against pathogens and cancer. In particular we expect to obtain fundamental insights into the transcriptional regulation of CD4 T-cell development, the role of miRNAs in the differentiation of various types of dendritic cells (DCs) and lineage fate decisions of common DC progenitor cells, and Stat3 functions in NK-cell-mediated tumor surveillance. Additionally, we aim at elucidating novel signaling pathways in T-cell and DC subsets that are critical for their development, differentiation and function. All projects are based on original observations of the individual research groups using advanced technologies and thus are expected to yield results that are highly competitive at the international level. Moreover, each project aims at defining mechanisms and molecules critically involved in specialized immune cell functions and thus are expected to yield novel target structures for immune-mediated diseases.