Professor of Immunology
Division of Cellular Immunology & Immunohematology
Institute of Immunology
Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology & Immunology
Lazarettgasse 19, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)1 40160 - 33245
FAX: +43 (0)1 40160 - 933201
T cell activation and differentiation, antigen presentation, allergic immune responses, immunodeficiencies, immunohematology.
T cell activation is the result of sustained antigen-specific interaction of a T lymphocyte with a professional antigen-presenting cell (APC) in a secondary lymphatic tissue.
The detailed description of the molecular and functional events within the immunological synapse formed by T cells and APC is key to the better understanding of adaptive immune responses and their modulation.
To better understand and to be able to manipulate the processes within the immunological synapse we have molecularly rebuild the synapse recently.
For that purpose we have created novel reductionist antigen presenting platforms based on virus-like nanoparticles (VNP) and artificial APC.
To also cover the T cell side of the synapse in due breadth and depth we have embarked on cloning, molecular characterization and functional exploration of human T cell antigen receptors recognizing human-relevant major allergens form birch and mugwort.
Along those lines we have created novel in vitro and in vivo models to study immune-regulation of adaptive and innate immune responses in IgE dependent allergies.
In addition, we have a long lasting interest in the better diagnosis and monitoring of immunodeficiencies and hematologic malignancies as well as to characterize novel biomarkers for prediction of immune mediated diseases, such as chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD), which frequently occurs after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.
Since education is the main motor for innovation and prosperity in any scientific discipline, we have established and manage one of the large doctoral programs (Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Allergolgy, MCCA) funded by the Austrian Science Fund, FWF, the Medical University of Vienna and the Veterinary University of Vienna.
Kuzmina Z., Krenn K., Petkov V., Körmöczi U., Weigl R., Rottal A, Kalhs P., Mitterbauer M., Ponhold L., Dekan G., Greinix H. T., Pickl W. F. (2013) CD19(+)CD21(low) B cells and patients at risk for NIH-defined chronic graft-versus-host disease with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Blood. 121:1886-95. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-06-435008.
Neunkirchner, A., V. Leb-Reichl, K. Schmetterer, S. Mutschlechner, H-J. Kueng, D. Haiderer, K. Schuch, M. Wallner, B. Jahn-Schmid, B. Bohle, Pickl, W. F. (2011) Human TCR transgenic, Bet v 1-specific T helper 1 cells suppress the effector function of Bet v 1-specific T helper 2 cells. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003220
Schmetterer, K., D. Haiderer, V.M. Leb-Reichl, A. Neunkirchner, B. Jahn-Schmid, H-J. Kueng, K. Schuch, P. Steinberger, B. Bohle, Pickl, W.F. (2011) Bet v 1-specific TCR/Foxp3 double transgenic T-cells suppress the effector function of Bet v 1-specific T-cells in an activation dependent manner. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.10.023
J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 127: 238-245.