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Nina Pilat-Michalek
Assoc.-Prof. Priv.Doz. Dr. Nina Pilat-Michalek

Department of General Surgery (Division of Visceral Surgery)
Position: Associate Professor

ORCID: 0000-0003-4071-9397
T +43 1 40400 69780

Further Information


Costimulatory and Inhibitory T-Cell Receptors; Flow Cytometry; T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory; Translational Medical Research; Transplantation; Transplantation Chimera; Transplantation Immunology; Transplantation Tolerance

Research group(s)

Research interests

My main research interest is the role and potency of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the induction  and maintainance of transplantation tolerance.

The establishment of mixed hematopoietic chimerism is an exceptionally potent strategy for the induction of donor-specific tolerance in organ transplantation. We could show that Tregs improve chimerism induction in experimental animal models with reduced intensity conditioning. Moreover, adoptive Treg transfer induced intragraft regulatory mechanisms that prevent chronic rejection.

Currently, I am specifically interested in immunomodulation via interleukin/antibody complexes. By the use of specific IL2/anti-IL2 complexes, which induce selective expansion of Tregs, transplantation tolerance can be achieved.

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

  • Mouse models: bone marrow transplantation for the creation of mixed chimeras; murine skin and heterotopic heart transplantation
  • Regulatory T cells (in vivo expansion via IL2complexes, in vitro expansion culture, retroviral gene transfer, TGFbeta induction): cell therapy, in-vitro assays
  • Multi colour Flow-cytometry (Canto II, Fortessa LSR): Immune monitoring, Leucocyte subset analysis, Flow-crossmatch


Selected publications

  1. Pilat, N. et al. (2019) ‘Treg-mediated prolonged survival of skin allografts without immunosuppression’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(27), pp. 13508–13516. Available at:
  2. Pilat, N. et al. (2016) ‘Incomplete clonal deletion as prerequisite for tissue-specific minor antigen tolerization’, JCI Insight, 1(7). Available at:
  3. Pilat, N. et al. (2014) ‘T-regulatory cell treatment prevents chronic rejection of heart allografts in a murine mixed chimerism model’, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 33(4), pp. 429–437. Available at:
  4. Pilat, N. and Wekerle, T. (2010) ‘Transplantation tolerance through mixed chimerism’, Nature Reviews Nephrology, 6(10), pp. 594–605. Available at:
  5. Pilat, N. et al. (2010) ‘Treg-Therapy Allows Mixed Chimerism and Transplantation Tolerance Without Cytoreductive Conditioning’, American Journal of Transplantation, 10(4), pp. 751–762. Available at: