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01 | Discovery

This branch of research investigates the highly complex interactions of different immune cells—with each other and with the organism’s cells—to understand how the immune system maintains the health of the organism. Dysfunctions in the immune system lead to severe diseases such as tumors, chronic inflammation, and autoimmunity—or to undesired and potentially fatal rejection reactions after organ transplants. Research Area 01 is at the interface between basic research and translational research. It seeks to discover starting points and target structures for new immunotherapeutic approaches and to assess their relevance for targeted immunotherapeutic manipulations. The Program’s scientific groups cooperate closely with scientists from the Reprogramming area to identify and develop translational projects.


Prof. Markus Feuerer

Interventional Immunology

Prof. Philipp Beckhove

Epigenetic Immuno-oncology

Dr. Christian Schmidl

02 | Translation

This area focuses specifically on the preclinical development of immune-cell therapeutics. This includes the identification, differentiation, expansion, and preclinical testing of therapeutically relevant immune cell populations. It also looks at their functional manipulation and optimization by genetic, epigenetic or pharmacological interventions. Research Area 02 integrates and transfers findings on immunoregulatory mechanisms and target structures from Program Area I into therapeutically viable cell therapies. Sophisticated development projects are transferred to the Clinical Application area in preparation for clinical testing. For strategic reasons, the Reprogramming area was allocated a W2 professorship for T-cell therapy in 2020.

Genetic Immunotherapy

Prof. Hinrich Abken


Prof. Matthias Edinger & Assoc. Prof. Petra Hoffmann

T-Cell Therapy

Prof. Simone Thomas

03 | Clinical Application

This research area focuses on the clinical implementation of the results and therapeutic strategies developed in the Discovery and Reprogramming areas. At the LIT, our core focus is on the clinical translation of scientific findings: We therefore place significant emphasis on the development and roll out of clinical trials. Research Area 03 focuses on the clinical implementation of the results and therapeutic strategies developed in the Discovery and Reprogramming areas. This is done in close cooperation with clinical partners. A core area of focus, for example, is on the GMP-compliant production of new cell therapeutics in conjunction with the José-Carreras-Center. Compliance is a prerequisite for clinical testing and clinical application of cell therapies developed at the LIT’s clinical trial centers. The Clinical Application area also includes a platform for handling regulatory requirements for the conduct of clinical trials (GCP-platform) and a platform for immunomonitoring.

JCC – José-Carreras-Center

Prof. Matthias Edinger

GCP and Regulatory Affairs

Prof. Matthias Edinger & Prof. Simone Thomas

Clinical Cooperation Groups 'Emerging Strategies'

Prof. Kreutz, Prof. Geissler, Prof. Mack, Prof. Poeck