Microscope images: gut biopsy (left) & cross section of a human intestinal organoid (right)

Virus Immunology

The department Virus Immunology focuses under the direction of Prof. Dr. Marcus Altfeld on the characterization of protective immune responses against human pathogenic viruses (particularly HIV-1, hepatitis C and influenza viruses). Within the framework of the program area Molecular Mechanisms of Viral Pathogenesis, the unit characterizes the pathways by which the immune system recognizes viral infections, and the mechanisms that viruses have developed to evade antiviral immunity. The overall goal is to identify those innate and adaptive immune responses that are associated with either protection against viral infections, the cure of established infections, or more favorable disease outcome in chronic persistent infections. New findings from these studies will enable innovative vaccination strategies and development of immunotherapeutic interventions (program area Innovative Targets and Strategies).