Teaching/Research Area #1: Molecular Allergology

The area ‘Molecular Allergology’ includes the characterization of molecules involved in the pathogenesis of allergy ranging from the disease-causing allergen molecules, allergen-specific antibodies, receptors, surface antigens, elements of the signal transduction machinery, cytokines and mediators.
The characterization of important allergens is a major strength of the Faculty Members involved. In fact, over the last two decades a panel of important allergens has been cloned and their immunological and structural characteristics delineated. One aim is to complete this allergen panel in order to contribute to a full coverage of recombinant reagents for component-resolved diagnostics and to provide the basis for novel therapies based on well-defined, recombinant molecules. Therefore, three projects/Faculty members (# 04, 12, 17) will introduce PhD-students with their cutting edge projects into the characterization of novel allergens from important allergen sources. Moreover, projects # 03 and 15 will be interested to create novel forms of vaccines based on carrier-based peptides or mimotopes, respectively, while project # 01 is interested to in silico design variants of the major peanut allergen Ara h 2 with an altered polarizing profile for subsequent cellular validation in vitro. All the involved Faculty Members have a large body of experience in the field of molecular allergen characterization, however, they will have to interact intensively with the two other research areas in order to get newly identified and characterized allergens tested on the cellular level in vitro and in vivo (in mice) and within various clinical settings. A clear asset of the consortium of Faculty Members is their complementary expertise ranging from molecular biology, protein chemistry, structural biology, molecular and cellular allergology and immunology to the various clinical disciplines relevant to allergic diseases. These intensive interactions with the other research areas will expose the PhD-students working primarily in Molecular Allergology, early on in their careers to a multitude of issues related to translational biomedical research, including the basic principles of good manufacturing practice (GMP) protocols for e.g. the production of recombinant proteins as well as the various ethical issues which come into play when it comes to animal experiments or planning of clinical studies.

Faculty Members – Research Groups: