Research Group Epidemiology
The research group "Epidemiology" with focus on immunoepidemiology, explores two main phenotypes,
1) proneness to respiratory tract infections, as a feature of immunodeficiency in the general population, and 2) lymphoid neoplasms, the group of cancers overrepresented among patients with primary immunodeficiency.
We are currently setting up a local population-based immunological cohort, the airway-infection susceptibility study, AWIS, to investigate underlying factors for inter-individual differences in the susceptibility to airway infections and to study lifestyle and environmental factors contributing to immunological heterogeneity.
Besides epidemiological field work, the group runs a molecular epidemiology laboratory targeting immunological and epigenetic biomarkers of respective diseases and performs statistical data analysis in collaboration with local and external partners. The aim is to identify molecular and other features of infection-prone individuals in the community to subsequently develop preventive concepts for vulnerable sub-groups.
In the area of lymphoma research, we have a long-term involvement in the InterLymph consortium, an international effort to elucidate risk factors for lymphomas. Our focus is the investigation of genetic factors and infectious agents as well as on the interplay of genetic and environmental factors driving lymphomagenesis. We are currently exploring the relevance of genetic variability in epigenetic regulator genes and the risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a large InterLymph GWAS dataset.
The group is closely interacting with the Clinical Research Unit team (CRU) of the CCI responsible for translational projects including biobanking, patient databases/registries as well as Health Service Research of patients with chronic immunodeficiency disorders.