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Tobias Böttler
Elianna Rodriguez
Leonie Adam
Felix Jacobi
Maike Smits
Prof. Dr. Robert Thimme
PD Dr. Christoph Neumann-Haefelin
Dr. Bijan Raziorrouh (LMU München)
Prof. Shane Crotty (La Jolla Institute USA)
Prof. Thomas Baumert (Strasbourg

Research interest

Immune responses to viral pathogens are tightly regulated. During acute viral infections, a strong and multi-specific T cell response is required to control and eliminate the pathogen. Subsequently, the majority of T cells undergo apoptosis, to protect the host from immune mediated damage, and a small subset of cells turn into pathogen-specific memory cells. The processes that mediate T cell expansion, contraction and survival are strongly influenced by various co-stimulatory molecules. Unfortunately, viruses such as Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) have the ability to establish persistence and in such cases, T cells are often functionally impaired or entirely lost. However, the signals that regulate T cell survival and function in chronic viral hepatitis are incompletely understood. We are interested in the characterization of these signals in the context of chronic HBV and HCV infection with a particular focus on the role of co-stimulatory molecules.


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