Our focus in clinical research

The focus of our laboratory is to investigate and develop vaccine strategies for infections with emerging viruses such as Ebola virus and the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and other clinically relevant viruses (including HIV, HBV).

Newly emerging infections pose a serious threat to public health because they lack effective medical countermeasures when they emerge. The WHO has constructed a list of priority pathogens that are likely to cause severe outbreaks in the future (http://www.who.int/medicines/ebola-treatment/WHO-list-of-top-emerging-diseases/en) and for which substantial research efforts are therefore needed to be prepared in such a scenario – Ebola and MERS being two of them. Our multidisciplinary team consisting of researchers from both life sciences and medicine, seeks to understand mechanisms and correlates of immune control after vaccination through clinical trials and to use our insights to create future vaccines more strategically and effectively.

We are also interested in natural immunity to viral infections and hope to gain insight into basic principles of immune protection with a special focus on cellular immunology.

T Zellen Elispot: zu sehen sind mehre kleine Bilder, die eine Probe pre, post und Covid-19 darstellt. in der oberen Reihe sieht man bei IFNg ein durchsichtiges Well mit unterschiedlichen vielen und großen lila Punkten (die meisten bei COVID-19), darunter ein Bild (IFNg) mit schwarzem Hintergrund und grünen Punkten, die meisten Punkte bei Post-vac. In der letzten Reihe IL-2, ebenfalls mit schwarzem Hintergrund und roten Punkten. Die meisten Punkte sind bei Post-vac zu sehen.
T cell Elispot before and after vaccination   ©Leonie Mayer
Covid-19 Impfstudie: zu sehen ist eine schematische Übersicht des zeitlichen Verlaufes und der unterschiedlichen Gruppen einer Covid-19 Impfstudie. So wurde die Gruppen mit mRNA, ChAdOx + mRNA, MVA-S + mRNA, MVA-St oder  mRNA + MVA-St zu unterschiedlichen Zeitpunkten geimpft.
Covid-19 Vaccine Cohorts   ©Marie Weskamm

The IIRVD investigates and develops vaccine strategies for infections with emerging viruses such as Ebola virus and coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 and MERS) and other clinically relevant viruses (including HIV, HBV).

In several research projects, we analyse the immune responses elicited by vaccines. We specifically study the early immune events initiated by the innate arm of the immune system, as well as B and T cell responses. Further, we explore sex-specific differences in vaccine responses.

Our research is mainly conducted at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in the Department for Clinical Immunology of Infectious Diseases .

More information on UKE - Institute for Infection Research and Vaccine Development (IIRVD)

Department for Clinical Immunology of Infectious Diseases

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