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Staining of human airway: SCGB1A1 in red

Aim of this research team is to understand how environmental triggers can cause diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma or infections such as COVID-19. The airway epithelial cells constitute the barrier to our environment and are together with immune cells scattered into this layer the first cell exposed to environmental components such as allergens, viruses or pollutant particles. Focus of the airway Immunology group lies on epithelial cell biology and its cross talk with the immune system (T cells, innate lymphocytes and macrophages). There are crucial changes in the airway epithelium that can prime both epithelial differentiation and immune system that can ultimately lead to asthma pathogenesis. We investigate the role of airway epithelium in allergic inflammation under the influence of Th1/Th2 mediators. It is important to understand the crosstalk between epithelial cells and immune cells in order to identify specific biomarkers for allergic inflammation. Allergen specific immunotherapy is another focus that is investigated and therapeutic efficacy is investigated at the epithelial barrier as well. The group is also interested in food allergy and the intestinal barrier. Airway projects are supported by the DZL (German Lung Research Center), Biomarker studies are supported by the ZAUM-led EIT Health EU consortium "ADAPT". Food allergies are investigated in the ZAUM-led BMBF consortium "ABROGATE". 

Recent publications:

Complete list:

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Original articles:

Early reduction of SARS-CoV-2-replication in bronchial epithelium by kinin B2receptor antagonism. J Mol Med (Berl). 2022 Apr;100(4):613-627. IF 5, open access

TGF-β1 Drives Inflammatory Th Cell But Not Treg Cell Compartment Upon Allergen Exposure. Front Immunol. 2022 Jan 7;12:763243. IF 6, open access

Allergen-specific immunotherapy induces the suppressive secretoglobin 1A1 in cells of the lower airways, ALLERGY, early view 2021, IF 13, open access

An exhausted phenotype of TH2 cells is primed by allergen exposure, but not reinforced by allergen-specific immunotherapy, ALLERGY, early view 2021 IF13 open access



Mootz M, Jakwerth CA, Schmidt-Weber CB, Zissler UM. Secretoglobins in the big picture of immunoregulation in airway diseases. Allergy. 2021 Aug 3. open access

Spotlight on microRNAs in allergy and asthma.  ALLERGY October 2020, open access 

Review: Predicting Success of Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy. Frontiers in Immunology Aug 2020, open access

EAACI position paper: Noninvasive and minimally invasive techniques for the diagnosis and management of allergic diseases, ALLERGY October 2020, open access