While the immune system protects our body against numerous pathogens, it must not overshoot and attack our own body. Otherwise, autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, anaphylactic reactions or leukemia may develop. Thus, several mechanisms are in place to ensure an appropriate immune response at the right time. Immune cells themselves are tightly controlled by their intricate cellular cation homeostasis and signaling. We at the Institute of Pharmacology investigate changes of the immune system at the molecular, cellular and organismic level. We aim to restore immune homeostasis using a targeted pharmacologic approach.
We are investigating mechanisms how immune cells integrate, process and transmit signals at the smallest level of ions. Subsequently, we research the impact of misguided immune reactions on (1) (auto)-immune diseases, (2) allergies and (3) leukemia. As soon as the molecular mechanisms behind are unraveled, therapies against these diseases are in range. Targeted pharmacologic modulation of ion channels has tremendous therapeutic potential for the treatment of infections but also pro-inflammatory diseases, allergies and leukemia. Newly found substances will be tested for (4) their effect on immune cell signaling as well as the differentiation and function of primary immune and leukemia cells. Also changes of the (5) aging immune system will be in focus of our research. We aim to restore immune system homeostasis via targeted pharmacologic modulation of immune cells.