Go to JKU Homepage
Institute of Pharmacology
What's that?

Institutes, schools, other departments, and programs create their own web content and menus.

To help you better navigate the site, see here where you are at the moment.

Dr.in Birgit Höger

Research Interests

In our research group “Molecular Pharmacology” we study molecular mechanisms of selected ion channels, including the channel-kinase TRPM7, for their role in immune homeostasis. With its intracellular kinase domain, the melastatin-like “transient receptor potential” (TRP) ion channel TRPM7 holds a dual role as signaling protein. Its importance in differentiating murine pro-inflammatory T cells has recently been identified (Romagnani et al., 2017, Nat Commun). We now focus on the study of human immune cells, to understand mechanistic functions of TRPM7 and its kinase domain. Besides investigating signal transduction and molecular interactions, we apply pharmacological modulators in order to understand mechanisms in disease and potential therapeutic routes. Another key topic is the role of TRPM7 in human leukemias.


Curriculum Vitae

Professional Experience and Postdoctoral Training

University Assistant
Institute of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Head of institute: Susanna Zierler

Baxalta Innovations GmbH (Takeda Pharmaceutical), Plasma Derived Therapeutics, Research & Development, Vienna, Austria
Advisor: Bagirath Gangadharan

(Senior) Postdoctoral Researcher
LBI-RUD Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases &
CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the ÖAW &
CCRI St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute, Vienna, Austria
Advisor: Kaan Boztug

Academic Education

PhD (Biology)
EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg & University of Heidelberg, Germany
Mentor: Maja Köhn

Diploma (MSc) (Biochemistry)
University of Technology, Graz, Austria       
Mentors: Peter Macheroux, Maja Köhn

Honors and Scholarships

Expert Intern Careers Fellowship  
Ludwig Boltzmann Society, Austria

Hertha Firnberg Postdocoral Fellowship
Austrian Research Fund (FWF)

DOC Doctoral Fellowship
Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)

KUWI Research Scholarship
Graz University of Technology, Austria

Professional Memberships

APHAR Austrian Pharmacological Society

SGP Society of General Physiologists, postdoc member

ESID European Society for Immunodeficiencies, junior member


  1. B. Hoeger, S. Zierler (2022) Engulf and digest – TRPM7 as key regulator of macrophage phagosome maturation. Science Direct, 2022102636

  2. T. Shahin, D. Mayr, M.R. Shoeb, H.S. Kuehn, B. Hoeger, …, S.D. Rosenzweig, K. Boztug (2021) Identification of Germline Monoallelic Mutations in IKZF2 in Patients with Immune Dysregulation. Blood Advances, 2021006367.

  3. T. Shahin, H.S. Kuehn, M.R. Shoeb, Gawriyski L., Giuliani S., Repiscak P, B. Hoeger, Ö.Y. Petronczki, S. Köstel Bal, S. Zoghi, J. Dmytrus, D. Seruggia, I. Castanon, N. Rezaei, M. Varjosalo, F. Halbritter, S.D. Rosenzweig, K. Boztug (2021) Germline biallelic mutation affecting the transcription factor Helios causes pleiotropic defects of immunity. Science Immunology 6, 65.

  4. E. Salzer, S. Zoghi, M.G. Kiss, F. Kage, C. Rashkova, S. Stahnke, M. Haimel, R. Platzer, M. Caldera, R.C. Ardy, B. Hoeger, J. Block, D. Medgyesi, C. Sin, S. Shahkarami, R. Kain, V. Ziaee, P. Hammerl, C. Bock, J. Menche, L. Dupre, J.B. Huppa, M. Sixt, A. Lomakin, K. Rottner, C.J. Binder, T.B. Stradal, N. Rezaei, K. Boztug (2020) The cytoskeletal regulator HEM1 governs B cell development and prevents autoimmunity. Science Immunology 5, eabc3979.

  5. M. Thian, B. Hoeger, A. Kamnev, F. Poyer, S. Köstel Bal, M. Caldera, R. Jimenez Heredia, J. Huemer, W.F. Pickl, M. Groß, S. Ehl, C.L. Lucas, J. Menche, C. Hutter, A. Attarbashi, L. Dupre, K. Boztug (2020) Germline biallelic PIK3CG mutations in a multifaceted immunodeficiency with immune dysregulation. Haematologica 105, e488.

  6. N.K. Serwas*, B. Hoeger*, R.C. Ardy, S.V. Stulz, Z. Sui, …, D.M. Sansom, Y.T. Bryceson, A. Altman, K. Boztug (2019) Human DEF6 deficiency underlies an immunodeficiency syndrome with systemic autoimmunity and aberrant CTLA-4 homeostasis. Nature Communications 10, 3106. (*geteilte Erstautorenschaft)

  7. B. Hoeger, N.K. Serwas, K. Boztug (2018) Human NF-kB1 haploinsufficiency and Epstein-Barr virus-induced disease – Molecular mechanisms and consequences. Frontiers in Immunology 8, 1978. Review

  8. B. Hoeger, M. Diether, P.J. Ballester, M. Köhn (2014) Biochemical evaluation of virtual screening methods reveals a cell-active inhibitor of the cancer-promoting phosphatases of regenerating liver. The European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 88, 89-100.

  9. C. Meyer, B. Hoeger, K. Temmerman, M. Tatarek-Nossol, V. Pogenberg, J. Bernhagen, M. Wilmanns, A. Kapurniotu, M. Köhn (2014) Development of accessible peptidic tool compounds to study the phosphatase PTP1B in intact cells. ACS Chemical Biology 21, 769-76.

  10. Populärwissenschaftlicher Artikel

    B. Hoeger, N.K. Serwas, K. Boztug. (2020) Lernen von Gendefekten – Mechanismen der Autoimmunität und Immuntherapie. Spectrum Onkologie 01/2020.

  11. Buchkapitel

    B. Hoeger, M. Köhn (2014) Strategies for designing specific protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors and their intracellular activation. In: Concepts and Case Studies in Chemical Biology. H. Waldmann and P. Janning (Eds.) Wiley-VCH, 37ff.