The major research topics at the Institute for Transfusion Medicine are molecular immune genetics, molecular immune therapy, cell therapy and molecular immune hematology, potential of stem cell therapy and cytapheresis techniques.
Projects in molecular immune genetics address central clinical questions of transplantation medicine such as Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) and the separation of GvHD from Graft versus Leukemia Reaction (GvLR). Further projects intend to improve to detect anti-HLA and non-HLA antibodies in allogenic and xenogenic organ transplantation and to develop novel methods for identification of such antibodies. A particular interest is the identification and characterization of novel antibodies by the use of recombinant designer proteins. Further projects are about structure and function of immune system and cancer related proteins and about antigen recruitment and presentation through MHC class I molecules.
Projects in molecular immune therapy and cell therapy deal with the generation of antigen-specific T cells against viral disease for potential therapeutic applications in infectious complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation such as infections with the cytomegalovirus (CMV). Further research work focuses the reduction of the immunogenicity of cells or tissues to prevent graft rejection after allogeneic transplantation
In molecular immune hematology various projects focus on genomic characterization and gene expression profiling of erythrocyte surface proteins.
Our stem cell group investigates especially the clinical potential of artificially generated blood cells from induced pluripotent stem cells, but also the therapeutic usage and immunological properties of placenta and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.
Cytapheresis techniques deal with optimization of the preparation of various types of blood cells and plasma and the appropriate clinical application of these blood components.