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Immune-microenvironment interactions in health and disease

We investigate the functional relevance of immune cell - stromal microenvironment interaction in the context of the cutaneous immune system in health and disease.

  • The lymph node is composed of stromal cells (reticular fibroblastic cells, lymphatic and blood endothelial cells) that play a key role in organ formation and response to inflammation. In this context, we are interested in the endothelial-mesenchymal crosstalk in lymph node formation and immune cell homeostasis under steady state and inflammatory conditions.
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  • Antigen presenting cells play a key role in controlling the balance between immunity and tolerance. We study this function in the context of arbovirus infections and lupus auto-immunity. Our team has highlighted the importance of human dermal CD14+ dendritic cells and macrophages in dengue virus infection and pathogenesis. In addition, we study the local activation of skin-resident memory T cells by cutaneous antigen presenting cells.
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  • To translate our fundamental research to tangible applications, we generate complex human model systems. We are in the process of completing an immunocompetent human skin equivalent.
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