Molecular and cellular defense mechanisms of the innate and the adaptive immune system protect organisms against harmful pathogens and against the development of malignant cells. However, overreactions of the immune system are responsible for the establishment of immune-mediated diseases such as allergy, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, psoriasis and atherosclerosis. It is of enormous importance for contemporary biomedical science to increase the knowledge about the mode of action of the immune system in order to design better therapies for the cure of these life-threatening diseases.
Within the program, PhD students will have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects ranging from basic aspects of immune cell development and function to infection immunology, from the analysis of disease mechanisms in autoimmunity and allergy to the development of therapeutic strategies of immune-related diseases. Currently, approximately 20 research laboratories hosting more than 50 PhD students are involved in the program. Thus, students in the program can either focus on basic research projects to investigate fundamental immunological processes or perform disease-oriented research