Normally, the immune system protects us from foreign substances or pathogens by eliciting an immune response generating specific antibodies. However, in a variety of diseases – especially autoimmune disorders – dysfunction of the immune system occurs leading to self-reactive (auto)antibodies. In some cases, these antibodies can cause severe damage to the body, while in other cases their presence is not understood. Our knowledge about their role in disease progression, whether being of significance or simply a bystander effect is vague. Therefore, our group has committed itself to analyse these phenomena in more detail.
The scientific focus of the group centres on
(1) the analysis of V(D)J recombination patterns in immunoglobulin repertoires in healthy individuals and autoimmune patients and
(2) the elucidation of autoantigenicity patters in health and disease.
The methodological portfolio includes the use of Next Generation Sequencing, Phage Display and Protein Array Technologies, as well as combinations thereof.