About us

SFB 650 concept, contact data and competences.


Research objectives and overall scientific concept.

Uncontrolled immune reactions can lead to a diverse spectrum of chronic, sometimes even life-threatening diseases with high socio-economic impact, such as rheumatic diseases, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases as well as allergies. In addition, immune rejection is the major obstacle in transplantation, requiring lifelong immunosuppression. These diseases are common, almost invariably chronic, and of immense socioeconomic impact. Available immunosuppressive treatments improve the disease, yet more than 30% of patients are refractory to such therapies, and so far therapy does not provide a cure, i.e. long-term therapy-free remission. Even worse, long-term treatment with these drugs can give rise to substantial adverse effects resulting in high costs.The objective of the collaborative research centre (SFB) 650 is to contribute novel approaches to this enduring need for better therapies. Combining the most advanced expertise on the field of cellular immunology, a variety of concepts is being developed by the contributing projects that target the three key challenges:

· how can we  suppress or even eliminate pathogenic responses without harming the protective immunity,

· how can we induce or enhance tolerance, the physiological, self-sustaining shield against,

· how can we select the most suitable patient and time point for the new approaches and how can we measure success/failure of our therapy, in other words to personalize the therapeutic approachesInsights from recent studies, notably the cure of autoimmunity by immunoablation followed by immune reconstitution as carried out in our SFB, has provided evidence that autoimmunity can be cured, but success requires both efficient depletion of pathogenic cells and reconstitution of a tolerant immune system while keeping the immune system able to defend against infection. Similarly, intense studies on the rare long-term drug-free transplant patients by members of the SFB revealed molecular pattern of operational tolerance opening new therapeutic approaches. The projects of SFB650 contribute a variety of concepts how these needs can be fulfilled with novel approaches and strive to bring these concepts from bench to bedside.