02. March 2022

Prof. Dr. Rayk Behrendt Prof. Dr. Rayk Behrendt

Professorship (W2) for Nucleic Acid Immunity

Rayk Behrendt took over the W2 professorship for Nucleic Acid Immunity with tenure track as of March 1, 2022. The professorship is associated with the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology of the Medical Faculty Bonn.

Prof. Dr. Rayk Behrendt
Prof. Dr. Rayk Behrendt © privat
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His scientific career began in 2000 with a degree in biology at the University of Greifswald. However, already during his studies it led him to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. Here he also seamlessly completed his doctoral thesis in the field of molecular virology as a collaborative project between the RKI and the Charité. After completing his dissertation, Behrendt moved to the Institute of Immunology at the University of Dresden in 2009.

Since 2017, he has headed his own junior research group there. The focus of his research activities is particularly on the innate immune system and its receptors for recognizing nucleic acids as potential pathogens. Under certain conditions, these receptors can no longer distinguish between foreign and endogenous nucleic acids. This leads to a false activation of the immune system and the triggering of a type-1 interferon-dominated immune response. The result is a systemic inflammatory response and, in extreme cases, the development of autoimmunity. Behrendt's goal is to identify the sources of cell-genic immune-stimulatory nucleic acids to better understand molecular causes of this group of sterile inflammatory diseases and to create novel approaches for therapies.

In Bonn, Behrendt will continue this work, paying particular attention to the role of viral sequences encoded in the genome, which account for almost half of our genetic information. With his scientific and methodological expertise, he will further expand the research focus "Immunosciences and Infection". We wish him every success in his research projects and welcome him to our faculty.

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