Immunosciences and Infection
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Research Focus Immunosciences and Infection


  • Founding member of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) of the Helmholtz Association
  • Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation since 2012
  • Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation² since 2019


Avatar Hartmann

Prof. Dr. med. Gunther Hartmann

Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology


At a Glance

Since the foundation of the first immunological institute at the Medical Faculty in 2003, the immunological-infectiological focus has developed extremely dynamically. In 2011, the research focus became a founding member of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) of the Helmholtz Association and since 2012, the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation exists. This success story is now continued with the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation², which has been funded since January 2019. In addition, the SFB/Transregio 237 "Nucleic Acid Immunity" has been funded since 2018, and the SFB 1454 "Metaflammation and Cellular Programming" since 2020. The development of the internationally recoginzed and high-output research focus is accompanied by the establishment of 14 new professorships and two new institutes in this discipline.

Through the thematic area "Neuroinflammation", the research focus Immunosciences and Infection is closely linked to the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the research focus Neurosciences.  The training of excellent young scientists and future leaders is a central concern of the members of our multidisciplinary network. Therefore, structured and interconnected training programs for young scientists at all levels - from Master's degree to junior group leadership - have been developed at the Medical Faculty. Particularly noteworthy in this context are the international DFG-funded Bonn-Melbourne PhD Program, as well as the cooperation with the Center of Excellence for Immunology in Osaka, Japan (IFReC). A special focus is the support of equal opportunities for men and women in science.

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Current Events

Seminars, events and news can be found on the website of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation. 


Selected research associations listed alphabetically

BMBF: BM-AXIS "Bonn-Melbourne Academy for Excellence in Immunosciences”333
Speaker for Germany: Prof. Christian Kurts, Prof. Robert Finger
BMBF: COVIMMUNE "Studies on immune system function and disease progression of COVID-19"444
Speaker: Prof. Eicke Latz
BMBF: DZIF "NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases)-Consortium"555
Coordinator: Prof. Achim Hörauf
BMBF: DZIF location Bonn-Köln66
Speaker: Prof. Achim Hörauf
BMBF: DZIF TTU9: „Novel antibiotics”77
Coordinator: Prof. Rolf Müller (HZI Saarland); co-coordinators: Prof. Achim Hörauf und Prof. Wolfgang Wohlleben (University of Tübingen)
BMBF: ProteoCoV "Proteostasis as a target for antiviral therapies against SARS-CoV-2"88
Coordinator: Dr. Nils Gassen
BMBF: TAKeOFF „Tackling the Obstacles to Fight Filariasis”99
Coordinator: Prof. Achim Hörauf
DFG: Cluster of Excellence „ImmunoSensation“
Speaker: Prof. Gunther Hartmann, co-speaker: Prof. Waldemar Kolanus
since 01/2019 continuation with Cluster of Excellence "ImmunoSensation²"
Speaker: Prof. Gunther Hartmann, Prof. Waldemar Kolanus, Prof. Eicke Latz

DFG: FOR 2743 "Mechanical Stress Protection"
Speaker: Prof. Jörg Höhfeld (Bonn), subproject: Prof. Dagmar Wachten
DFG: GRK 2168 „Bo&MeRanG: Myeloid antigen presenting cells and the induction of adaptive immunity”
Speaker: Prof. Christian Kurts
DFG: SFB 914 "Trafficking of Immune Cells in Inflammation, Development and Disease"
Speaker: Prof. Barbara Walzog (LMU München), subproject: Prof. Felix Meissner
DFG: SFB 1123 "Atherosclerosis: Mechanisms and Networks of Novel Therapeutic Targets"
Speaker: Prof. Christian Weber (LMU München), subproject: PD Peter Düwell, Prof. Eicke Latz
DFG: SFB 1192 "Immune-Mediated Glomerular Diseases - Basic Concepts and Clinical Implications"
Speaker: Prof. Rolf A.K. Stahl (UKE Hamburg), subproject: Prof. Christian Kurts
DFG: SFB 1328 "Adenine Nucleotides in Immunity and Inflammation"
Speaker: Prof. Andreas H. Guse (UKE Hamburg), subproject: Prof. Alexander Pfeifer
DFG: SFB 1335 "Aberrant Immune Signals in Cancer"
Speaker: Prof. Jürgen Ruland (LMU München), subproject: Prof. Felix Meissner
DFG: SFB 1399 "Mechanisms of drug sensitivity and resistance in small cell lung cancer"
Speaker: Prof. Roman Thomas (Köln), subproject; Prof. Michael Hölzel
DFG: SFB 1403 "Cell Death in Immunity, Inflammation and Disease"
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Manolis Pasparakis, Ph.D.(Köln), subproject: Prof. Eicke Latz, Dr. Florian I. Schmidt
DFG: SFB 1454 "Metaflammation and Cellular Programming"
Speaker: Prof. Eicke Latz
SFB-TRR 83 "Molecular Architecture and Cellular Functions of Lipid/Protein Assemblies"
Speaker: T. Söllner (Heidelberg), subproject: Prof. Eicke Latz, Prof. Dagmar Wachten
DFG: SFB-TRR 237 „Nucleic Acid Immunity“
Speaker: Prof. Gunther Hartmann, equally funded: TU Dresden, LMU München
DFG: SFB-TRR 261 "Antibiotic CellMAP - Cellular mechanisms of antibiotic action and production"
Speaker: Prof. Heike Brötz-Oesterhelt (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen), Prof. Tanja Schneider
DFG: SFB-TRR 274 "Checkpoints of Central Nervous System Recovery"
Speaker: Prof. Mikael Jakobs Simons (München); subproject: Prof. Felix Meissner
DFG SPP 1726 "Microswimmers - From Single Particle Motion to Collective Behaviour"
Speaker: Prof. Gerhard Gompper (Jülich), subproject: Prof. Dagmar Wachten
DFG: SPP 1923 "Innate Sensing and Restriction of Retroviruses"
Speaker: Prof. Oliver T. Fackler (Heidelberg), subproject: Prof. Eicke Latz, Dr. Florian Schmidt
DFG: SPP 1926 "Next Generation Optogenetics: Tool Development and Application"
Speaker: Prof. Alexander Gottschalk (Frankfurt), subproject: Prof. Philipp Sasse, Prof. Dagmar Wachten
DFG: SPP 1937  "Innate Lymphoid Cells"
Speaker: Prof. Andreas Diefenbach (Berlin), subproject: Prof. Christoph Wilhelm, Prof. Jacob Nattermann
Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation: BonnNI Graduate School „NeuroImmunology“
Speaker: Prof. Albert Becker and Prof. Michael Hölzel
Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation: „Clinician Scientist”-Program „Innate Immunity in Chronic Organ Dysfunction”
Speaker: Prof. Jörg Kalff
EU: HELP "Establishment of a pan-nematode drug development platform"
Speaker: Prof. Jennifer Keiser (Switzerland), Bonn: Prof. Achim Hörauf
EU: NSETHIO "Nodding Syndrome: a trans-disciplinary approach to identify the cause and decrease the incidence of river epilepsy"
Speaker: Prof. R. Colebunders (Belgium); Bonn: Prof. Achim Hörauf
EU: PHAGO "New therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer´s Disease"
Speaker: Prof. Harald Neumann
EU: TO-AITION "A high-dimensional approach for unwinding immune-metabolic causes of cardiovascular disease-depression multimorbidities"
Coordination: Dr. Evangelos Andreakos (Greece); Bonn: Prof. Eicke Latz
Helmholtz Excellence Network Initiative EXN: „Role of inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases“
Co-Speakers: Prof. Gunther Hartmann, Prof. Eicke Latz, Prof. Joachim L. Schultze

MPI for the Neurobiology of Behavior
The Max Planck Institute for the Neurobiology of Behavior is mainly focues on neuroscience research. It is closely linked to the neuroscience focus through co-appointments with the Medical Faculty, close cooperation in collaborative projects (SFB 1089), and joint graduate schools (BIGS Neuroscience, IMPRS "Brain and Behavior").

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
The foundation of the DZNE in 2009 decisively strengthened translational research in Bonn. The close collaboration between working groups of the Neurosciences Research Center and the DZNE was further intensified by the occupation of the state-of-the-art DZNE building in 2016 in close proximity to the Neurocenter. The collaboration in clinical research is particularly close.

Several clinicians of the Neurocenter have an affiliation in the DZNE at the same time. Since the foundation of the DZNE, several neuroscience professorships based on the Jülich model have been established together with the DZNE. The DZNE operates several technological platforms to which researchers of the Medical Faculty have access.

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award (DFG): Prof. Gunther Hartmann (2012), Prof. Christian Kurts (2012), Prof. Eicke Latz (2018)
  • ERC Starting Grants: Prof. Katrin Paeschke "G-quadruplex DNA Structures and Genome Stability", Prof. Bernardo Franklin „Plat-IL-1: Pathophysiology of platelet-derived Interleukin 1"
  • Emmy Noether Junior Research Group (DFG): Dr. Florian Schmidt „Elucidating inflammasome activation with alpaca single domain antibodies”
  • InCa Research Award (Novartis): Dr. Nicole Glodde (2020)
  • German Neurodermatitis Young Scientist Award: PD Dr. Wenming Peng (2021)
  • Highly Cited Researchers: Prof. Eicke Latz (2018, 2019, 2020) and Dr. Hiroki Kato
  • Fleur Hiege Memorial Award: Dr. Nicole Glodde (2018)
  • Günter Landbeck Excellence Award (GLEA) für exzellente Hämophilie-Forschung: Dr. Heike Singer (2018)
  • Teaching Award of the University of Bonn: Prof. Peter Brossart (2018)
  • Peter and Traudl Engelhorn Foundation Research Award: Dr. Florian I. Schmidt (2017)
  • Bench to bedside: Patent licensing to the company AduroBiotech (2014)
  • Bench to bedside: Spin-off of Rigontec GmbH and takeover by Merck, USA (2017)
  • Bench to bedside: Spin-off of IFM Therapeutics and partial sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb (2017)

Organization & Promotion of Young Talent

Organizational Structure

Institutes of Immunosciences and Infection (I3)
The "Institutes of Immunosciences and Infection (I3)" were established as the coordinating umbrella structure of the Immunosciences and Infection research focus of the Medical Faculty. The goals of the I3 are the networking of interdisciplinary scientists working in Immunosciences and Infection and the further increase of the international visibility and scientific excellence of their work. In addition, assistance is to be provided for the coordination and support of interdisciplinary projects, for the acquisition of cooperative third-party funding, and for the support of graduate students and young scientists. To this end, a coordinating infrastructure has been established through which resources can be optimally deployed through synergies in the use of staff and materials.

The I3 promote the transfer of knowledge from basic research results to clinical application, the expansion of industrial cooperation, and the presentation of scientific and structural content to the public. Furthermore, the I3 are dedicated to the promotion of structured, research-oriented training concepts and the international exchange of scientists.

Education Structure

The goal is to train future leaders in immunological-infectiological research. To this end, we provide young scientists with knowledge in state-of-the-art technologies and the latest scientific results. Within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, we offer excellent Bachelor's and Master's programs as well as structured programs for postdocs, young group leaders and tenure-track professors. The English master's program "Medical Immunosciences and Infection" at the Medical Faculty teaches the underlying mechanisms and treatment of immune-mediated, inflammatory and infectious diseases. It complements the bachelor's program "Molecular Biomedicine"2020 at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Graduates can continue their doctoral studies in the BIGS Graduate School Immunosciences and Infection22, a joint institution of the Medical Faculty and LIMES. In the Bonn School of Advanced Studies in Immunology, postdocs, junior group leaders and tenure track professors can take advantage of further training opportunities, mentoring programs and career counseling. International networking is promoted at all levels of education.

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