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While acute inflammation in response to infection or tissue injury represents a physiological reaction with purpose to restore homeostasis, this process can at occasions develop into chronic and damaging conditions. In addition to persistent infections this also happens in conditions such as asthma and allergies, autoimmune diseases and in the more rare conditions of autoinflammation. The main theme of the lab is to understand the regulation of chronic inflammation and fibrosis with a focus on these processes associated with autoimmune disorders. By applying a multifaceted approach including cell and molecular analyses together with in vivo modeling and state-of-the-art intravital imaging we aim to elucidate the earliest events in the development of autoimmune insulitis and the therapeutic potential of manipulating these cellular and molecular events. Particular efforts are on developing and applying the anterior eye chamber transplantation technology to study cell migration and dynamics of key cellular subsets in inflammation.
A second focus of the group is on the mechanisms controlling the transition of chronic inflammatory conditions into fibrosis. This includes exploiting a recently established animal model for generalized inflammation and fibrosis. In this way we aim at dissecting the underlying pathogenic mechanisms and to define potential targets of intervention. Together, these studies will provide insight into and technology for scoring effects on, the progression of inflammatory conditions and fibrosis associated with disease conditions such as e.g. autoimmune diabetes, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosis.