Infectious Disease Immunology
In the Department of Infectious Disease Immunology we primarily focus on the development of vaccines against Chlamydia trachomatis (one of the leading infectious causes of blindness and infertility worldwide), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world, causing almost 2 million deaths every year). In addition, we perform basic studies on the interactions between the pathogens and the immune system using a variety of tools including proteomics and transcriptomics as well as advanced animals models.
A central part of novel vaccine research is the understanding of early innate signals that initiate and activates the immune system. This work forms the basis for developing next generation adjuvants and delivery systems. The department performs research focused on developing products for use in humans. Resulting from this work, the department has two novel synthetic adjuvants (CAF01 / CAF09) as well as several tuberculosis and a chlamydia vaccine in clinical trials and a number of other vaccines in late preclinical development. In addition, technology developed by the Department has been out-licensed and forms the basis of the most successful new diagnostic tests for tuberculosis – the QuantIFERON and T.spot.TB tests.
The department is led by Frank Follmann and is part of the Center of Vaccine Research. The department is divided into four research groups: Tuberculosis Vaccine Research, Chlamydia Vaccine Research, Veterinary Vaccine Research and Vaccine Adjuvant Research.