Our group is committed to understanding complex immune responses in the context of human clinical diseases. The main focus is to directly visualize the behavior of immune cells during inflammation and infection by using cutting edge technology, including spinning-disk confocal and multi-photon microscopy. Imaging complex cellular behaviors in real time, both in vitro and in vivo, provides a unique window into these dynamic processes.
Autoinflammatory syndromes including Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF), PAPA-Syndrome, and PAMI-Syndrome come along with an overactivation of neutrophils, monocytes or macrophages. Genetic mutations in proteins (pyrin/PSTPIP1) that play a role in inflammasome activation and uncontrolled cytokine secretion have been found in patients with autoinflammatory syndromes. However, these mutated proteins are also associated with the cytoskeleton and migration, but how the mutations affect the crawling, adhesion or transmigration behavior of phagocytes is completely unknown so far. By using intravital spinning-disk confocal and multi-photon microscopy in combination with the CRISPR/Cas technique our group aims to study the effects of these mutations in more detail in liver, kidneys, skin, and lymph nodes.
Another area of interest is the peritoneal cavity and the function of its macrophages in infections. We have shown previously, that the Gata6+ macrophages are help to shield S. aureus from neutrophils and delay neutrophil infiltration, which results in more dissemination (Jorch et al., JCI 2019). Now, we developed a way to visualize the peritoneal cavity with multi-photon microscopy which will help us to gain a deeper view into mechanistically details.
Interested and highly motivated students for rotations, bachelor-, or master thesis are welcome.
Feel free to contact us and send your CV and possibly a research topic you are interested in to Dr. Selina Jorch via Email.