November 2023: The inaugural CoPILOT retreat of TRR359 (http://www.perinatal-immunity.de/en) at Kloster Schöntal, Germany.
Commencing with a welcome address by program coordinators and board PIs, the retreat aimed to foster collaboration and intellectual exchange. Scientific sessions of the first two days featured engaging talk and poster sessions, chaired by PhD students, encouraging interactive discussions. Ramin, Dogus and Kaushikk from the lab took part in the retreat and presented their projects to the attendees. The lab members also got to interact with other PhD students who work on fields allied to the interests of the lab, and got good insights on optimising single-cell RNA sequencing experiments.
Amidst networking opportunities during breaks and luncheons, evenings offered recreational activities, promoting camaraderie through billiards, darts, and table tennis. A tour of Schwäbisch Hall showcased historical architecture and included a visit to a centuries-old pharmacy.
The retreat culminated in a session focusing on supervision, presenting survey results on effective mentorship, emphasizing regular discussions and goal-setting between mentors and students. The event came to a close after celebrating achievements and reiterating commitment to ongoing research and collaboration within the TRR359 consortium. Overall, the retreat fostered a collective passion for science and forged strong
September 2023: Catching up with old and new lab Members
Excited to have Lab alumni Nikos Papaioannou visit the institute to catch us up about his newest discoveries. Looking forward to seeing his story on the metabolic regulation of dendritic cell function develop.
June 2023: PhD retreat and international conference on Cardiac Regeneration & Vascular Biology in Venice
Kaushikk, Doğuş, Ramin and Vanessa attended the 10th Cardiac Regeneration & Vascular Biology conference in Venice in late June. The conference too place at the monastery on the secluded island of San Servolo. Scientific highlights included a keynote by Keith Young on Genome Editing and work on inflammasome activation in vascular inflammation in the context of cardiac disease. Great discussions were had after Ramin presented his work on how weaning impacts dendritic cells and at the Posters of the others. Great to be back at in person student retreats and conferences after a long Covid downtime.
June 2023: Kick of Retreat of the TRR356 - PILOT at the Villa Vigoni.
Exciting scientific exchange with colleagues from the newly funded research center on the development of perinatal immune topology in the beautiful Villa Vigoni at the Comer lake. Looking very much forward to the interactions to come in the next years.
February 2023: Meeting of the DGFI Work Group Dendritic Cells in Waischenfeld Germany
Great start to the new year with a wonderful scientific exchange with colleagues from Germany and Austria. Barbara opened the meeting with an overview of our early life projects. Hamsa presented her project on neonatal DCs right after and did a great job at her first talk at a meeting. Great discussions were had and I am looking forward to seeing where all the projects are headed. The Science walk through the beautiful winter landscape was a nice break for informal exchange.
November 2022: new project funded
Excited to share that our new Collaborative Research Center "Perinatal Development of Immune Topology" will be fundend by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
Great Team effort. Looking forward to getting started on understanding perinatal DC Biology.
October 2022: 16th International Symposium on Dendritic Cells
It was wonderful to be back at the International Symposium for dendritic cells after a Covid related cancellation. The organisers put on a fantastic conference in beautiful Cairns, Australia. Despite to travel the conference saw lots of exciting speakers from all over the world. Barbara shared some of our unpublished work related to dendritic cell heterogeneity and function in early life. "It is great to see that our data raised lots of interest in the community!" The extracurricular activities, such as snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef provided an additional opportunity for networking in a relaxing environment (if you ignore the sea sickness that got the better part of some). Can't wait to meet in Spain in 2 years time.
June 2022: Congratulations to our collaborators from the Krug Lab!
They revisit DC precursor heterogeneity using single cells RNA sequencing and high dimensional flow cytometry to show that Ly6D+Siglec-H+ precursors contribute to conventional dendritic cells via a Zbtb46+Ly6D+ intermediary stage. They further show that type I IFN modulates DC output from the progenitors by promoting pDC and inhibiting cDC differentiation. Just out in Nature Communications:
February 2022: Congratulations Barbara on receiving Tenure.
Not quite as big of a celebration as we would have liked. But at least the team was able to toast to the occasion with Champagne and some real Indian treats donated by Hamsa. I want to thank everyone for their support in the last year. We are looking forward to many more exciting findings from the lab.
January 2022: We are recruiting PhD students and/or Postdocs
Dendritic cells are key activators of immunity that in neonates are qualitatively distinct from adults. Why such age-dependent differences exist is unclear but newborn dendritic cells are often considered underdeveloped or functionally immature. In contrast to this dogma, Nikos has found that despite exhibiting age-dependent differences in cell function some dendritic cell subtypes in early life are fully competent to induce T cell responses (Papaioannou et al., Nature Communications, 2021).
We are now recruting a PhD student or Postdoc to help define the molecular mechanisms underlying the age-dependent regulation of dendritic cells and dissect the ability of early life dendritic cells to induce protective immunity in settings of vaccination. Additionally, we have become interested in allergic diseases that often develop in early life and the incidence of childhood allergies continues to rise. We are looking to recruit a PhD student or Postdoc to investigate the influence of cytokine signals and early life microbial encounter on the ability of DCs to shape type II immune responses in barrier organs with age. The second project is integrated into the Forschergruppe (FOR) 2599 (https://www.for2599.de/).The applicant will use high dimensional single cell technology (flow cytometry and transcriptomics) and DC lineage specific knock out mice of cytokine signalling to gain mechanistic insights into the regulation of DC function with age.
September 2021: Paper out in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - Congratulations Natasha, Xingqi and Dalia!
https://www.pnas.org/content/118/39/e2022311118 We show that CD64+ mononuclear phagocytes limit cisplatin nephrotoxicity using a CD64-driven Cre-inducible diphtheria toxin receptor and targeting of cDC1 and cDC2.
July 2021: Congratulations
In times of Corona the defense party had a slightly different format. We are nonetheless excited for yet another PhD from the Schraml lab. Congratulations Nikos!
April 2021: new project funded
Excited to join forces with the National Research Network for Investigation of Induction and Regulation of Innate Type 2 Immune Responses of Tissues. Within this DFG-funded "Forschergruppe" we aim to understand the age-dependent signals driving dendritic cells to promote type 2 immunity. https://www.for2599.de/
December 2020: Congratulations Nikos! Paper out in Nature Communications!
Neonatal cDC2 have a dual hematopoietic origin and are not immature, as previously thought.
Congratulations Dr. Rambichler!
Well done on defending your thesis online. At least we had a chance to toast. Big celebration to follow post Corona!
Congratulations Dr. Salvermoser!
Well done on defending the thesis in front of a small but live audience!
Cheers Natasha and Stephan on having their paper"The kidney contains ontogenetically distinct dendritic cell and macrophage subtypes throughout development that differ in their inflammatory properties" accepted in Journal of American Society of Nephrology!
October 2019: Third annual lab Retreat in Fügen Austria
Barbara's Account of the lab retreat: What a wonderful occasion and setting again to hear the progress everyone made on their projects in the last year. I am particularly proud of the achievements of Natasha and Stephan. Their paper on the developmental heterogeneity of renal mononuclear phagocytes has been accepted at Journal of American Society of Nephrology. This year we took the time for a beautiful hike on the Spieljoch mountain. While challenging for some it was great to see the team work got us all back to the cable car on time! And fun was head by all. Looking forward to next year.
September 2019: Joint Meeting SIICA and DGfI
This September Vanessa, Stephan and Natasha attended the Joint meeting of the SIICA and GDfI: Here is what they have to say about it:
Vanessa: This year we have been lucky to have a big and great meeting of the German and Italian society of immunology directly in front of our door in the halls of LMU Munch. Three of our lab had the opportunity to attend 3 full days of interesting scientific talks, intensive discussions and social interactions with old and new faces. Throughout these three days we learned a lot about the newest developments in the whole immune system and were able to put our own project into a bigger context. We heard and learned new and other techniques in exciting lunch session and also in scientific talks and how these techniques could be useful for our lab. Further on we all had the opportunity to present the story of our projects in a poster session and hereby we received input for further experiments or questions that should be addressed.
Over all it was a really interesting and exciting conference and we hope to attend the next.
Stephan: This year the DGFI conference took place in our hometown directly at the LMU for us it was a great opportunity to hear about newest developments in immunology. We listened to great talks for example by Carl June about CAR-T cells in the historic main lecture hall of the LMU and Michael Mihlan about hungry mast cells. I also had the opportunity to talk to colleagues about my project at my poster. The conference ended in a fun networking evening/party at the Hofbräuhaus München.
February 2019: 3rd Meeting of the Study Group Dendritic Cells (AKDC) in Budenheim near Mainz
Johanna had a chance to talk about her latest data regarding a lymphoid origin of DCs and Natallia presented a poster about her developing story about the ontogeny of mononuclear phagocytes in the kidney.
Here is what Natallia and Johanna say about the AKDC meeting: We are very happy to have attended this meeting, which took place in a nice castle in the middle of forest. We had the opportunity to hear about newest developments in the field of dendritic cell biology and are excited to have presented our own data in front of our colleagues. The friendly atmosphere of the meeting promoted a lively discussion with other PIs, postdocs and PhD students. After session time allows us to make new contacts and broaden our network. We are looking forward to next year's meeting.
January 2019: "Understanding the Functional Properties of Neonatal Dendritic Cells: A Doorway to Enhance Vaccine Effectiveness?"
Well done Nikos on his review "Understanding the Functional Properties of Neonatal Dendritic Cells: A Doorway to Enhance Vaccine Effectiveness?" published in Frontiers in Immunology.
September 2018: European Congress of Immunology - Amsterdam
Nikos' view on the congress in the Netherlands:
September kicked off really exciting as the 5th European Congress of Immunology was held in Amsterdam. Representing the lab, I participated with a poster presentation and had the opportunity to attend interesting talks that covered many aspects of the broad Immunology field. Particularly interesting were all the Keynote lectures, where renowned scientists presented their newest data and projects. These lectures were accompanied by similarly important ‘Late Breaking Hot Topic’ sessions, featuring a selection of soon-to-be-published papers from top scientific journals. In addition, the poster sessions were one of the main cores of the meeting and I really enjoyed presenting my work and critically discussing aspects of my project with fellow immunologists. Overall, it was a very interesting experience and I am looking forward to attending the next meeting, hopefully with more exciting data to present.
June 2018: Lab Retreat in Westendorf
Marsci's account of our retreat in Westendorf, Austria:
In June, it was time for my first lab retreat in the gorgeous mountains of the Austrian Alps. We were lucky with the weather and had lots of opportunity to enjoy the sun on the terrace of our apartment together with the amazing views of the surrounding hills. Each lab members presented the progress of their project made in the last yearfollowed by fruitful and heated discussions about future ideas. In the evenings we enjoyed the food prepared by ourselves in teams and continued our discussions sometimes quite late into the night. Besides science, we found time to take a nice walk to the cute Straubinger Käsealm, where we filled our stomach with delicious local cheese and meat products (in the company of hundreds of wasps). Those who were crazier for hiking, such as Claudia and me, had an additional morning walk up to the nearby Sonnalm to watch the sunrise.
May 2018: Congratulations to Johanna on publishing her first paper!
Clec9a-Mediated Ablation of Conventional Dendritic Cells Suggests a Lymphoid Path to Generating Dendritic Cells In Vivo.
In our most recent study, we set out to generate a DC depletion model based on deletion of Clec9a-expressing DC progenitors. To achieve this we crossed Clec9a-Cre mice to Rosa-lox-stop-lox-Diptheria Toxin reporter mice. We find that these mice show a complete loss of dendritic cell progenitors, but, to our surprise, do not exhibit a complete paucity of differentiated DCs. Specifically, cells with phenotypic characteristics of cDC2 populate the spleen and other periperhal organs of the mice. These cells are functionally and transcriptionally similar to cDCs in wild type control mice but show somatic rearrangements of Ig-heavy chain genes, characteristic of lymphoid origin cells. Our studies reveal a previously unappreciated developmental heterogeneity of cDCs and suggest that when myeloid cDC progenitors are impaired, the lymphoid lineage can generate cells with features of cDCs. We are currently investigating the origin and in vivo functions of the 'lymphoid' DC2 in further detail.
IRTG914: Student Retreat at the Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Italy, September 25-28 2017
In September our PhD students were invited by the IRTG914 to a Joint Scientific Retreat with the CiM-IMPRS Münster. This provided a great opportunity to present progress and get an overview about projects of others in form of a talk or a poster in a fantastic scientific atmosphere. Keynote lectures by Jamey Marth (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA) and Emilio Hirsch (Torino) gave insight into their current research on inflammation at mucosal borders and scaffold functions of PI3Kgamma to fight airway infection, respectively. The trip was rounded up by a guided boat tour over lake como and a trip to Bellagio, where the beautiful landscape and Italian flair could be enjoyed.
First Lab Retreat: June 26-29 2017 Annaberg/Austria.
Our first lab retreat took place in the secluded Dachstein region of the Austrian Alps. Everyone presented an update on their projects. The relaxed environment of our holiday cottage allowed for lengthy and stimulating discussions leading to exciting ideas for current and future projects. Our scientific exchange was topped up by a scientific debate and some wonderful hiking in (not always) sunny weather.
SFB 914: Retreat in Obergurgl, Austria, March 19-22 2017.
Johanna and Barbara joined the crew of the SFB 914 - Trafficking of Immune Cells in Inflammation, Development and Disease (http://www.sfb914.med.uni-muenchen.de/index.html) for a stimulating scientific exchange in Obergurgl, Austria. Great talks, great posters and a little time for skiing in the beautiful Austrian Alps.