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Research Interests


The Infection Immunology group at the RIZ focuses on the role of C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) in infection and inflammation. In our immune system, there are different classes of carbohydrate-binding receptors (so-called lectins) that recognize specific carbohydrate structures on glycoproteins and glycolipids. CLRs represent a large lectin receptor superfamily predominantly expressed by cells of the innate immune system. CLRs recognize conserved glycan structures on pathogens and play a crucial role in the initiation of immune responses.


In our group, the function of CLRs is investigated by using murine models of infection and autoimmunity. We intend to identify novel carbohydrate ligands of CLRs and utilize CLRs to target antigen-presenting cells. Finally, we aim to get a deeper understanding of how CLRs influence inflammatory processes in vivo.


Specifically, we address the following topics (see figure):

  • Identification of novel CLR ligands on pathogens by glycan/glycoprotein array
  • Targeting of CLRs on antigen-presenting cells using carbohydrate ligands
  • Investigation of CLR functions in animal models of infection and autoimmunity.



Institute Immunology


Prof. Dr. Bernd Lepenies
Tel.:+49 511 953-6135
Fax.:+49 511 953-82 6135
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