Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin

Principal Investigators:
Andreas Radbruch (immunology)
Gerd-Rüdiger Burmester (rheumatology)

Other key individuals:
Andreas Grützkau (immunology)
Hyun-Dong Chang (immunology)
Falk Hiepe (rheumatology)
Thomas Häupl (rheumatology)
Thomas Dörner (rheumatology).

Role in consortium: DRFZ will focus on the exploration of basal mechanisms responsible for the “pathogenic memory” of T- and B-cell subsets most probably driving the chronicity of autoinflammatory rheumatic diseases. The main goal is to identify and characterize particular cell subsets responsible for a pathogenic immunological memory by global molecular approaches (global gene expression profiling, multiparametric immunophenotyping). By this strategy new biomarkers for monitoring and therapeutical targeting of these cell subsets will be identified, finally aiming to reset the dysregulated immunological tolerance.

Expertise: T- and B cell immunology, immunologic memory, rheumatic diseases, chronic inflammation, immune monitoring, cytometry & cell sorting.

Existing collaborations within the consortium: Within the FP6 integrated project AutoCure collaborations exist with Leiden (Huizinga), Stockholm (Klareskog, Holmdahl), Athens (Kollias), Glasgow (McInnes), Zurich (Gay) and Vienna (Smolen, Steiner). Within the German Research Foundation funded project Immunobone collaboration exists with Erlangen (Schett, Nimmerjahn).