Project area B: functional triggers and consequences of inflammation

This project area aims at a deeper understanding of the correlation between the molecular and cellular dynamics of immune cells, environmental triggers and the consequences of inflammation at the level of tissue and organ function. An emphasis will be placed on novel nanoparticle-based multiscale imaging of local endothelial barrier function to quantitatively assess permeability to both solutes and cells. This will allow a unique analysis of the interdependence of endothelial barrier integrity and immune cell extravasation in vivo. Such novel imaging tools will be applied to specific mouse models with genetically modified endothelial barriers and sterile or bacterially triggered inflammation models to assess the degree and organ-specific heterogeneity of inflammation-associated barrier dysfunction and its correlation to immune cell extravasation. Further, the influence of hypoxia as an important environmental trigger and modulator of innate immune responses will be studied in correlation with endothelial barrier integrity and the temporal and spatial dynamics of distinct immune cell populations. Finally, dynamic PET-MRI will be employed for combined contrast-enhanced and radiotracer-based imaging studies to optimize quantification of inflammatory targets.


  • PEP-2023-02: Multi-scale, model-driven image reconstruction of the tumor micro-environment
    Principal investigator: Christian Engwer (Institute for Applied Mathematics: Analysis and Numerics)
    Project term: 07/2023–06/2024
  • CS-2021-02 – Chemokine receptor CXCR4 in the development of hepatic vascularization and congenital portosystemic venous shunting
    (related to CRC project B04)
    Clinician scientist: Stefanie Bobe (Gerhard-Domagk Institute of Pathology & European Institute for Molecular Imaging)
    Scientific and clinical mentors: Friedemann Kiefer, Eva Wardelmann
    Project term: 01/2022 - 12/2024