AG Diefenbach - Mikrobiologie und Infektionsimmunologie

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The Diefenbach laboratory studies development and function of the innate immune system, in particular of innate lymphoid cells (ILC). A current focus is to obtain a molecular understanding of how the innate immune system, by integrating environmental signals,  contributes to tissue physiology. Recent studies have revealed ever more intriguing relationships between innate immune system components and basic developmental and biological processes that are likely to reveal unsuspected pathways by which the immune system might be plumbed to improve health and healthspan.

Lab Interests

  • Transcriptional and epigenetic control of ILC development and function
  • The role of the innate immune system in the adaptation of multicellular organisms to their environments
  • The role of the indigenous microbiota in calibrating innate immunity


Principal Investigator
Dr. Andreas Diefenbach (

Dr. Nora Kofoed-Branzk, Postdoc
Dr. Oliver Hoelsken, Postdoc
Dr. Nora Kofoed-Branzk, Postdoc
Dr. Irene Mattiola, Postdoc
Dr. Christian Neuemann, Postdoc
Dr. Mario Witkowski, Postdoc

PhD students
Anna Carolina Fagundes Fonseca, PhD student
Stylianos Gnafakis, PhD student
Fabian Guendel-Rojas, PhD student
Michael Kofoed-Branzk, PhD student
Bruno Rocha, PhD student
Laura Schaupp, PhD student
Omer Shomrat, PhD student
Caroline Tizian, PhD student

Karin Oberle
Thordis Hohnstein

Sandra Becker (

Selected Publications

Gronke, K., P.P.Hernández, J.Zimmermann, C.S.N.Klose, M.Kofoed-Branzk, F.Guendel, M.Witkowski, C.Tizian, L. Amann, F.Schumacher, H.Glatt, A.Triantafyllopoulou, and A.Diefenbach. 2019. Interleukin-22 protects intestinal stem cells against genotoxic stress. Nature. 566:249-253.

Hernandez, P.P., T.Mahlakoiv, I.Yang, V.Schwierzeck, N.Nguyen, F.Guendel, K.Gronke, B.Ryffel, C.Hoelscher, L.Dumoutier, J.C. Renauld, S.Suerbaum, P.Staeheli, A.Diefenbach. 2015. Interferon-l and interleukin-22 cooperate for the induction of interferon-stimulated genes and control of rotavirus infection. Nature Immunology. 16:698-707.

Klose, C.S.N., M.Flach, L.Möhle, L.Rogell, T.Hoyler, C.Fabiunke, K.Ebert, D.Pfeifer, V.Sexl, D.Fonseca Pereira, R.G.Domingues, H.Veiga-Fernandes, S.Arnold, I.R.Dunay, Y.Tanriver, and A.Diefenbach. 2014. Differentiation of type 1 ILCs from a common progenitor to helper-like innate lymhoid cell lineages. Cell. 157:340-356.

Klose, C.S.N., E.A.Kiss, V.Schwierzeck, K.Ebert, T.Hoyler, Y.d’Hargues, N.Göppert, A.L.Croxford, A.Waisman, Y.Tanriver, and A.Diefenbach. 2013. A T-bet gradient controls the fate and function of CCR6- RORgt+ innate lymphoid cells. Nature. 494:261-265.