Cancer & Immunology | Immune Mechanisms and Human Antibodies
Kathrin de la Rosa
Our motivation is to address fundamental biological questions of human immunology and translate them into innovative therapies. In this respect, the core interest of our laboratory lies in the discovery of new applications of antibodies and B cells to treat and prevent challenging human diseases.
An enormous diversity of antibodies protects us from various infectious diseases by binding and neutralizing pathogens. During an infection, B cells undergo maturation processes including the acquisition of beneficial mutations followed by subsequent selection to increase the potency of antibodies. However, for some diseases the body’s immune system fails to induce natural protection. We study antibody maturation to understand how diversity is generated and which determinants are important to elicit potent protection.
Using high-throughput cellular and molecular screening methodologies, in vitro cultivation methods, and functional studies, our laboratory seeks out novel applications for B cells and antibodies to preserve human health.
Main projects and grants
CoVipa – Helmholtz Network Fund
CoViPa is a joint research initiative of 7 Helmholtz institutes and 3 university partners. Together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Wessling) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg) we aim develop targeted immunomodulatory strategies by means of AI-based robotic platforms.
Johanna Quandt Fellowship of the Stiftung Charité
The goal of this program is to develop and study innovative approaches for two challenges of translational immunology: cellular vaccines for improved humoral immunity and the use antibodies to modulate T cell responses.
Starting grant of the European research council (ERC)
This research project aims to develop novel strategies for B cell engineering exploiting natural DNA-breaks to generate antibodies that surpass common reactivity profiles.
Emmy Noether Project of the german research foundation
The project aims to study a new layer of antibody diversity that is generated by integration of large DNA inserts in the antibody heavy chain locus.