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Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Hygiene

Dalpke lab

Prof. Dr. med. Alexander Dalpke


Dept. of Infectious Diseases

Medical Microbiology and Hygiene

Im Neuenheimer Feld 324

69120 Heidelberg



Phone +49 6221 56 38173

Fax +49 6221 56 5857



press releases:


The focus of my research is infection and immunity. We are studying activation and inhibition of cells of the innate immune system, specifically dendritic cells and macrophages, in three areas: One topic of our research centers on the recognition of microbial nucleic acids by pattern recognition receptors. We try to elucidate principles that enable Toll-like receptors to differentiate foreign, microbial from self nucleic acids. Therefore we specifically aim to identify structural properties of nucleic acids that allow for such differentiation. Moreover we analyze the physiological importance of recognition of bacterial RNA within infection models.
While the mechanisms of activation of innate immune receptors are nowadays increasingly recognized it is still less clear how immune reactions are turned off again. A second focus of my lab is signal termination and here we specifically analyze a group of proteins termed suppressor of cytokine signaling proteins (SOCS). We focus on a new, unanticipated role of SOCS-1 within the cell nucleus. Therefore we generated a new BAC transgenic mouse that is currently characterized.
Finally, it turned out over the recent years that the activity of innate immune cells can be shaped by the local microenvironment within specific organs. We analyze immunemodulatory effects of bronchial epithelial cells on local myeloid cells that limit the reactivity and activation under homeostatic, steady-state conditions. We assign to airway epithelial cells an important role in the regulation of organ-specific immune Responses


Besides projects in infection and immunity we started some years ago to study polymicrobial infections by means of next generation sequencing. A new projects analyzes changes within the microbiome of patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. We aim to analyze microbiome alterations in early childhood as well as during exacerbation and focus on interactions of commensal and pathogenic bacteria.
Finally, work on improvements in diagnostic procedures in the field of molecular bacteriology is done.


Funding: DFG Da592-4, DFG Da592-5, DFG Da592-6, SFB938/TP E, German Center for Lung Research (DZL-TLRC), GILEAD, Becton Dickinson

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DFG Da592-4


DFG Da592-5


DFG Da592-6


Opens external link in new windowSFB938/TP E


German Center for Lung Research




Becton Dickinson