Short CV/Education and training

  • 1992 – 1997
    Studied biology (Diplom degree in biology) at the University of Freiburg, Germany

  • 1998 – 2001
    Continued to study biology (Doctor of Natural Science, Dr rer. nat.) at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics at the University of Freiburg

  • 2002 – 2003
    Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory for Molecular Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, USA

  • 2003 – 2005
    Research assistant professor in the Laboratory for Molecular Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, USA

  • Since 2006
    Head of a Max Planck research group, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany

Selected publications

  • Tiller, T., Busse, C. E., Wardemann, H.: Cloning and expression of murine Ig genes from single B cells. In: J Immunol Methods 350, 2009. pp. 183-193.

  • Scheid, J.F. et al.: Broad diversity of neutralizing antibodies isolated from memory B cells in HIV-infected individuals. In: Nature 458, 2009. pp. 636-640.

  • Mietzner, B. et al.: Autoreactive IgG memory anti-bodies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus arise from nonreactive and polyreactive precursors. In: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105, 2008. pp. 9727-9232.

  • Tiller, T. et al.: Efficient generation of monoclonal antibodies from single human B cells by single cell RT-PCR and expression vector cloning. In: J Imm Methods 329, 2008. pp. 112-124.

  • Tiller, T. et al.: Autoreactivity in human IgG+ memory B cells. In: Immunity 26, 2007. pp. 205-213.

  • Yuroasov, S. et al.: Persistent autoantibody production in SLE patients in remission. In: J Exp Med 203, 2006. pp. 2255-2261.

  • Tsuiji, M. et al.: A checkpoint for autoreactivity in human IgM+ memory B cell development. In: J Exp Med 203, 2006. pp. 393-400.

  • Yurasov, S. et al.: Defective B Cell Tolerance Checkpoints in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In: J Exp Med 201, 2005. pp. 703-711.

  • Wardemann, H., Hammersen, J., Nussenzweig, M. C.: Human autoantibody silencing by immunoglobulin light chains. In: J Exp Med 200, 2004. pp. 191-199.

  • Wardemann, H. et al.: Predominant Autoantibody Production by Early Human B cell Precursors. In: Science 301, 2003. pp. 1374-1377.

Selected projects

  • The diversity of the antibody repertoire is a prerequisite for triggering efficient humoral immune responses. The molecular mechanisms that are the basis of this diversity are random and therefore produce not only antibodies against pathogens, but also possibly dangerous autoantibodies. In recent years, one focus of our work has been the question of the frequency of the formation of autoreactive B-cells in humans and how they are regulated. We have developed a very efficient RT PCR-based method for cloning antibodies from individual isolated human B cells and for expressing them in vitro. In this way, we were able to determine the frequency of self-reactive naive B-cells in healthy humans and to show that defects in early self-tolerance control points are associated with autoimmunity. In recent years, our work has focused on the analysis of Ig repertoires and the specificity of antigen-experienced B cells in healthy humans and patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Our current research aims at understanding immune responses to foreign antigens. Frequently, protective humoral immune responses to pathogens do not occur in all humans. Other factors beside immune deficiencies, such as age, general state of health or special characteristics of the pathogen, can also prevent effective immune responses from occurring. Antibody therapies and vaccinations could be an effect approach, but a prerequisite for their development is an understanding of the characteristics of protective antibodies. Understanding which antibodies provide protective characteristics in infections will aid in developing new vaccinations that trigger the protective humoral immune response. Pathogen-specific monoclonal human antibodies can be used concomitantly in the treatment of acute infections. In order to be able to answer mechanistic questions, we have also developed a strategy that makes it possible to clone and express antibodies from individual isolated murine B cells. We use this methodology to characterise the murine antibody repertoire and to analyse the emergence of specific antibodies in germinal centre reactions.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Centre for Infection Biology and Immunity (ZIBI), Berlin

  • German Society for Immunology (DGfI)

  • Arbeitskreis B-Zellen (working group on B cells)

  • Editorial board, Journal of Immunological Methods, Frontiers in B cell Biology

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • Dual career family with 2 children


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