Prof. Dr. Stefanie Scheu
- German Research Foundation (DFG)
- AcademiaNet member since 17.05.2010
- AcademiaNet- Selection Criteria
- Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
- Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics
Biological and related sciences
Area of specialisation
Infectious immunology and autoimmune diseases
Our scientific interest is centered on the cytokines – messenger molecules of the immune system – involved in the defense against infections with viral, bacterial, and eukaryotic pathogens. The cytokine family of type I interferons are of special importance as they can be functionally placed at the interface between innate and adaptive immune responses. Also, type I interferons – and amongst these most prominently IFNb – have been shown to be critically involved in the development of autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis. Due to a lack in the availability of sufficiently sensitive methods, the identity and functional characteristics of type I interferon producing cells is still widely unknown. We recently generated a fluorescence based IFNb reporter "knock-in" mouse that expresses YFP from a bicistronic transcript under the control of the endogenous control elements inside the ifnb gene. This novel genetic mouse model for the first time allows for the visualization of IFNb producing cells and simultaneously their cellular or microbial interaction partners – and the definition of their functional roles in complex immunological disease models in vivo.
An additional field of research in the lab is the analysis of the immunological functions of members of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily. Currently studies on single or multiple gene-deficient mouse models are underway focussing on the role of LIGHT and HVEM in differentiation and activation of innate immune cell populations like granulocytes or monocytes and their functional roles in bacterial infection models like Listeria monocytogenes.
Findings from these studies are of high value in the development of new approaches for immune therapies and vaccination strategies for infections and autoimmune diseases.
2002: Generierung und Analyse einer LIGHT-defizienten Mausmutante ("Generation and analysis of a LIGHT-deficient mutant mouse")