The group of Infectious Disease, Immunity & Inflammation is investigating basic mechanisms of host defence against pathogens. We have a specific interest for conditions where the host fails to protect against an infection as these imply a need for medical intervention.

We have a strong focus on antiviral immunity against Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. CMV is a large herpesvirus and an opportunistic pathogen. CMV may cause life-threatening disease in immunocompromised patients such as organ transplant recipients. Importantly, congenital infection with CMV in newborns is the most frequent cause of permanent disabilities including neurological damage, such as sensorineural hearing loss. Currently, there is no vaccine available and antiviral therapy lacks efficacy and carries the risk of serious adverse effects.

To study the interplay between host immune cells and virus infection we combine virus recombinants with models of immune deficiency. We utilize modern imaging methods to visualize virus infection in high spatio-temporal resolution and characterize pathogen-associated inflammation. A main topic is on how leukocytes mediate their antiviral effects at the site of infection and why they may fail to control CMV infection.

The group keeps a close collaboration (KFO296 ) with the Research Department Virus-Host-Interaction of the Heinrich Pette Institute.

Felix Stahl
Dr. med.
Felix Stahl
  • Wissenschaftlicher Arbeitsgruppenleiter
  • Assistenzarzt in Weiterbildung

Campus Forschung N27 , 2. Etage, Raumnummer 02.089
Silvia Tödter


Campus Forschung N27 , 2. Etage, Raumnummer 02.084
Luís Fonseca Brito
Luís Carlos Fonseca Brito
  • Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Campus Forschung N27 , 2. Etage, Raumnummer 02.088


  • Annette Kemmer