Research (selection)

Immunology of pregnancy

Immune cells play an important role during pregnancy. Besides their role in immune defenses, leukocytes take active part of pregnancy adaptations at the fetomaternal interface. Leukocytes adapt their antigen recognition strategies in order to tolerate the fetus without detriment of immune defenses. We investigate mechanisms of innate cell adaptation during pregnancy that maintain the fine balance required for pregnancy wellbeing.
Our integrative approach has a strong focus in the interaction of trophoblasts, endometrial stromal cells, uterine endothelial cells and leukocytes, including macrophages, B and T cells and a recently described population of innate lymphoid cells.

The role of uterine innate lymphoid cells in early pregnancy

Pregnancy success greatly depends on an adequate implantation, placental development and function. Immune cells are essential to generate an appropriate pro-inflammatory environment for implantation in early pregnancy. The aim of this DFG-funded project is to deliver new information on the role and regulation of the recently described innate lymphoid cells at the fetomaternal interface.


Contrary to the traditional belief, recent reports indicate that microbes are present in the upper reproductive tract, including the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes. Changes in the composition of this microbiome have been associated to increased pregnancy complications. Our group explores how these bacteria affect endometrial function and placentation. We put a strong focus on processes that command angiogenesis and vasculogenesis in early pregnancy.


Bacteria of the upper reproductive tract present a different signature under oncological processes. We analyze how anti-tumoral responses are affected by the composition of the tumor-associated microbiome (oncobiome).

Development of a intra-uterine device for the treatment of proximal tubal occlusion

The unfulfilled desire to have a child affects many couples. A frequent reason for this is a proximal tubal occlusion. Ongoing from the recently finished RESPONSE-Project, we are working on the development of a tubal stent to thus allow a natural pregnancy.

In utero modulation of fetal immune response

The intra-uterine environment exerts a strong influence on the development of fetal immunity. We aim to understand how maternal factors shape fetal immune cells towards the end of pregnancy and its further influence on the newborn immune responses.

Cooperations and partners (under construction)

  • Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Bröker (Institut für Immunologie, Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Germany)
  • Dr. Martin Busch (Klinik und Poloklinik für Augenheilkunde, Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Germany)
  • Dr. Gloria Cerrone (Department of Genetics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry; CONICET- Laboratory of Diabetes and Metabolism, Institute of Immunology, Genetics and Metabolism; University of Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrike Garscha (Pharmazeutische/Medizinische Chemie, Institut für Pharmazie, Universität Greifswald, Germany)
  • Prof. Oliver Otto, Doreen Biedenweg (Zelluläre Biophysik, Institut für Physik, Universität Greifswald, Germany)
  • Dr. Lyubomir Haralambiev (Klinik und Poliklinik für Unfall-, Wiederherstellungschirurgie und Rehabilitative Medizin, Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Federico Jensen (Laboratory for Immunology of Pregnancy, Center for Pharmacological and Botanical Studies, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Prof. Dr. med. Silvia Ribback (Institut für Pathologie, Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Germany)
  • Dr. Gleyder Roman-Sosa (Institut für Virologie, Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Schmitz (Institut für ImplantatTechnologie und Biomaterialien e.V., Rostock, Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Tor Stuge (Department od Medical Biology, The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
  • Prof. Dr. Friedemann Weber (Institut für Virologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Sławomir Wołczyński (Department of Reproduction and Gynecological Endocrinology, Medical University of Białystok, Poland)
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Wree (Institut für Anatomie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, Germany)