Immunology

Team IEB: Intestinal Epithelial Barrier in Autoimmune Diseases

The intestinal epithelium provides an essential selective barrier that permits passage of water, ions and nutrients, while limiting contact with harmful environmental toxins and preventing microbial contamination of interstitial tissues. Loss of intestinal barrier function is correlated with several autoimmune diseases. The main objective of the IEB group is to understand the molecular mechanisms of the interactions between intestinal epithelial barrier and immune cells in autoimmune diseases, in particular the interactions between dendritic cells and intestinal enterocytes. To this end, studies will involve use of conventional and high-throughput metagenomics, generation of intestinal organoids from murine and human subjects, isolation of immune cells and establishing a 3 dimensional In-vitro co-culture model to observe the intestinal epithelial barrier-immune cells interactions. Our final goal is to identify novel biomarkers and develop new therapeutic targets for intestinal barrier loss and autoimmune diseases that will improve patient outcomes.

Mentors

  • Dr. Daigen Xu
    Associate Director, TIP Immunology, EMD Serono (Industry mentor)
  • Dr. Philipp Haselmayer
    Associate Director TIP-Immunology, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (Industry mentor)
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Becker
    Head of Department Mucosal Immune Regulation and Intestinal Cell Biology, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany (Academic mentor)
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Merck.
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Merck.

Our Team Members

Dr. Martin Resnik Docampo

Group Leader

Previous work
  • 2017-2019: Assistant Project Scientist, Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Los Angeles USA
  • 2013-2017: Postdoctoral Researcher, Advisor: Prof. Dr. Leanne Jones, Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2012-2013: Research Associate in Prof. Dr. Leanne Jones laboratory
  • 2004-2011: PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with Dr. Jose Felix de Celis, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Center for Molecular Biology “Severo Ochoa”, Spain

Dr. Roberta Benedetto

Postdoctoral Researcher

Previous work
  • 2014–2019: PhD in Biology and Preclinical Medicine with Prof. Dr. Karl Kunzelmann, University of Regensburg, Germany
  • 2014: ERASMUS placement at the Institute of Biological and Chemical Technology, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2012–2014: Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Pavia, Italy

Dr. Shaghayegh Derakhshani

Postdoctoral Researcher

Previous work
  • 2016–2019: PhD in Virology and Immunology – Graduate College 2157, with Prof. Sibylle Schneider-Schaulies, University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 2013-2015: Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Science and Culture University (Royan Institute), Tehran, Iran
  • 2011-2016: Research Associate, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Dr. Sarah Devriese

Postdoctoral Researcher

Previous work
  • 2011–2017: PhD with Prof. Martine De Vos and Dr. Debby Laukens, IBD Research Unit, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium
  • 2005-2010: Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Ghent University, Belgium

Michelle Vormehr

PhD Student

Previous work
  • 2017-2019: Master of Science in Biology, University of Mainz, Germany
  • 2018: ERASMUS studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2014-2017: Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Mainz, Germany