The DFG-funded Graduate College Modulation of Autoimmunity  is a program for a cooperative and structured PhD student training organized by a consortium of the Departments of Dermatology and Rheumatology as well as the Institute for Research on Systemic Inflammation (ISEF), for Chemistry and for Anatomy at the University of Lübeck and several departments at the Research Center Borstel. Its aim is postgraduate training of natural scientists in the field of immunology, immunopathology and autoimmunity with a strong translational medicine focus. In order to train future physician scientists, medical students are also elegible to join the program.

In the second funding period, the GRK will focus on the early steps in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity; i.e. loss of tolerance and autoantibody production. The projects focus in 2 areas:

A: Development of innovative therapeutic strategies to treat established
     autoimmune diseases

B: Identification of novel therapeutic targets in autoimmunity

Research Area A:
 Development of innovative therapeutic strategies to treat
                              established autoimmune diseases

A1: B cell metabolism in autoimmunity
A2: Expression profiling based drug design in epidermolysis bullosa acquisita
A3: Cell type-specific effects of IL-17 in epidermolysis bullosa acquisita
A4: Mouse models of anti-laminin 332 mucous membrane pemphigoid:
       phenotypic characterization and pharmacological influence
A5: The relevance of the C5a/C5aR1 axis for induction of autoantibody
       response in epidermolysis bullosa acquisita
A6:  Effects of immune-complexes with sialyated IgG antibodies on dendritic cells and T cell differentiation
A7: The effect of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) on the autoimmunity-
       related functions of neutrophil granulocytes

Research Area B: Identification of novel therapeutic targets in autoimmunity

B1: Pemphigus vulgaris: Expression profiling in patients and development of a
      novel animal model
B2: Autoimmunity alters the T cell receptor repertoire recruited into immune
B3: Metabolomics in autoimmunity
B4: Organotropism of anti-CXCR3/4- and anti-ETAR/-AT1R-mediated leukocyte
      migration in inflammatory disease
B5: Modulation of autoimmunity by CD37-specific antibodies
B6: Pathomechanisms in experimental systemic sclerosis