UNDERSTANDING & ENGINEERING HUMAN T CELL IMMUNITY
Our goal is to understand and engineer human T cell immunity to treat infectious diseases and cancer.
T cells recognize parts of infected cells or tumor cells. To do so, they are equipped with receptors. Every human being has about 100 million different T cell receptors! T cells are like a population inhabiting the human organism and their receptor is their unique finger print. They usually protect you, sometimes they can cause problems and they continuously change.
We aim to understand how T cell populations evolve based on their T cell receptor – and then to use this knowledge therapeutically. For this, we re-program T cells by replacing their T cell receptor through means of genetic engineering.
More Details: www.schoberlab.de
The Schober lab aims at understanding and engineering human T cell immunity.
Natural immunity has co-evolved with pathogens for millions of years, and the adoptive transfer of T cells represents an exciting new field of medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.
Like the field of biomimetics, we take a biology-driven approach to develop immunotherapeutic applications. Using clinical samples from healthy volunteers after routine vaccinations and from patients undergoing adoptive T cell therapy, we study T cell immunity in human in vivo model systems.
We then investigate the composition and evolution of antigen-specific T cell responses over space and time. To this end, we use state-of-the-art T cell receptor (TCR) sequence and phenotypic analyses on the single-cell level, as well as bioinformatic approaches in collaboration with machine-learning experts.
Understanding the in vivo behaviour of physiological T cells provides us with blueprints for engineering. We use advanced tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically engineer T cells in a precise fashion.
We believe that such physiological Advanced Genetically Engineered T cells (AGEnTs) can combine the therapeutic efficacy and safety profile of physiological T cells with the versatility of cell engineering, so we can develop better therapies for patients with infectious diseases and cancer.