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Molecular Immunology

Mission Statement

Our long-term research interest focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of immune cell activation, response and feed-back mechanisms that balance excessive response and return to a quiescent state. With our research, we want to contribute to the elucidation of the mechanisms by which immune cells (white blood cells) receive signals from their environment via surface receptors and process this information across the plasma membrane to trigger an immune response. For these studies, we identify and characterize cellular surface receptors as well as their extracellular, membrane and sub-membrane ligands. We study molecular interactions at the molecular level to obtain mechanistic information on function and signaling.

Our research goal is to provide an instruction manual for critical signaling sites in immune cells. Our research focuses mainly on human T cells and professional antigen presenting cells of the myeloid lineage (monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells). This kind of knowledge is the basis for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to correct

  • abnormal immune cell responses in immunological disorders and diseases (auto-immune diseases, chronic inflammation, COVID-19, or cancer)
  • unwanted immune responses in clinical interventions like transplantations.


The Unit originated from the independent research group "Molecular Immunology", founded by Prof. Stockinger on January 1st 1987 as part of the department for tumor immunolgy at the University of Vienna. The head of the department, Prof. Walter Knapp, supported this initiative. Since 2023, the Molecular Immunology Unit is headed by Dr Anna Repic.