Description of innate immune memory: trained immunity. One of my main scientific contributions is represented by the description of memory characteristics within innate immune responses, which we termed ‘trained immunity’ (Cell Host Microbe 2011). We have described epigenetic reprogramming as the main molecular substrate of trained immunity (Cell Host Microbe 2011, Science 2014) and that metabolic rewiring is necessary for these processes (Science 2014, Cell Metabolism 2016). In addition, my group demonstrated that the well-known non-specific protected effects of BCG vaccination against non-related infections are due to activation of trained immunity (PNAS 2012, Cell Reports 2016).
At the University on Bonn we are tryig to understand what is the role of epigenetic enyzmes in trained immunity formation and in macrophage function. As well as whether other cells of the immne system with innate and adaptive immune characteristics can also develop trained immunity and contribute to the cross-protective effect of BCG vaccine (this project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 798582).