The group focuses on the contribution of centrosomes during innate and adaptive immune responses. While centrosomes have been extensively studied during cell division and in the context of tumorigenesis, recent data in macrophages suggest a novel role during innate immunity (Vertii et al., Immunity, 2016).
Dendritic cells represent the most potent antigen presenting cells of the innate immune system. They are key mediators for the induction of protective immunity as well as maintenance of self-tolerance (Förster et al., Nat Rev Immunol, 2008). As such, dendritic cells represent an outstanding population of cells, which mediate three fundamentally important tasks: antigen capture and presentation, migration and T cell activation. The group studies how centrosomes impact immune cell effector functions such as antigen presentation and migration and their behavior upon lymphocyte cell-cell interactions. We will particularly focus on the phenomenon of centrosome amplification, which is primarily studied in the context of tumorigenesis underscoring the importance of investigating a potential physiological relevance of excess centrosomes in somatic cells.