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New ImmunoSenstion² Member

We introduce: Jun. Prof. Tim Rollenske

Immunologist Tim Rollenske was recently recruited to the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Experimental Immunology at the University Hospital Bonn. As head of the newly formed research group "Mucosal Immunology", he has been appointed as a member of ImmunoSensation2 from March 2023. We met Tim Rollenske to talk about his research interests and future perspectives at the Cluster of Excellence, here in Bonn.

Mr. Rollenske, you are heading the newly formed research group “Mucosal Immunology”. Could you please give us an insight into your major research interest.

From birth on our body is colonized by microbes that build a personalized microbial community, impacting on almost any aspect of our health. The Mucosal Immunology group is interested in the interaction of microbes with the immune system, especially with B cells and antibodies. As mucosal surfaces inhabit the highest density and diversity of microbes we are particularly interested in how this diverse biomass of bacteria, fungi, archaea and viruses is controlled. Further, we are interested in how antibodies protect from mucosal infections.

Antibodies have been at the core of your research before. Could you tell us a bit about your recent work?

We know antibodies very well for their role in protecting from pathogens. However, little is understood about how antibodies can control our commensal microbes. Antibodies bind to and coat our intestinal bacteria. Specifically, we were interested how secretory antibodies (of the IgA isotype) exert control of our intestinal bacteria, especially because they act in the gut lumen without engaging the cellular arm of immunity. Therefore, we developed models in which we were able to show that intestinal bacteria are fine-tuned by IgA antibodies and that coating by IgA can have positive as well as negative consequences for our intestinal microbes.

You have recently been appointed as a member of ImmunoSensation2. How do you plan to make the best use of the excellent scientific environment here at the University of Bonn?

The Mucosal Immunology group has three major aims for our research at the University Hospital Bonn. First, we would like to understand the detailed mechanism how B cells and antibodies help to establish homeostasis between the host and its microbiota. Second, we aim to define correlates of protection in mucosal infection or vaccination. Both could help us to design better mucosal vaccines. Third we are interested to isolate monoclonal antibodies and test their protective capacity to prevent or treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.

(Interview with Prof. Tim Rollenske, Bonn, April 11th, 2023)

Short biography

Tim Rollenske received his PhD in Immunology from the Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, in 2017. After a short research stay of one year at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany, he pursued a Postdoctoral EMBO fellowship at the Maurice Müller Labpratories in Bern, Switzerland. In 2021 Rollenske moved to the Inselspital Bern, where he worked as a Postdoctoral researcher and was appointed as a group leader from 2022. For his work, Rollenske was awarded the Fritz and Ursula Melchers Postdoctoral Prize of the German Society of Immunology. In March 2023, he received the prestigious Emmy Noether Fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Prof. Tim Rollenske

Institute of Molecular Medicine and Experimental Immunology

Medical Faculty, University of Bonn University Hospital of Bonn

Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25

53105 Bonn

+49 228 287 51012


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