Prof. Schoenberger from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology visiting TRON

Prof. Schoenberger from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology visiting TRON

Mainz, July 2015 – TRON has the honor to host visiting Prof. Stephen Schoenberger at its facilities to promote international scientific interactions and facilitate collaborations in the fields of Immunology and Immunotherapy. Prof Schoenberger is co-author on a recent publication in Nature by TRON scientists focusing on mutated epitopes in cancer.  During his time at TRON Prof. Schoenberger will interact with different scientific teams and delve deeper into the various scientific challenges of individualized cancer vaccine research. “TRON has steadily accumulated an unparalleled level of expertise in the area of personalized cancer vaccines that is based upon more than 15 years of discovery and translation by Prof. Sahin and his colleagues. I have come here to learn from the best scientists working in this field, and to hopefully develop synergistic research programs that our two laboratories can work collaboratively on to further the goal of optimizing immunotherapeutic options for cancer patients” says Prof. Schoenberger, describing his higher motivation for the visit.

Dr. Schoenberger’s research focuses on the regulation of cellular immune responses. He joined the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in 1998 as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Immune Regulation. In 2002, he became an Associate Professor in the Division of Cellular Immunology and in 2005 gained Tenure. The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology is dedicated to increasing knowledge and improving human health through studies of the immune system. Its purpose is to expand the understanding of how the immune system works and to discover the causes of immune system disorders. The knowledge gained can, in turn lead to the prevention, treatment and cure of a wide range of human diseases.

Dr. Schoenberger’s laboratory is trying to understand the rules by which cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) are activated and regulated, and the degree to which they can be harnessed for therapeutic goals. The labs efforts are currently divided into three main areas. One of these concerns the role of CD4+ ‘helper’ T lymphocytes in regulating CTL responses. The second area of investigation concerns the elucidation of the instructional program that guides CTL development and the signals through which it can be modified. The third area of investigation involves the mechanisms through which the immune system remains tolerant to self-tissues while retaining the capacity to mount a vigorous response against a dangerous virus or bacterium. The long-term goal is to acquire a mechanistic understanding of the signals guiding CTL activation, development, and memory such that they can be strategically manipulated in to combat human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, MS, and AIDS.