The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg is an interdisciplinary research institution that conducts basic research in two key areas of modern biology.
Immunobiology is concerned with the ways multicellular organisms defend themselves against pathogens. We study the evolutionary origins and the development of lymphoid organs and immune effector cells, the function of antigen receptors, and the genetic basis of host-pathogen interactions. This information underpins efforts to better diagnose and treat immunodeficiency and inflammatory diseases.
Epigenetics is the study of inheritable traits that are not caused by changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms are crucial for the organization and utilization of our genetic information. Since the susceptibility to diseases can be promoted by epigenetic dysfunction, epigenetic research has far-reaching implications for diagnosis and therapy of human disease.
Erika Pearce was appointed new director at the Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg. Starting in September 2015, she will join the management board of the institute and become Head of the new department of Immunometabolism.