Group Leader

Dr. Thomas Boehm
Senior Group Leader & Director
Phone:+49 761 5108 328

Lab Thomas Boehm

Assistant: Helen Kirk___ Phone: +49 761 5108 329 Email:

Selected Publications

Swann JB, Weyn A, Nagakubo D, Bleul CC, Toyoda A, Happe C, Netuschil N, Hess I, Haas-Assenbaum A, Taniguchi Y, Schorpp M and Boehm T (2014)
Conversion of the thymus into a bipotent lymphoid organ by replacement of Foxn1 by its paralog, Foxn4
Holland SJ, Gao M, Hirano M, Iyer LM, Luo M, Schorpp M, Cooper MD, Aravind L, Mariuzza RA and Boehm T (2014)
Selection of the lamprey VLRC antigen receptor repertoire
Das S, Li J, Holland SJ, Iyer LM, Hirano M, Schorpp M, Aravind L, Cooper MD and Boehm T (2014)
Genomic donor cassette sharing during VLRA and VLRC assembly in jawless vertebrates
Boehm T and Swann JB (2014)
Origin and evolution of adaptive immunity

Laboratory Thomas Boehm

Laboratory Thomas Boehm

Our goal is to contribute to the understanding of the genetic basis of immune system function with a view to explaining human disease and to developing targeted therapies for correcting failing immune function.

Studying animals as diverse as lampreys and mice, we aim to understand the mechanism(s) by which adaptive immune systems achieve an effective quality control to eliminate and/or control the function of potentially self-reactive receptors that are generated by a somatic and essentially random assembly process. Because this selection process takes place in primary lymphoid organs such as the thymus, we are investigating the genetic basis of the development and function of these organs. In an iterative process, we combine forward genetic screens and methods of precise genetic interference in model systems to examine the role of single genes or combinations thereof in the formation of the epithelial thymic anlage and the development of T cells.

Our aim is to use this information to reconstruct ancient forms of thymopoietic tissue and to build artificial equivalents for potential therapeutic use.

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