Laboratory Tim Lämmermann

Laboratory Tim Lämmermann

Single Cell and Population Dynamics of Immune Cells

We investigate the mechanisms that shape single cell and population dynamics of immune cells in the complexity of inflamed and infected tissues. By using a broad range of microscopy and imaging techniques, we explore the strategies that immune cells have evolved to move individually or in concert with other cells in order to achieve together an optimal immune response.

In particular, we are interested in how immune cells coordinate and integrate fundamental cell biological processes (directional sensing, cytoskeletal regulation, cell adhesion, cell migration, phagocytosis, cell death, cell survival, cell-cell communication) that together shape the dynamics of an immune response in complex tissue environments.

Mission & Goals

With a special focus on cells of the innate immune response, our research seeks to find a conceptual framework how these immune cells integrate the plethora of signals arising in inflammatory environments and how they coordinate their dynamic behavior with other tissue-resident cells in the context of inflammatory and infectious diseases. Moreover, we aim at understanding the remarkable plasticity that many immune cells have evolved on a single cell and population level, allowing them to adapt their dynamic responses to rapidly changing inflammatory environments. An improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms promises the tailoring of therapeutic strategies to modulate immune responses.


We follow an interdisciplinary research approach at the interface of immunology, tissue physiology and basic cell biology to gain the deepest possible knowledge on innate immune cell dynamics under physiologically relevant conditions. Visualization of innate immune responses in inflamed and infected tissues by intravital microscopy is our starting point for understanding leukocyte dynamics in their physiological tissue environment. However, these intravital studies often do not allow dissecting the cell biology and molecular details underlying dynamic processes. To overcome these limitations, we complement our studies with mouse genetics and innovative, often custom-built in vitro models that closely mimic the physiological situation. 

Selected Publications

Kaltenbach L, Martzloff P,  Bambach SK, Aizarani N, Mihlan M, Gavrilov A, Glaser KM, Stecher M,  Thünauer R, Thiriot A, Heger K, Kierdorf K, Wienert S, von Andrian UH, Schmidt-Supprian M, Nerlov C, Klauschen F, Roers A, Bajénoff M, Grün D, Lämmermann T (2023)
Slow integrin-dependent migration organizes networks of tissue-resident mast cells
Nature Immunology (Available online 21 April 2023)
Mihlan M, Safaiyan S, Stecher M, Paterson N, Lämmermann T (2022)
Surprises from Intravital Imaging of the Innate Immune Response
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, 38:18.1-18.23
Paterson N, Lämmermann T (2022)
Macrophage network dynamics depend on haptokinesis for optimal local surveillance
eLife 11:e75354.
Kienle K, Glaser KM, Eickhoff S, Mihlan, M, Knöpper K, Réategui E, Epple MW, Gunzer M, Baumeister R, Tarrant TK, Germain RN, Irimia D, Kastenmüller, W, Lämmermann T (2021)
Neutrophils self-limit swarming to contain bacterial growth in vivo.
Lämmermann T, Afonso PV, Angermann BR, Wang JM, Kastenmüller W, Parent CA, Germain RN (2013)
Neutrophil swarms require LTB4 and integrins at sites of cell death in vivo.
Nature 498(7454), 371-375.
Lämmermann T, Bader BL, Monkley SJ, Worbs T, Wedlich-Söldner R, Hirsch K, Keller M, Förster R, Critchley DR, Fässler R, Sixt M (2008)
Rapid leukocyte migration by integrin-independent flowing and squeezing.
Nature 453(7191), 51-55.

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