Laboratory of Antiviral Immunity

Discovering weak spots in viruses

Interactions between viruses and the immune system of an infected patient have a strong influence on both organisms. After infection, the human immune system aims to improve its ability to detect and combat the respective virus while the pathogen can develop escape mutations that allow him to evade these immune responses. If these mutations also do not alter the ‘viral fitness’ (its ability to replicate and infect more cells), this viral quasispecies will have an evolutionary advantage over the ancestral virus, will finally outnumber him and force the human immune system to adapt its response again. 

With the overall aim to improve future antiviral therapies and vaccines, our group aims to 

1. better understand these host-virus interactions,
2. implement novel techniques to rapidly detect viral escape and 
3. develop strategies that hamper viral escape. 

Selected Publications

  • Schommers P, Kim DS, Schlotz M, Kreer C, Eggeling R, Hake A, Stecher M, Park J, Radford CE, Dingens AS, Ercanoglu MS, Gruell H, Odidika S, Dahlhaus M, Gieselmann L, Ahmadov E, Lawong RY, Heger E, Knops E, Wyen C, Kümmerle T, Römer K, Scholten S, Wolf T, Stephan C, Suárez I, Raju N, Adhikari A, Esser S, Streeck H, Duerr R, Nanfack AJ, Zolla-Pazner S, Geldmacher C, Geisenberger O, Kroidl A, William W, Maganga L, Ntinginya NE, Georgiev IS, Vehreschild JJ, Hoelscher M, Fätkenheuer G, Lavinder JJ, Bloom JD, Seaman MS, Lehmann C, Pfeifer N, Georgiou G, Klein F.
    Dynamics and durability of HIV-1 neutralization are determined by viral replication.
    Nature Medicine (2023); 129, pages 2763–2774
  • Schommers P*, Gruell H*, Abernathy ME*, Tran MK, Dingens AS, Gristick HB, Barnes CO, Schoofs T, Schlotz M, Vanshylla K, Kreer C, Weiland D, Holtick U, Scheid C, Valter MM, van Gils MJ, Sanders RW, Vehreschild JJ, Cornely OA, Lehmann C, Fätkenheuer G, Seaman MS, Bloom JD, Bjorkman PJ, Klein F.
    Restriction of HIV-1 Escape by a Highly Broad and Potent Neutralizing Antibody.
    Cell (2020); 180(3):471-489
  • Gruell H, Schommers P.
    Broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 and concepts for application.
    Current Opinion in Virology (2022); 54, 101211.
  • Warnat-Herresthal S*, Schultze H*, Shastry KL*, Manamohan S*, Mukherjee S*, Garg V*, Sarveswara R*, Händler K*, Pickkers P*, Aziz NA*, Ktena S*, Tran F, Bitzer M, Ossowski S, Casadei N, Herr C, Petersheim D, Behrends U, Kern F, Fehlmann T, Schommers P, Lehmann C, Augustin M, Rybniker J, et al.
    Swarm Learning for decentralized and confidential clinical machine learning.
    Nature (2021); 594(7862):265-270
  • COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative.
    Mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19. Nature 2021; 600(7889):472-477
  • Kreer C*, Zehner M*, Weber T, Ercanoglu MS, Gieselmann L, Rohde C, Halwe S, Korenkov M, Schommers P, Vanshylla K, Di Cristanziano V, Janicki H, Brinker R, Ashurov A, Krähling V, Kupke A, Cohen-Dvashi H, Koch M, Eckert JM, Lederer S, Pfeifer N, Wolf T, Vehreschild MJGT, Wendtner C, Diskin R, Gruell H, Becker S, Klein F.
    Longitudinal Isolation of Potent Near-Germline SARS-CoV-2-Neutralizing Antibodies from COVID-19 Patients.
    Cell (2020); 182(4):843-854
  • Gruell H, Vanshylla K, Tober-Lau P, Hillus D, Schommers P, Lehmann C, Kurth F, Sander LE, Klein F.
    mRNA booster immunization elicits potent neutralizing serum activity against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.
    Nature Medicine (2022); Jan 19:1-4
  • Schoofs T*, Barnes CO*, Suh-Toma N, Golijanin J, Schommers P, Gruell H, West AP Jr, Bach F, Lee YE, Nogueira L, Georgiev IS, Bailer RT, Czartoski J, Mascola JR, Seaman MS, McElrath MJ, Doria-Rose NA, Klein F, Nussenzweig MC, Bjorkman PJ.
    Broad and Potent Neutralizing Antibodies Recognize the Silent Face of the HIV Envelope. Immunity(2019); 50(6):1513-1529