Research Group

  • Dr. Hans-Dieter Volk, Principal Investigator
  • Dr. Brigit Sawitzki, Co-Investigator
  • Dr. Gerald Grütz, Associate
  • Dr. Petra Reinke, Associate


  • Institut für Medizinische Immunologie, Charité, Berlin, Germany


  • Acceptance of foreign organ transplants – How can we outfox the immune system?

Today organ transplantation is a well-established method for replacement of irreversible deteriorated organs such as kidney, heart, liver, lung etc. For this approach we are using organs from living or cadaver donors (allografts). Because the allografts carry foreign proteins, our immune system will be activated and rejects the allograft if we do not suppress it by drugs. These immunosupressive drugs the graft recipient has to take as long as the graft is working – as result of the chronic immunosupression several side effects can be observed. The dream of all transplant physicians is to develop strategies to outfox the immune system – to induce transplantation tolerance. In animal models this is already realism. In order to transfer the promising data from the animals to the human situation, we have to learn more about the mechanisms. The aim of this project is to give substantial information for our understanding of ‘transplantation tolerance’ by using modern gene technique approaches.