Walter Reith Group
Department of Pathology and Immunology - Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva
Project at a glance
Basic mechanisms in molecular and cellular immunology
The laboratory of Walter Reith has a long-standing interest in molecular and cellular immunology.
Major themes of past research have included the genetic control and biological functions of Major Histocompatibility Complex class II (MHCII) mediated antigen presentation in humans and mice in the context of health and disease.
Current topics focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate gene expression in specialized antigen presenting cells (APCs)
– including B cells, various dendritic cell (DC) subsets and thymic epithelial cells – and the functions of these APCs in adaptive immune responses, the physiological processes that mediate the establishment and maintenance of immunological self-tolerance, and the pathological mechanisms that underpin the breakdown of immunological self-tolerance during the course of autoimmune diseases.
In recent years we have developed a particularly keen interest in complex regulatory mechanisms that sculpt the functions of DCs during their maturation, including microRNA-mediated post-transcriptional modulation of gene expression, large-scale epigenetic silencing of transcription and synergistic transcriptional responses to combinations of multiple extracellular cues.