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Worm lab

Novel therapeutic approaches of type I-allergy by immunomodulation

Cooperation partners
Selected Publications
Third party funding projects


The “Allergology” group is focused on immunomodulation of Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent type I allergies. Currently, approx. 20% of the German population are affected by hay fever, allergic asthma or atopic dermatitis. Our research aims to understand  the key molecular and cellular events for the development and maintenance of IgE production. Special interests among our group include the immunomodulatory functions of nuclear receptor ligands that are involved in specific immunotherapy anaphylaxis and regulation of skin homeostasis.

Nuclear receptor ligands include molecules like vitamin D and retinoids. We have shown that vitamin D profoundly modulates B cell activation and hampers the IgE response. We are currently studying  the molecular and cellular signalling events involved in this in more detail and we have also initiated a clinical translation program. In these studies, we target vitamin D receptors in immune cells in vivo and determine the impact on specific allergic symptoms. Our overall aim is to achieve long-term tolerance to allergens.

The studies on specific immunotherapy anaphylaxis and regulation of skin homeostasis include the investigation of patient cohorts upon treatment or bedside reaction.. However, the application of targeted mouse models enables us to set up models with targeted deletion of specific mediators and their receptors to unravel mechanistic functions upon defined pathophysiological conditions.

The overall perspective of our research is to develop novel strategies for innovative treatment protocols in allergyby transfering our experimental data into clinical trials and clinical practice..

Immune modulation

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Group leader
Prof. Dr. med. Margitta Worm

PD Dr. med. Guido Heine, Dr. rer. nat. Magda Babina, Dr. rer. nat. Kristin Franke, Dr. rer. med. Sabine Dölle-Bierke, Dr. med. Wojciech Francuzik, Dr. rer. nat. Maria Nassiri

PhD students
Josephine Scholz, Dipl. biol.; Sandra Treptow, M.Biotech.; Ramanarayanan, Padma, M.Sc., Davender Davender, M.Sc.

MD students
Valerie Glatzel, Samira Sarah Saleh

Bachelor/Diploma/Master students
Roy Arne Renkel; Master

Firdevs Murad

Dennis Ernst

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Prof. René St. Arnaud, Shriners Hospital for Children, Genetics Unit, Montréal, Canada

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ria Baumgrass, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, Cell signaling group, Berlin

Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Dörner, Med. Klinik mit Schw. Rheumatologie und Klinische Immunologie, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

Prof. Dr. phil. nat. Hermann Eibel, Center for Chronic Immunodeficiency, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. vet. Reinhold Erben, Universität für Tiermedizin, Institut für Pathophysiologie, Wien, Österreich

PD Dr. rer. nat. Lutz Hamann, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene CCM, Germany

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Susanne Hartmann, Institut für Immunologie, FB Veterinärmedizin, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Hutloff, PhD, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, Germany

Prof. Dr. med. Bastian Opitz, Prof. Dr. med. Martin Witzenrath, Christoph Tabeling, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Med. Klinik mit Schw. Infektiologie und Pneumologie, Germany

Prof. Dr. med. Harald Renz, Philipps-University of Marburg, Dept of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Marburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Reth, MPI Immunbiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. med. Birgit Sawitzki, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institut für Medizinische Immunologie, Germany

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Scheffold, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, Germany

Prof. Dr. med. Ralf Schumann, PD Lutz Hamann, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Berlink, Germany

Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Dieter Volk, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Klinik für Medizinische Immunologie, Germany

Continue to Selected Publications
  • Moinzadeh P, et al. (2015). Disease progression in systemic sclerosis-overlap syndrome is significantly different from limited and diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Ann Rheum Dis. 74(4):730-7.
  • Grabenhenrich LB, et al. (2016). Anaphylaxis in children and adolescents: The European Anaphylaxis Registry. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Apr;137(4):1128-37.e1.
  • Bacher P, et al. (2016). Regulatory T Cell Specificity Directs Tolerance versus Allergy against Aeroantigens in Humans. Cell. Nov 3;167(4):1067-1078.e16.
  • Thaçi D, et al. (2016). Efficacy and safety of dupilumab in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis inadequately controlled by topical treatments: a randomised, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging phase 2b trial. Lancet. Jan 2;387(10013):40-52.
  • Heine G, et al. (2018). 9-cis retinoic acid modulates the type I allergic immune response. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 141(2):650-658.
Continue to Third party funding projects
Title of the project / project number
SFB 650 TP 5 2013 – 2016
WO 541/14-1 2013 – 2016
TRR-130 TP 19 2013 – 2017
WO 541/16-1 2015 – 2017
WO 541/13-2 2015 -2018


Title of the project Runtime
Compliance und Lebensqualität (CELL) bei PSS-Patienten – Entwicklung eines strukturierten Schulungsprogramms 2016 –2018
OP-DTI-SEKT 2017 –2018
Einfluss von LC-PUFA auf die Ausprägung der allergischen Immunantwort im Mausmodell Until end of 2017
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