Home About Us People Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Radbruch
Scientific Director
Prof. Dr. Andreas Radbruch

Scientific Director

Prof. Dr. Andreas Radbruch

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
A Leibniz Institute
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin

Director's Office:
Tanja Durez
Mairi McGrath, email: mairi.mcgrath@drfz.de
Phone: +49 (0)30 28 460-601 Fax: +49 (0)30 28 460-603 durez@drfz.de

Andreas Radbruch has been Scientific Director of the DRFZ since 1996. He was Professor of Experimental Rheumatology at the Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University in Berlin (Charité) from 1998. He became emeritus professor in 2021, but continues as a senior professor at the Charité.

More about Andreas Radbruch

His scientific career began by studying biology at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne. He continued there at the Institute of Genetics as a junior scientist, where he investigated mutations of antibody genes in B lymphocytes. He showed that antibody class switching in activated B lymphocytes occurs by recombination, and that this recombination is targeted to distinct antibody classes by cytokines secreted by activated T lymphocytes. Thus, memory B lymphocytes develop an antibody memory. His group then analyzed how activated T lymphocytes are instructed and epigenetically imprinted by antigen-presenting cells to express specific cytokines. In this way, memory T lymphocytes develop cytokine memory. In addition to these two types of memory lymphocytes, the group then discovered memory plasma cells that provide lifelong protection from infectious diseases by secreting antibodies. Technologically, this research was based on novel methods of cell sorting and cytometry that the group had developed, such as the MACS technology, immunofluorescent intracellular antibody and cytokine stainings, magnetofluorescent liposomes, and the cellular affinity matrix technology.

After moving to the DRFZ, Andreas Radbruch began to explore the organization of immunological memory as such. In cooperation with the Charité, resetting the immune system of patients with rheumatic diseases by autologous stem cell transplantation, his research group identified immunological memory as a driving force of chronic rheumatic inflammation. In more general terms, his work contributed to a fundamental paradigm shift in immunology from the view of a ubiquitous immunological memory with its cells circulating through the blood, to the understanding that most cells of the immunological memory are residents of tissues, and are maintained there in niches by distinct connective tissue cells. His research group showed that the bone marrow is a central repository for memory plasma cells: memory B lymphocytes and memory T lymphocytes. This new understanding of immunological memory now also allows for the development of new therapeutic strategies to eliminate the disease-driving, pathogenic memory cells of rheumatic inflammation, cells that do not respond to current therapies.

Andreas Radbruch is responsible for more than 200 original publications and 90 review articles as (co)author, plus a number of patents and patent applications. His work has been honored with a number of awards, including the Carol-Nachmann Prize in Rheumatology, the German Immunology Award (Avery-Landsteiner Prize), the Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize, and an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Andreas Radbruch has made the DRFZ a center of modern, translational inflammation research through close structural networking with Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin universities and non-university research institutes in Berlin.  He is, among other activities, member of the Executive Board of the Leibniz Association, member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS).

CV and Key Publications

Scientific Career
  • Since 1998 Professor (C4S) for Experimental Rheumatology at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Since 1996 Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute “Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum”
  • 1990 – 1998 Professor (C3) for Genetics and Immunology, University of Cologne
  • 1988 – 1989 Bayer-Lecturer at the Institute for Genetics of the University of Cologne
  • 1987, 1988 Visiting Scientist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, with Max Cooper
  • 1982 – 1988 Assistant Professor, Institute for Genetics of the Cologne University
  • 1980 – 1982 Research Assistant at the Institute for Genetics of the Cologne University
  • 1988 Habilitation and Venia Legendi in Genetics and Immunology, University of Cologne
  • 1980 Promotion to Dr. rer. nat., with Klaus Rajewsky, Institute for Genetics of the University of Cologne
  • 1976 Diploma in biology (Dipl. Biol.) at the University of Bonn
  • Chairman Scientific Advisory Council of the Robert Koch Foundation
  • Advisory Board of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences (RIBS), Tokyo University of Science
  • Expert Panel (“Fachkollegium”) 201 “Cell Biology”of the DFG (German Research Foundation)
  • Council (Hochschulrat) of the University of Cologne
  • Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Research Institute “Georg Speyer Haus” (Frankfurt/Main)
  • Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF) (Münster)
Scientific Self-Organisation (Selection)
  • 2019 – 2021 President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS)
  • Since 2015 Spokesman of Section C (Lifesciences) of the Leibniz Association
  • 2014 – 2016 President of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC)
  • 2012 – 2015 European Journal of Immunology (Chair of the Excecutive Editorial Board)
  • Since 2010 Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • Since 2009 Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW)
  • 2009 – 2010 President of the German Society for Immunology
  • Since 2009 Member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)
  • 2007 – 2008 President of the German Society of Rheumatology
  • 1994 – 1996 President of the German Society of Cytometry
  • Blondel Medal for Rheumatology (2017)
  • Avery Landsteiner Award (2014)
  • Carol Nachman Prize (2014)
  • ERC Advanced Grant (2011-2016)
  • Federal Cross of Merit of Germany (2008)
  • Aronson Prize (2000)
  • Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize (Technology Transfer Award) (1994)
Third Party Funding (Selection from 2011 - ongoing)
  • 2018 – 2022 DFG SFB TRR 241
  • 2017 – 2022 EU IMI2 “RTCure” – Lead of WP 3;
  • 2017 – 2021 DFG SFB TRR130
  • 2015 – 2019 BMBF “Neuroimmunology and Pain (NeuroImpa)“
  • 2012 – 2016 DFG SFB 650
  • 2011 – 2017 EU IMI “BTCure”
  • 2011 – 2016 DFG SFB 633
  • 2010 – 2016 DFG SPP 1468 “ImmunoBone”
  • 2010 – 2013 BMBF “Imprinting of pathogenic memory (IMPAM)”
  • 2010 – 2013 BMBF “ImmunoPain“
Key Publications
  1. Maschmeyer P, Chang HD, Cheng Q, Mashreghi MF, Hiepe F, Alexander T, Radbruch A. Immunological memory in rheumatic inflammation – a roadblock to tolerance induction. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2021 May;17(5):291-305. doi: 10.1038/s41584-021-00601-6. Epub 2021 Apr 6. PMID: 33824526.
  2. Ferreira-Gomes M, Kruglov A, Durek P, Heinrich F, Tizian C, Heinz GA, Pascual-Reguant A, Du W, Mothes R, Fan C, Frischbutter S, Habenicht K, Budzinski L, Ninnemann J, Jani PK, Guerra GM, Lehmann K, Matz M, Ostendorf L, Heiberger L, Chang HD, Bauherr S, Maurer M, Schönrich G, Raftery M, Kallinich T, Mall MA, Angermair S, Treskatsch S, Dörner T, Corman VM, Diefenbach A, Volk HD, Elezkurtaj S, Winkler TH, Dong J, Hauser AE, Radbruch H, Witkowski M, Melchers F, Radbruch A, Mashreghi MF. SARS-CoV-2 in severe COVID-19 induces a TGF-β-dominated chronic immune response that does not target itself. Nat Commun. 2021 Mar 30;12(1):1961. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22210-3. PMID: 33785765.
  3. Cornelis R, Hahne S, Taddeo A, Petkau G, Malko D, Durek P, Thiem M, Heiberger L, Peter L, Mohr E, Klaeden C, Tokoyoda K, Siracusa F, Hoyer BF, Hiepe F, Mashreghi MF, Melchers F, Chang HD, Radbruch A. Stromal Cell-Contact Dependent PI3K and APRIL Induced NF-κB Signaling Prevent Mitochondrial- and ER Stress Induced Death of Memory Plasma Cells. Cell Rep. 2020 Aug 4;32(5):107982. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107982. PMID: 32755576; PMCID: PMC7408492.
  4. Riedel R, Addo R, Ferreira-Gomes M, Heinz GA, Heinrich F, Kummer J, Greiff V, Schulz D, Klaeden C, Cornelis R, Menzel U, Kröger S, Stervbo U, Köhler R, Haftmann C, Kühnel S, Lehmann K, Maschmeyer P, McGrath M, Naundorf S, Hahne S, Sercan-Alp Ö, Siracusa F, Stefanowski J, Weber M, Westendorf K, Zimmermann J, Hauser AE, Reddy ST, Durek P, Chang HD, Mashreghi MF, Radbruch A. Discrete populations of isotype-switched memory B lymphocytes are maintained in murine spleen and bone marrow. Nat Commun. 2020 May 22;11(1):2570. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16464-6. PMID: 32444631; PMCID: PMC7244721.
  5. Hradilkova, K, Maschmeyer P, Westendorf K, Schliemann H, Husak O, von Stuckrad SL, Kallinich T, Minden K, Durek P, Grün JR, Chang HD, Radbruch A. T helper lymphocytes of chronic inflammation are maintained by fatty acid oxidation and adapt to it through Twist1. Arth Rheumatol. 2019. doi: 10.1002/art.40939
  6. Addo RK, Heinrich F, Heinz GA, Schulz D, Sercan-Alp Ö, Lehmann K, Tran CL, Bardua M, Matz M, Löhning M, Hauser AE, Kruglov A, Chang HD, Durek P, Radbruch A, Mashreghi MF. Single-cell transcriptomes of murine bone marrow stromal cells reveal niche-associated heterogeneity. Eur J Immunol. 2019 Sep;49(9):1372-1379. doi: 10.1002/eji.201848053. Epub 2019 Jun 7.
  7. Siracusa F, McGrath MA, Maschmeyer P, Bardua M, Lehmann K, Heinz G, Durek P, Heinrich FF, Mashreghi MF, Chang HD, Tokoyoda K, Radbruch A. Nonfollicular reactivation of bone marrow resident memory CD4 T cells in immune clusters of the bone marrow. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 6;115(6):1334-1339
  8. Maschmeyer P, Petkau G, Siracusa F, Zimmermann J, Zügel F, Kühl AA, Lehmann K, Schimmelpfennig S, Weber M, Haftmann C, Riedel R, Bardua M, Heinz GA, Tran CL, Hoyer BF, Hiepe F, Herzog S, Wittmann J, Rajewsky N, Melchers FG, Chang HD, Radbruch A, Mashreghi MF. Selective targeting of pro-inflammatory Th1 cells by microRNA-148a-specific antagomirs in vivo. J Autoimmun. 2018 May;89:41-52
  9. Siracusa F, Alp ÖS, Maschmeyer P, McGrath M, Mashreghi MF, Hojyo S, Chang HD, Tokoyoda K, Radbruch A. Maintenance of CD8(+) memory T lymphocytes in the spleen but not in the bone marrow is dependent on proliferation. Eur J Immunol. 2017 Nov;47(11):1900-1905
  10. Sercan Alp Ö, Durlanik S, Schulz D, McGrath M, Grün JR, Bardua M, Ikuta K, Sgouroudis E, Riedel R, Zehentmeier S, Hauser AE, Tsuneto M, Melchers F, Tokoyoda K, Chang HD, Thiel A, Radbruch A. Memory CD8(+) T cells colocalize with IL-7(+) stromal cells in bone marrow and rest in terms of proliferation and transcription. Eur J Immunol. 2015 Apr;45(4):975-87. doi: 10.1002/eji.201445295. Epub 2015 Feb 27.
  11. Okhrimenko, A., Grun, J.R., Westendorf, K., Fang, Z., Reinke, S., von Roth, P., Wassilew, G., Kuhl, A.A., Kudernatsch, R., Demski, S., Scheibenbogen, C., Tokoyoda, K., McGrath, M. A., Raftery, M. J., Schonrich, G., Serra, A., Chang, H. D., Radbruch, A.*, and Dong, J.* (2014). Human memory T cells from the bone marrow are resting and maintain long-lasting systemic memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 9229-9234. * equal contribution
  12. Alexander T, Thiel A, Rosen O, Massenkeil G, Sattler A, Kohler S, Mei H, Radtke H, Gromnica-Ihle E, Burmester GR, Arnold R, Radbruch A, Hiepe F. Depletion of autoreactive immunologic memory followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with refractory SLE induces long-term remission through de novo generation of a juvenile and tolerant immune system. Blood. 2009, Jan 1;113(1):214-23.
  13. Tokoyoda K, Zehentmeier S, Hegazy AN, Albrecht I, Grün JR, Löhning M, Radbruch A. Professional memory CD4+ T lymphocytes preferentially reside and rest in the bone marrow. Immunity. 2009 May;30(5):721-30.
  14. Niesner U, Albrecht I, Janke M, Doebis C, Loddenkemper C, Lexberg MH, Eulenburg K, Kreher S, Koeck J, Baumgrass R, Bonhagen K, Kamradt T, Enghard P, Humrich JY, Rutz S, Schulze- Topphoff U, Aktas O, Bartfeld S, Radbruch H, Hegazy AN, Lohning M, Baumgart DC, Duchmann R, Rudwaleit M, Haupl T, Gitelman I, Krenn V, Gruen J, Sieper J, Zeitz M, Wiedenmann B, Zipp F, Hamann A, Janitz M, Scheffold A, Burmester GR, Chang HD, Radbruch A. Autoregulation of Th1-mediated inflammation by twist1. J Exp Med. 2008; 205, 1889-901.
  15. Manz RA, Thiel A, Radbruch A. Lifetime of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Nature. 1997 Jul 10;388(6638):133-4.
  16. Manz R, Assenmacher M, Pflüger E, Miltenyi S, Radbruch A. Analysis and sorting of live cells according to secreted molecules, relocated to a cell-surface affinity matrix. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Mar 14;92(6):1921-5.doi: 10.1073/pnas.92.6.1921. PMID: 7892200; PMCID: PMC42394.
  17. Schmitz J, Assenmacher M, Radbruch A. Regulation of T helper cell cytokine expression: functional dichotomy of antigen-presenting cells. Eur J Immunol. 1993 Jan;23(1):191-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830230130. PMID: 8419171.
  18. Jung S, Rajewsky K, Radbruch A. Shutdown of class switch recombination by deletion of a switch region control element. Science. 1993; 259, 984-7.
  19. Miltenyi S, Müller W, Weichel W, Radbruch A. High gradient magnetic cell separation with MACS. Cytometry. 1990;11(2):231-8. doi: 10.1002/cyto.990110203.PMID: 1690625.
  20. Radbruch A, Zaiss S, Kappen C, Brüggemann M, Beyreuther K, Rajewsky K. Drastic change in idiotypic but not antigen-binding specificity of an antibody by a single amino-acid substitution. Nature. 1985 Jun 6-12;315(6019):506-8. doi:10.1038/315506a0. PMID: 2582273.
Radbruch lab
Immunological memory is a driver of rheumatic inflammation
DRFZ Structures
Boards and Organization Chart
European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS)
Andreas Radbruch is EFIS president from 2019 - 2021
Robert Koch Foundation
Andreas Radbruch is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Robert Koch Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors
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