Interleukin-12 in cancer suppression: location, location, location...
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Burkhard Becher - University Hospital of Zurich
June 26, 2012
16:00 DKFZ Main Auditorium
Host: Michael Platten
Biosketch Burkhard Becher
Burkhard Becher studied Biology at the University of Cologne in Germany and specialized in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry. In 1995, for his graduate studies he went to the Montreal Neurological Inst. at Mc Gill University in Canada to learn Neuroimmunology. His work focused on the role of microglia cells as brain-resident myeloid cells capable of instructing self-reactive T cells in the context of autoimmune neuroinflammation. In 1999 he joined the lab of Randy Noelle at the Dartmouth Medical School to extend his work to in vivo models and transgenic mice. He developed tools to specifically manipulate microglial cells in vivo during inflammation. Burkhard has always been fascinated by the function of cytokines and by how these molecules permit cell-cell communication between immune cells. He focused on IL-12 superfamily members and serendipitously he discovered by studying autoimmune disease development in IL-12 mutants, that not IL-12, but the sister cytokine IL-23, sharing a common subunit, is critical for disease development.
In 2003, he was recruited as Assistant Professor to the Neurology Department at the University Hospital of Zurich. There he continues to define the cytokine networks in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease and tumor immunology. In 2008, he obtained the prestigious position as chair of the Institute of experimental Immunology, where he continues to study Autoimmunity, Tumor Immunology and Cytokine Biology.