The Cell Therapy Team

Lukas Bunse, MD

The Cell Therapy Team within the Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumor Immunology develops preclinical immune receptor transgenic therapies for patients with brain tumors and central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune disorders. Together with partners at University Faculty Mannheim and National Center of Tumor Diseases Heidelberg, The Cell Therapy Team seeks for early clinical translation of developed therapeutic strategies in a bench-to-bedside-to-bench approach. Adoptive T cell therapy using genetically engineered T cells expressing a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against CD19 has achieved remarkable regressions in lymphoma patients. Translation of this cellular concept to brain tumors has proven to be difficult, a major hurdle being the paucity of suitable cell surface antigens, neurotoxicity, the central nervous system (CNS) immune privilege per se, and brain tumor specific immune escape mechanisms. In close collaboration with the Immunogenomics Team and the Research Group DNA Vectors, The Cell Therapy Team not only applies novel episomal vectors for immune receptor cell therapy targeting patient-individual glioma-associated and -specific antigens, but also performs basic science using cutting-edge technologies and transgenic humanized experimental systems to understand and target brain tumor specific immune resistance mechanisms and develops rationales for combinatorial immunotherapies.

Team members

  • Lukas Bunse, MD - Team Leader
  • Yu-Chan Chih - PhD student
  • Mirco Friedrich - MD/PhD student
  • Markus Hahn - MD student
  • Niklas Kehl - MD student
  • Michael Kilian, M.Sc. - PhD student
  • Christopher Krämer - MD student
  • Kevin Lu - MD student
  • Hao Qi, M.Sc. - Master student
  • Khwab Sanghvi, M.Sc. - PhD student
  • Stefanie Jung - technician trainee


Selected publications


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