Research interests

Imaging immune cell dynamics by magnetic resonance (MRI) is a major clinical challenge. This is especially relevant with the advent of novel cancer immunotherapies. The group aims to visualize immunological processes in the tumor microenvironment and in autoimmunity (glioma and multiple sclerosis models). We employ a variety of imaging methods using high field MRI at 9.4 Tesla (in cooperation with the Neuroradiology Department, University Hospital Heidelberg) and correlative optical methods to investigate the cellular and subcellular level (2 photon intravital microscopy in cooperation with the AG Winkler, ultramicroscopy of cleared specimen in cooperation with the AG Tews).  We also use iron oxide nanoparticles and other innovative contrast agents for cell tracking of immune cell subsets in immunotherapeutic paradigms (active/ passive vaccination, checkpoint inhibition, adoptive transfer models). Our long-term goal is to define imaging “immune signatures” of response / resistance for treatment monitoring and translate such signatures into clinical practice.

© G160

Team members

  • Michael Breckwoldt
  • Allen Alexander
  • Katrin Deumelandt
  • Philipp Münch
  • Kianush Karimian
  • Manuel Fischer


  • M Costa da Silva, MO Breckwoldt, F Vinchi, MP Correia, A Stojanovic, CM Thielmann, MMeister, T Muley, A Warth, MPlatten, MW Hentze, A Cerwenka, and MU Muckenthaler, Iron Induces Anti-tumor Activity in Tumor-Associated Macrophages. Frontiers in Immunology, 2017
  • K Kirschbaum, JK, M Zeller, K Deumelandt, ……W Wick, ….., M Bendszus, M Platten and MO Breckwoldt, In vivo nanoparticle imaging of innate immune cells can serve as a marker of disease severity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. PNAS, 2016
  • MO Breckwoldt, J Bode, FT Kurz, A Hoffmann, K Ochs, M Ott, K Deumelandt, ….K Kirschbaum, …A Abdollahi, F Winkler, W Wick, M Platten, S Heiland, M Bendszus and B Tews, Correlated MR imaging and ultramicroscopy (MR-UM) is a tool kit to assess the dynamics of glioma angiogenesis. eLIFE, 2015
  • MO Breckwoldt, FMJ Pfister, PM Bradley, P Marinković, PR Williams, MS Brill, et al., Multiparametric optical analysis of mitochondrial redox signals during neuronal physiology and pathology in vivo. Nature Medicine, 2014 


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