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The Cell Therapy Team

Lukas Bunse, MD PhD

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 PhD - Team Leader
  • Yu-Chan Chih - PhD student
  • Alina Paul, M. Sc. - PhD student
  • Clara Tejido Dierssen, M. Sc. - PhD student
  • Khwab Sanghvi, M.Sc. - scientific project management
  • David Vonhören, M.Sc. - PhD student
  • David Palmero Cantón, M. Sc. - PhD student
  • Henrike Feldmann, M. Sc. - PhD student
  • Hannah Gelhaus, M. Sc. - PhD student
  • Amelie Dietsch - MD student
  • Philipp Koopmann – MD student
  • Julius Michel - MD student
  • Hao Qi, M.Sc. - MD student
  • Binghao Zhao - MD student
  • Kuralay Aman - MD student
  • Zeren Hu - MD student
  • Belize Acharya - MD student
  • Andreas Dobbelstein - MD student
  • Viktoria Sachs - technician 
  • Andrea Braun-Kornmüller (Team Mannheim)
  • Anna Rödl (Team Mannheim)
  • Robi Schramm – MD student (Team Mannheim)

Selected publications




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