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The Mannheim Institute for Innate Immunoscience (MI3) of Heidelberg University serves as a cross-sectional hub for innovative immunology research with an emphasis on innate immunity. In close connection with the four research areas of the Medical Faculty Mannheim and the University Medical Center Mannheim, the MI3 explores the functions of innate immune cells and their tissue specific cross-talk with the adaptive immune system, non-immune and malignant cells and pathogens.


Micronutrient Queosine promotes sex-dependent learning and memory formation

Biochemists at MI3 together with scientists at the DKFZ in Heidelberg and the UMM Department of Neurology discovered a key role for the micronutrient Queosine in learning and memory formation. Mice that cannot incorporate Queosine into tRNA show alterations in the hippocampus, affecting female mice more severely than males. At the molecular level, loss of Queosine-tRNA caused specific defects in mRNA decoding and a general imbalance in protein synthesis.

Article (pdf)

Press release at the Medical Faculty Mannheim (German language)

A central paradigm in immunorecognition needs updating

Researchers at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry (IKC) have, for the first time, demonstrated the phenotype of a new class of innate immune cells of the monocytic lineage further designated “Variable ImmunoReceptor-Expressing Myeloids” (VIREM). While previous work at the IKC had reported on the molecular evidence of their existence, the group of PD Dr. Tina Fuchs now shows immunofluorescent images of VIREM in the peripheral blood of healthy individuals and gives a first account on their functionalities as derived from experimental models. Genome-wide epigenetic profiling establishes that these cells are unrelated to lymphoid cells with their closest kinship being with monocytes/macrophages. Antibody-expressing VIREM cells (B-VIREM) can load their own Fc receptors with endogenous antibodies, thus linking highly specific cellular antigen recognition functions to potent myeloid effector functions like phagocytosis. VIREM therefore may be perceived as “smart myeloid cells” not requiring a pre-existing B-cell-derived antibody-mediated opsonization to recognize their specific targets. The group´s paper by Neumaier et al. also establishes, for the first time, the specificity of a B-VIREM monoclonal antibody and shows the plasticity and clonalities of B-VIREM responses in a pre-published single-cell dataset of COVID-19 patients in different states of disease. Ongoing research now aims to unravel the role of VIREM in health and disease also using the further characterization of a proprietary conditional KO mouse model.

Hope for a gentler therapy of skin lymphomas

MI3-Kick-Off-Symposium and Retreat

On September 29, the MI3 - Mannheim Institute of Innate Immunoscience - invited to a top-class kick-off symposium in the "Alte Brauerei" in Mannheim. On the following day, the MI3 scientists met again for a retreat to discuss their research.

At the start of the kick-off event, Professor Dr. Adelheid Cerwenka, the Managing Director of MI3, introduced the institute, which was founded three years ago in the cross-sectional area of inflammation medicine, immunology and immunotherapies at the Mannheim Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University. MI3 stands for innovative immunological research with a focus on innate immunity. In close connection with the four research foci of the Medical Faculty and clinical foci of the University Hospital Mannheim, MI3 investigates the reactivity and function of innate immune cells in cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases.

With Professor Dr. Christian Bogdan (Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen), Professor Dr. Alexander Dalpke (Heidelberg University Hospital), Professor Dr. Dr. Ulrike Köhl (Leipzig University Hospital and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, IZI, Leipzig) and Professor Dr. Nina Papavasiliou (German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ, Heidelberg), leading scientists in the field of innate immunity were recruited for an exciting program of lectures at the symposium. A particular highlight was the keynote lecture by Professor Dr. Lewis Lanier (Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, USA) entitled "Natural killer cell activation".

At the retreat the following day, scientists from MI3's core and associated departments presented their exciting MI3 research projects, followed by lively discussions. A common conclusion of both event days is that they were more than worthwhile - not only because many findings of immunological research were exchanged, which always give impulses for project ideas. There was also enough time for networking to deepen existing collaborations and to initiate new ones.


29th September 2022, 01.30 – 06:00 p.m.
30th September 2022, 09:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m.

Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University
Alte Brauerei, Lecture Room 2
Röntgenstrasse 7, 68167 Mannheim

We are pleased to announce that we have put together an exciting program for both our MI3-Retreat as well as for our MI3-Kick-Off Symposium featuring top international/national leaders in the field of innate immunity.

Kick-Off-Symposium Program

New Option of Treatment for Second-line Therapy of Advanced Oesophageal Cancer

A UMM initiated “RAMONA study” presents worldwide for the first time a combined immune therapy option with two Checkpoint inhibitors as a safe and effective treatment for older patients. Patients with advanced and refractory oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma who do not respond to the first-line radiation therapy and/or chemo therapy face poor prognosis and there has been no standard second-line therapy

The “RAMONA study” led by Professor Dr. Matthias Ebert, head of the Department of Medicine II of the University Medical Center Mannheim (UMM) and Professor of Internal Medicine at Heidelberg University was conducted in over 30 centers in Germany. This trial provides new evidence for a new treatment option with immune therapy in these older patients.


Graduate Research Training Group (GRK) 2727/1


Associate Members

Michael Boettcher, Prof. Dr.

Steven Dooley, Prof. Dr.

Matthias Ebert, Prof. Dr.
- Elke Burgermeister, PD. Dr.

Sascha Gravius, Prof. Dr.

Jörg Heineke, Prof. Dr.

Bernhard Krämer, Prof. Dr.
Jan Leipe, Dr.
- Benito Yard, Prof. Dr.

Sonja Loges, Prof. Dr. Dr.

Jan Nicolay, Prof. Dr.

Michael Platten, Prof. Dr.

Nicole Rotter, Prof. Dr.

Lucas Schirmer, Prof. Dr.

Horst Schroten, Prof. Dr.
- Christian Schwerk, Prof. Dr.

Jonathan Sleeman, Prof. Dr.

Marc Sütterlin, Prof. Dr.
- Kai Doberstein, Dr.
- Frederik Marmé, Prof. Dr.

Manfred Thiel, Prof. Dr.
- Holger Lindner, PD Dr.
- Verena Schneider-Lindner, PD Dr. Dr.

Viktor Umansky, Prof. Dr