A RESIST satellite symposium was held for the first time – as part of the annual meeting of the German Society for Immunology (DGfl) and the Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI). Ten speakers enriched the guests’ knowledge on the topics of SARS-CoV-2, therapeutic measures and systems immunology in the well-attended MHH lecture theatre H on 7 September.

Prof. Pöhlmann from the German Primate Centre kicked things off with his lecture on SARS-CoV-2 variants. Dr. Bosnjak from the MHH Institute of Immunology then presented his work on the inhalable SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, colleague Dr. de Barros reported on immune reactions to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and Prof. Krey, Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Lübeck, explained the activity of broadly neutralising antibodies against SARS-associated coronaviruses.

On the topic of “Therapeutic Measures”, Ximena Leon Lara, MHH Institute of Immunology, explained the maturation of γδ- and αβ-T cells in premature and newborn infants. Prof. Viemann, Translational Paediatrics of the University Hospital Würzburg, clarified the perinatal programming of the innate immune system by S100 alarmins and Prof. Lachmann, MHH Clinic for Paediatrics, Paediatric Pneumology, Allergology and Neonatology, on the role of macrophages in modern infection medicine.

Dr. Kefalakes, MHH Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, devoted herself to systems immunology. She explained how T cells can be used to control hepatitis D infection. Dr. Rösner, MHH Clinic for Dermatology, Allergology and Veneralogy, reported on risk factors for severe courses of varicella zoster virus infections and Lennart Riemann rounded off the programme with his talk on mechanisms of immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines.

Prizes for RESIST researchers

RESIST researcher Maike Willers from Prof. Viemann’s Experimental Neonatology group received the “AAI Bright Sparks Award”, endowed with 300 euros, from the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) for her lecture at the congress. The topic of her lecture was the age-dependent programming of the innate immune defence against the influenza A virus. “By means of our studies on this, we would like to understand, among other things, which type of immune programming is associated with increased susceptibility and severe courses of influenza diseases,” she says.

RESIST Medicine PhD students Greta Ehlers and Annika Tödtmann jointly received a prize of 200 euros for their poster “Ontogenesis of postnatal innate immune metabolism”, sponsored by Merck.


Reunion joy (from left): Greta Ehlers, Maike Willers, Prof. Viemann and Prof. Grimbacher.
Exciting lectures: Ximena Leon Lara explains how certain T cells mature in premature and newborn babies.
Also important: Breaks offer opportunities for exchange and invigoration.