Prof. Dr. Reinhold Förster participates in RESIST research projects B5, B9 and C2.

My Research Interest in RESIST

My research interest in RESIST covers various topics: For example, my team is working on a vaccine against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 based on a smallpox virus. We also want to develop an antibody test that will also help to find out how well these antibodies protect against re-infection. Another topic is biofilms – accumulations of microorganisms embedded in self-produced matrices. They represent a major challenge in the treatment of patients – for example, when they grow on implants. I am interested in which factors of the immune system favour the formation of biofilms. I am also interested in how it is that some people are not protected against hepatitis B despite being vaccinated. And we are investigating to what extent advanced age contributes to the reactivation of herpes viruses.

Prof. Förster about his scientific work

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Förster – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Since 2001 Full (C4) Professor of Immunology and Director, Institute of Immunology, MHH 

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1981 – 1982 University of Erlangen; Electronic Engineering, Germany

  • 1982 – 1988 Veterinary School, University of Munich; University of Cambridge, UK

  • 1991 Veterinary Doctorate (Dr. med. vet.; Supervisor Prof. Dr. met vet Anton Mayr)

  • 1998 Habilitation (Supervisor Prof. Dr. rer. Nat. Michael Schmidt; Dr. rer. nat. Martin Lipp) 

Academic and Research Posts

  • 1991 – 1993 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Biochemistry, University of Munich, Germany 

  • 1994 – 2000 Research Associate at the Max-Delbruck-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany

  • 2000 – 2001 Associate Professor for Experimental Surgery and Immunology, University of Erlangen, Germany 

  • Since 2001 Full (C4) Professor of Immunology and Director, Institute of Immunology, MHH, Germany

  • 2016 Full Professor (W3) of Immunology and Head of Max-Plank Research Group, University of Würzburg (declined), Germany 

Other Scientific Roles

  • 1995 – 1997 Member of the Scientific Council of the Max-Delbruck-Center, Berlin, Germany

  • 1997 – 2000 Member of the Board of Trustees of the Max-Delbruck-Center, Berlin, Germany

  • 2002 – 2013 Board member of the CRC 587

  • 2003 – 2013 Spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC 621)

  • Since 2003 Spokesperson of the International PhD-Program “Infection Biology”

  • 2004 – 2011 Board member of the CRC 566

  • Since 2005 Spokesperson of the medical thesis program “StrucMed”

  • 2007 – 2014 Board member of “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Immunologie”

  • 2008 – 2016 Fachkollegiat (panel member) of the German Research Foundation (DFG)

  • 2009 – 2013 Member of the Executive Committee European Journal of Immunology

  • 2010 – 2022 Board member of the CRC 900

  • Since 2010 Spokesperson of the PhD program “Dynamic of Host Pathogen-Interactions-DEWIN” at the Center for Infection Biology (ZIB) Hannover/Braunschweig

  • 2011 – 2018 Board member of the CRC 738

  • 2014 – 2019 Deputy Spokesperson of the Excellence Cluster Rebirth

  • 2018 – 2022 Deputy Spokesperson of the CRC 900

  • Since 2017 Member (since 2023 head) of Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland 

  • Since 2019 Deputy Spokesperson of the Excellence Cluster RESIST

  • Since 2023 President “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Immunologie“

  • Since 2024 Spokesperson of the Excellence Cluster RESIST

Awards and Prizes

  • 1985 – 1991 Scholar of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation

  • 2000 The Stifterverband Science Award, Erwin Schrödinger-Preis

  • 2001 Langener Wissenschaftspreis

  • 2003 Schunk Preis; Veterinary School; University of Giessen 

  • 2012 ERC-Advanced grant 

Recommended Links

For further information about Prof. Förster’s scientific work please check the following links:

10 Selected Publications

Barros-Martins, J.**, S.I. Hammerschmidt**, A. Cossmann**, I. Odak, M.V. Stankov, G. Morillas Ramos, A. Dopfer-Jablonka, A. Heidemann, C. Ritter, M. Friedrichsen, C. Schultze-Florey, I. Ravens, S. Willenzon, A. Bubke, J. Ristenpart, A. Janssen, G. Ssebyatika, G. Bernhardt, J. Munch, M. Hoffmann, S. Pohlmann, T. Krey, B. Bosnjak*, R. Forster*, and G.M.N. Behrens*. 2021. Immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants after heterologous and homologous ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/BNT162b2 vaccination. Nat Med 27(9):1525-1529 PMID: 34262158 (This work has been an equal contribution of the Förster and Behrens labs; shared first(**) and senior (*)  authorships).

Martens, R., M. Permanyer, K. Werth, K. Yu, A. Braun, O. Halle, S. Halle, G.E. Patzer, B. Bosnjak, F. Kiefer, A. Janssen, M. Friedrichsen, J. Poetzsch, K. Kohli, Y. Lueder, R. Gutierrez Jauregui, N. Eckert, T. Worbs, M. Galla, and R. Forster. 2020. Efficient homing of T cells via afferent lymphatics requires mechanical arrest and integrin-supported chemokine guidance.Nat Commun 11:1114. PMID: 32111837. Open Access

Halle, S., K.A. Keyser, F.R. Stahl, A. Busche, A. Marquardt, x. Zheng, M. Galla, V. Heissmeyer, K. Heller, J. Boelter, K. Wagner, Y. Bischoff, R. Schwegmann, A. Braun, K. Werth, A. Uvarovskii, H. Kempf, M. Meyer-Hermann, R. Arens, M. Kremer, G. Sutter, M. Messerle, and R. Förster. 2016. In vivo killing capacity of cytotoxic T cells is limited and involves dynamic interactions and T cell cooperativity. Immunity 44:233-245. PMID: 26872694. Open Access

Fleige, H., S. Ravens, G.L. Moschovakis, J. Bolter, S. Willenzon, G. Sutter, S. Haussler, U. Kalinke, I. Prinz, and R. Forster. 2014. IL-17-induced CXCL12 recruits B cells and induces follicle formation in BALT in the absence of differentiated FDCs. J Exp Med 211:643-651. PMID: 24663215. Open Access

Ulvmar, M.H**., K. Werth**, A. Braun, P. Kelay, E. Hub, K. Eller, L. Chan, B. Lucas, I. Novitzky-Basso, K. Nakamura, T. Rulicke, R.J. Nibbs, T. Worbs, R. Forster*, and A. Rot*. 2014. The atypica lchemokine receptor CCRL1 shapes functional CCL21 gradients in lymph nodes. Nat Immunol 15:623-630. PMID: 24813163

Wendland, M., S. Willenzon, J. Kocks, A.C. Davalos-Misslitz, S.I. Hammerschmidt, K. Schumann, E. Kremmer, M. Sixt, A. Hoffmeyer, O. Pabst, and R. Forster. 2011. Lymph node T cell homeostasis relies on steady state homing of dendritic cells. Immunity 35:945-957. PMID: 22195748. Open Access

Hammerschmidt SI, Friedrichsen M, Boelter J, Lyszkiewicz M, Kremmer E, Pabst O, Förster R. Retinoic acid induces homing of protective T and B cells to the gut after subcutaneous immunization in mice. J Clin Invest. 2011 Aug;121(8):3051-61. doi: 10.1172/JCI44262.. PMID: 21737878. Open Access

Braun, A., T. Worbs, G.L. Moschovakis, S. Halle, K. Hoffmann, J. Boelter, A. Munk, and R. Forster. 2011. Afferent lymph-derived T cells and dendritic cells use different CCR7-dependent routes for lymph node entry and intranodal migration. Nature Immunology 12:879-887. PMID: 21841786

Forster, R.*, A. Schubel, D. Breitfeld, E. Kremmer, I. Renner-Muller, E. Wolf, and M. Lipp. 1999. CCR7 coordinates the primary immune response by establishing functional microenvironments in secondary lymphoid organs. Cell 99:23-33. *corresponding author; This manuscript has been high-lighted: Melchers F. et al, Cell, 1999; Cyster J.C. Current Biology 2000; PMID: 10520991. Open Access

Forster, R., A.E. Mattis, E. Kremmer, E. Wolf, G. Brem, and M. Lipp. 1996. A putative chemokine receptor, BLR1, directs B cell migration to defined lymphoid organs and specific anatomic compartments of the spleen. Cell 87:1037-1047. PMID: 8978608. Open Access


  Prof. Dr. med. Reinhold Förster
  Institute of Immunology, Hannover Medical School (MHH)
  Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1
30625 Hannover
  +49 511 532-9721