Prof. Dr. Thomas Werfel participates in RESIST research projects A3, A4 and B5.

My Research Interest in RESIST

My research interests focus on chronic inflammatory skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (role of allergens, microbial antigens and autoantigens, immunological mechanism, new therapeutical approaches). During the last years, I contributed knowledge regarding different trigger factors, inflammatory signaling and cellular and humoral responses. I investigated patients at risk regarding pathogen infections which can lead to life-threatening complications and described mechanisms how pathogens act as driving forces of atopic dermatitis.

In RESIST, I aim to expand the knowledge on pathogens that represent a threat for patients suffering from inflammatory skin and other diseases driven by severe type 2 immune responses, especially Herpes viruses. Recruiting different cohorts of patients at risk, I will investigate susceptibility factors from a genetic as well as an immunological point of view and will contribute to projects investigating pathogen infection and inflammation mechanisms. 

Prof. Werfel about his scientific work

Prof. Dr. Thomas Werfel – Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Professor of Dermatology (W3), Director of Dept. of Dermatology and Allergy, MHH

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Training

  • 1978 – 1985 Medical School in Göttingen and London

  • 1987 Medical Doctorate (Dr. med.; Supervisor Prof. Dr. med. O. Götze) 

  • 1996 Habilitation in Dermatology and Venereology

  • 1994 Certificate of Completed Specialist Training in Dermatology and Venereology 

  • 1995 Certificate of Completed Specialist Training in Allergology 

Academic and Research Posts

  • 1985 – 1987 Postgraduate Trainee, Dept. Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Hannover Medical School

  • 1987 – 1989 Postgraduate Trainee, Institute of Immunology, Göttingen University

  • 1989 – 1994 Postgraduate Assistant, Dept Dermatology and Venereology, Hannover Medical School 

  • 1996 – 2001 University Lecturer, Dept. Dermatology and Venereology, Hannover Medical School 

  • 2001 – 2008 Full (C3) Professor, Dept. Dermatology and Venereology, Hannover Medical School 

  • 2008 – 2022  Full (W3) Professor of Dermatology, Head of Division Immunodermatology and Allergy Research and Vice Director of Dept. of Dermatology and Allergy, MHH 

  • Since 2022 Full (W3) Professor of Dermatology, Director of Dept. of Dermatology and Allergy, MHH

Other Scientific Roles

  • 2006 – 2012 Speaker, DFG Graduiertenkolleg 1441

  • 2011 – 2021 Section Editor Skin Allergy of Curr Opinion Allergy Clin Immunology

  • 2012 – 2017 Section Editor of the J Invest Dermatology

  • 2012 – 2020 Advisory board of the DFG (Fachkollegium)

  • 2015 – 2018 Board member of the European Society of Dermatological research (ESDR) 

  • Since 2015 Board member of the German Society of Dermatology (DDG)

  • 2016 – 2019 President of the German Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) 

Awards and Prizes

  • 1978 – 1985 Recipient of a grant from the Evangelisches Studienwerk 

  • 1996 Herbert-Herxheimer-Gedächtnispreis, German Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology

  • 1998 Scientific-Hans-Storck-Award, Technische Universität Zürich, Switzerland

  • 2003 Fujisawa Research Award “Immunomodulation in Dermatology“ (Major Award) 

10 Selected Publications

Kopfnagel V, Wagenknecht S, Harder J, Hofmann K, Kleine M, Buch A, Sodeik B, Werfel T. RNase 7 strongly promotes TLR9-mediated DNA sensing by human plasmacytoid dendritic cells. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 (epub ahead of print). 

Traidl S, Kienlin P, Begemann G, Jing L, Koelle DM, Werfel T, Roesner LM. Patients with atopic dermatitis and history of eczema herpeticum elicit herpes simplex virus-specific type 2 immune responses. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 (epub ahead of print). 

Roesner LM, Heratizadeh A, Wieschowski S, Mittermann I, Valenta R, Eiz-Vesper B, Hennig C, Hansen G, Falk CS, Werfel T. α-NAC-Specific Autoreactive CD8+ T Cells in Atopic Dermatitis Are of an Effector Memory Type and Secrete IL-4 and IFN-γ. J Immunol. 2016; 196: 3245-52. 

Werfel T, Heratizadeh A, Niebuhr M, Kapp A, Roesner LM, Karch A, Erpenbeck VJ, Lösche C, Jung T, Krug N, Badorrek P, Hohlfeld JM. Exacerbation of atopic dermatitis upon grass pollen exposure in an environmental challenge chamber. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015; 136: 96-103. 

Roesner LM, Heratizadeh A, Begemann G, Kienlin P, Hradetzky S, Niebuhr M, Eiz-Vesper B, Hennig C, Hansen G, Baron-Bodo V, Moingeon P, Werfel T. Der p1 and Der p2-Specific T Cells Display a Th2, Th17, and Th2/Th17 Phenotype in Atopic Dermatitis. J Invest Dermatol. 2015; 135: 2324-27. 

Krug N, Hohlfeld JM, Kirsten AM, Kornmann O, Beeh KM, Kappeler D, Korn S, Ignatenko S, Timmer W, Rogon C, Zeitvogel J, Zhang N, Bille J, Homburg U, Turowska A, Bachert C, Werfel T, Buhl R, Renz J, Garn H, Renz H. Allergen-induced asthmatic responses modified by a GATA3-specific DNAzyme. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372: 1987-95. 

Hradetzky S, Roesner LM, Balaji H, Heratizadeh A, Mittermann I, Valenta R, Werfel T. Cytokine effects induced by the human autoallergen α-NAC. J Invest Dermatol. 2014; 134: 1570-8. 

Hradetzky S, Balaji H, Roesner LM, Heratizadeh A, Mittermann I, Valenta R, Werfel T. The human skin- associated autoantigen α-NAC activates monocytes and dendritic cells via TLR-2 and primes an IL-12- dependent Th1 response. J Invest Dermatol. 2013; 133: 2289-92. 

Balaji H, Heratizadeh A, Wichmann K, Niebuhr M, Crameri R, Scheynius A, Werfel T. Malassezia sympodialis thioredoxin-specific T cells are highly cross-reactive to human thioredoxin in atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011; 128: 992-3. 

Niebuhr M, Scharonow H, Gathmann M, Mamerow D, Werfel T. Staphylococcal exotoxins are strong inducers of IL-22: A potential role in atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010; 126: 1176-83.