Research at the Division of Veterinary Medicine - Improving Animal and Human Health through better Disease Modeling
The Division of Veterinary Medicine is responsible for the authorization and experimental product testing of veterinary vaccines, sera, and novel immunotherapeutics. Our research complements this task by investigating product safety, efficacy and consistency. The development of well-characterized and validated in vitro and animal models is an integral part of these efforts. It is not only essential for an accurate preclinical assessment of new products and experimental concepts, but also actively contributes to replacing, reducing and refining (3R) the use of animals in experimental product testing.
Since most emerging and many well-known human pathogens are either transmitted from an animal reservoir or are closely related to animal pathogens, animal models can provide unique insights in pathogen-host interaction. Focusing on RNA viruses up to BSL3, we combine genetic modification of the respective pathogen with a detailed analysis of the resulting pathological and immunological changes to identify immune correlates of protection and virulence factors.
With the increasing understanding of effective and aberrant immune responses, the specific induction of such responses to control not only infections but also cancer and immune-mediated diseases, becomes more feasible. We use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to study differentiation processes and develop relevant in vitro disease models, and explore the potential of specifically designed blood cells and different viral vectors as innovative cancer and cell therapeutics or vaccine platforms.
All research programs offer training opportunities for Bachelor's, Master's and PhD students from different life sciences, medicine, and veterinary medicine programs as well as interested international exchange students.