Molecular Cell Biology and Gene Therapy
Head of the Group
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Uckert
31.1: Max Delbrück House (Hochbau)
Antigen specificity of T cells is determined by their T cell receptor (TCR) and can be redirected by the transfer of TCRα/β genes. TCR gene-modified T cells can elicit effector functions against any target antigen. The adoptive transfer of TCR-redirected T cells into cancer patients has already led to first clinical success.
The focus of our group lies on the adoptive transfer of TCR-redirected T cells for the therapy of cancer and viral diseases. We address questions related to: (i) generation of T cells with new antigen specificity by TCR gene transfer, (ii) safety aspects of TCR-redirected T cells with respect to the recognition of self-antigens, (iii) adoptive transfer of TCR-redirected T cells in mice as a prerequisite for the application of those cells in human diseases, and (iv) optimization of TCR transfer vectors.
The expected results serve as a platform for the genetic engineering of „designer“ T cells which are the basis for clinical studies using adoptive T cell therapy with TCR-gene-modified T cells.