Picture of Florian Erhard. Photo: Sandra Erhard

Insights into our immune system

Florian Erhard studies immune processes during encounters with different pathogens

Pattern recognition receptors, or PRRs for short, recognize pathogens by their molecular patterns. These receptors are responsible for triggering the immune response and set a number of immune processes in motion. The sum of all these mechanisms decides whether and how a pathogen can progress with productive infection. The molecular details and temporal dynamics are qualitatively and quantitatively dependent on the responsive PRRs, are cell type and state specific and vary among individuals.

Florian Erhard, formerly at the University of Würzburg and now at the University of Regensburg, aims to gain a better long-term understanding of these complex cell-intrinsic immune processes upon encounter with different pathogens. Together with Emmanuel Saliba from the Helmholtz Institute Würzburg as well as Lars Dölken and Bhupesh Prusty from the University of Würzburg, he is investigating regulatory changes in individual cells using the newly developed scSLAM-seq method at the Single-Cell Center Würzburg. A better understanding of these mechanisms may open up new avenues for the treatment and diagnosis of diseases.

About the Single-Cell Center Würzburg

The Single-Cell Center Würzburg is a joint competence center of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) with the Faculty of Medicine of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU), the University Hospital Würzburg (UKW), the Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies (TLZ-RT), and the Max Planck Research Group at the Würzburg Institute of Systems Immunology (WüSI).

The center’s objective is to analyze and understand diseases at the level of individual cells. In the future, this will enable the earliest possible and most reliable prediction of a disease and how it can be treated in the best possible way.