Zu den Inhalten springen

Centrum für Chronische Immundefizienz - CCI

Research Group "Innate immunity and immunodeficiency"

Prof. Dr. Philipp Henneke

Innate immunity is - in contrast to the individually developed adaptive immunity - chromosomally encoded and passed on from one generation to the next. It is available right from the beginning of life and particularly important in newborns and during fulminant invasive infections like sepsis and meningitis.  
The research group "Innate immunity and immunodeficiency" investigates receptor-mediated mechanisms underlying cellular innate immunity against bacteria, specifically streptococci (pneumococci, group B streptococci), staphylococci and mycobacteria. Emerging areas of interest are the development and microenvironmental programming of macrophages, and the impact of these dynamic events on mucosal control of bacteria and infection pathogenesis. In order to improve understanding and break new ground, we exploit a variety of methods, including infection models in mice, in vitro models and clinical studies.


since 2012Professor of Infection and Immunity, Head of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology, Medical Center - University of Freiburg
since 2006Consultant, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Freiburg University
since 2003Assistant Professor, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Freiburg University
2002-2003 Fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Freiburg University
2002 Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts
2001-2002Instructor, University of Massachusetts Medical School
2001-2002Lecturer, Harvard Medical School, Boston
1999-2001Post Doc, Boston University
1995MD Thesis, FU Berlin
1994-1999 Fellowship in General Pediatrics, FU Berlin
1987-1994Study of Medicine, FU Berlin, Imperial College, London

Research Areas

  1. Immunological control of streptococci and staphylococci as harmless colonizers at mucocutaneous sites (skin, intestine). Impact of individual development on this control. This work involves animal models, where progression from bacterial colonization to invasion can be studied and manipulated, analysis of bacterial isolates from patients, etc.
  2. Cell autonomous interaction and signaling events between macrophages, monocytes and granulocytes and bacteria. Areas of interest are receptor-effector interactions, cellular programming and handling of bacteria. Reporter assays, confocal microscopy and live cell imaging are critical tools.
  3. Development and differentiation of macrophage subsets in vivo. We are particularly interested in postnatal development of macrophage that reside close to colonizing bacteria. We use reporter mice, conditional mice and stem-cell derived macrophages.


  • Macrophage biology: Marco Prinz (Freiburg), Michael Sieweke (Marseille)
  • Novel immunodeficiencies: Klaus Schwarz (Ulm)
  • Pneumococcal pathogenesis: Richard Malley (Boston, MA, USA)
  • Stem cells: Toni Cathomen (Freiburg)
  • Streptococcal genetics and pathogenesis: Claire Poyart and Patrick Trieu-Cuot (Paris)
  • Toll-like receptors, inflammasome: Douglas Golenbock (Worcester, MA, USA), Carsten Kirschning (Essen)
  • Cellular innate immunity to staphylococci: Andreas Peschel (Tübingen), Jos van Strijp (Utrecht)

Research Sponsors:

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, ML, USA)
  • European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID)
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
  • Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg



Elling R, Keller B, Weidinger C, Häffner M, Deshmukh SD, Zee I, Speckmann C,Ehl S, Schwarz K, Feske S, Henneke P. 2016. Preserved effector functions of humanORAI1- and STIM1-deficient neutrophils. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 137(5):1587-1591.

Kolter J, Feuerstein R, Spoeri E, Gharun K, Elling R, Trieu-Cuot P, GoldmannT, Waskow C, Chen ZJ, Kirschning CJ, Deshmukh SD, Henneke P. 2016. Streptococci Engage TLR13 on Myeloid Cells in a Site-Specific Fashion. J Immunol. 196(6):2733-41.

Feuerstein R, Seidl M, Prinz M, Henneke P.  2015. MyD88 in Macrophages Is Critical for Abscess Resolution in Staphylococcal Skin Infection. J Immunol. 194(6):2735-45.

Landwehr-Kenzel S, Henneke P. 2014. Interaction of Streptococcus agalactiae and Cellular Innate Immunity in Colonization and Disease. Front Immunol. 5:519.

Schwab, L., L. Goroncy, S. Palaniyandi, S. Gautam, A. Triantafyllopoulou, A. Mocsai, W. Reichardt, F. Karlsson, S. Radhakrishnan, K. Hanke, A. Schmitt-Graeff, M. Freudenberg, F. von Loewenich, P. Wolf, F. Leonhardt, N. Baxan, D. Pfeifer, O. Schmah, A. Schonle, S. Martin, R. Mertelsmann, J. Duyster, J. Finke, M. Prinz, P. Henneke, H. Hacker, G. Hildebrandt, G. Hacker, and R. Zeiser. 2014. Neutrophil granulocytes recruited upon translocation of intestinal bacteria enhance graft-versus-host disease via tissue damage. Nat Med 20:648-654.

Gupta, R., S. Ghosh, B. Monks, R. Deoliveira, T. Tzeng, P. Kalantari, A. Nandy, B. Bhattacharjee, F. Ferreira, S. Sharma, E. Lien, N. Silverman, K. Fitzgerald, A. Firon, P. Trieu-Cuot, P. Henneke, and D. Golenbock. 2014. RNA and b-hemolysin of Group B streptococcus induce IL-1b by activa-ting NLRP3 inflammasome in mouse macrophages. J Biol Chem 289:13701-5.

Pannicke, U.*, Baumann, B.*, Fuchs, S.*, Henneke, P.*, Rensing-Ehl, A., Rizzi, M., Janda, A., Hese, K., Schlesier, M., Holzmann, K., Borte, S., Laux, C, Rump, E., Rosenberg, A., Zelinski, T., Schrezenmeier, H., Wirth, T., Ehl, S., Schroeder, M.L., and K. Schwarz. 2013. Deficiency of innate and acquired immunity caused by an IKBKB mutation. N Engl J Med 369(26):2504-14. (* Equal contribution)

Kenzel, S., Mergen, M., von Suesskind-Schwendi, J., Wennekamp, J., Deshmukh, S.D., Haeffner, M., Triantafyllopoulou, A., Fuchs, S., Farmand, S,. Santos-Sierra, S., Seufert, van den Berg, T., Kuijpers, T.W., and P. Henneke. 2012. Insulin modulates the inflammatory granulocyte response to streptococci via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. J Immunol 189:4582-91.

Deshmukh, S. D., S. Muller, K. Hese, K. S. Rauch, J. Wennekamp, O. Takeuchi, S. Akira, D. T. Golenbock, and P. Henneke. 2012. NO is a macrophage autonomous modifier of the cytokine response to streptococcal single-stranded RNA. J Immunol 188:774-780.

Deshmukh, S. D., B. Kremer, M. Freudenberg, S. Bauer, D. T. Golenbock, and P. Henneke. 2011. Macrophages recognize streptococci through bacterial single-stranded RNA. EMBO Rep 12:71-76.

Santos-Sierra, S., S. D. Deshmukh, J. Kalnitski, P. Kuenzi, M. Wymann, D. Golenbock, and P. Henneke. 2009. Mal connects TLR2 to PI3Kinase activation and phagocyte polarization. EMBO J 28:2018-27.


Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Philipp Henneke, MD
Tel.: +49 761 270-77640 (secretary)

Postdoctoral Fellows

Roland Elling, MD
Berta Ottenstein Clinician Scientist
Facharzt für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin
Fellow, Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Tel.: +49 761 270-71040

Reinhild Feuerstein, PhD
The role of myeloid cell networks in the pathogenesis of S. aureus skin infections
Tel.: +49 761 270-71040

Martin Kuntz, MD
Tel.: +49 761 270-71030

PhD Students

Sebastian Baasch
Tel.: +49 761 270-71040

Kelly Daryll Blanz
Diplom-Molekularmediziner, SGBM Stipendiat
Tel.: +49 761 270-71030

Aaron James Forde
Tel.: +49 761 270-71040

Kourosh Gharun
Tel.: +49 761 270-71030

Julia Kolter
Tel.: +49 761 270-71040

Florens Lohrmann, MD
SGBM Stipendiat
Tel.: +49 761 270-71030

MD Students

Anne Lößlein
MOTI-VATE - Stipendiatin
Tel.: +49 761 270-71040


Bernhard Kremer
Laboratory Manager
Tel.: +49 761 270-71050

Anita Imm
Tel.: +49 761 270-71030 / -43850

Personal Assistant

Beate Roller
PA to Prof. Henneke
Tel.: +49 761 270-77640


Prof. Dr. med. Philipp Henneke

Center for Chronic Immunodeficiency
at Center for Translational Cell Research

Breisacher Str. 115
79106 Freiburg

Phone: +49 (0)761 270-77640 (Secretary)
Fax: +49 (0)761 270-77600