[Seminar] "Lymphocyte trafficking to the CNS – does provenance matter?" by Prof. Thomas Korn


Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 14:00 to 15:00


C209, Level C, Ctrl Bld


Title: Lymphocyte trafficking to the CNS – provenance matters

Speaker: Prof. Thomas Korn

Affiliation: Technical University of Munich


During the initial phase of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), lesion development in the CNS is driven by the systemic immune compartment. Lymphocytes and myeloid cells are recruited to the central nervous system (CNS) from the secondary lymphoid tissue and initiate immunopathology in the CNS. While several routes of entry of immune cells into the CNS have been described, it is unclear where in the peripheral immune compartment the cues that guide immune cell entry into the CNS are imprinted.

In this study, we hypothesized that the site of lymphocyte priming in the peripheral immune compartment leads to the imprinting of properties in T and B cells that determine their antigen receptor repertoire as well as their localization and functional adaptation in the CSF and eventually in the CNS. Here, we have developed a system of provenance mapping that allowed us to combine physical labeling of immune cells in distinct anatomical niches with single cell transcriptome analysis. We have found that priming of antigen specific T cells in distinct sites of the secondary lymphatic compartment guides their localization and effector functions in the CNS. Thus, we propose that CNS specific functional specialization of T cells (and B cells) is already imprinted in the peripheral immune compartment.


Degree/ Diploma, Field, Institution, Year Granted
1992-1999  Medical school at Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg and the Royal London School of Medicine, State examination
2000  Doctoral thesis (summa cum laude)
1999-2005  Residency in clinical neurology (Universities of Würzburg and Homburg)
2005  Board approval as fellow neurologist (Facharzt für Neurologie)
2005-2008  Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School (Laboratory of Prof. Kuchroo)
2009  Habilitation and venia legendi in Neurology

Academic Appointments
since 2008  Attending physician in neurology (Oberarzt) at the Dept. of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München
2010-2015  Associate Professor of Neurology
since 2015  Full Professor of Neurology (Experimental Neuroimmunology) at the Dept. of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München

Collaborative Research
Member of SyNergy (Cluster), Transregio SFB TR128, SFB 1054

Awards & honors
1991-1999 Stipend from the Bavarian state for excellent students (Hochbegabten-Stipendium des Bayerischen Staates)
since 2000 Member of the German Society of Neurology
since 2003 Member of the German Society of Clinical Electrophysiology and Functional Imaging
2005-2007 Stipend from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (postdoctoral fellowship)
2007 Helmut-Bauer-Award for Research in Multiple Sclerosis, University of Göttingen
2008-2010 Heisenberg Awardee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
2008 Sobek-Young Investigator-Award
2010 Heisenberg-Professorship
2010 Heinrich Pette Award of the German Society of Neurology
2011 Hans-Jörg Weitbrecht Wissenschaftspreis für klinische Neurowissenschaften
2015-2020 ERC consolidator grant


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