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About the Institute

Become informed about the history, structure and team of the Institute of Medical Immunology, which is subdivided into the department of Medical Immunology and the independent department of Chronobiology.


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The Institute of Medical Immunology has its origins in the division of Immunology under the direction of Prof. Rüdiger von Baehr, which was founded in 1983 as a new division of the department of Microbiology. Even then, the institute focused on translational research. For example, techniques were developed to produce one of the world´s first human monoclonal antibodies (1985) and the world´s first test systems to screen for HIV infection (1986). Thanks to a cooperation with Boehringer Mannheim, it was soon possible to routinely examine blood products and patients, not only in the former GDR, but also in the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other countries, which in turn helped to break the chains of infection.

In 1993, Prof. Hans-Dieter Volk took over the management of the institute. However, the concept has remained unchanged. Research at the institute follows the principles of translational research.

The primary focus is on basic and applied research.
Through cooperation between interdisciplinary groups, there is a close network of primary research scientists with clinicians (dermatology, nephrology), which makes it possible to more rapidly transfer scientific research results to the clinic.
In addition, structures have been developed that are aimed to directly serve patients, clinicians or pharmaceutical companies. For example, the foundation of a recognized special outpatient clinic for Immunodeficiencies and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in adulthood (> 1,000 patients / year). A broad-based, modern immunological diagnostic laboratory (now Department of Immunology of the Labor Berlin – Charité Vivantes GmbH) was set up as well as an internationally visible study laboratory (Core Unit Biomarker).

Furthermore, the institute in its current constellation has an independent department (headed by Prof. Kramer), which is dedicated to chronobiological research.