Computational Immunomics Research

Epitope Discovery for Immunotherapy

Epitopes are short, characteristic peptides suitable for eliciting a response of the human immune system. Knowledge of disease specific epitopes is thus essential for the development of new approaches in immunotherapy. In close collaboration with the institute of immunology and local industries in Tübingen, we mine large multi-omics data sets of diseased and healthy patient cohorts in order to identify new biomarkers.

Clinical Peptide Vaccination

Personalized multi-peptide vaccines are currently under intensive discussion as a treatment option in precision medicine. We develop and apply computational methods to prioritize candidates for clinical vaccination tailored to individual patients with an emphasis on cancer neoantigens. Moreover, we support clinical decision making providing interactive web-based solutions to medical principal investigators.

 

HLA Typing

The HLA gene complex encodes antigen presenting cell surface proteins, and is one of the most diverse regions of the human genome. The HLA genotype of an individual distinctly impacts their personal epitope repertoire, and thus plays a central role in transplantation medicine and immunotherapy. However, HLA alleles are hard to identify from NGS data with general purpose genotyping tools alone. Our group develops the HLA typing software OptiType, which can accurately genotype these highly polymorphic genes.

 

Antibody Humanization and Deimmunization

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are an increasingly important class of biotherapeutics. Numerous antibodies have been approved as treatments for cancer and other diseases. However, their design remains to be a major challenge. Typically, parts of the antibody are xenografted from murine counterparts. This process yields numerous non-functional design candidates and additionally introduces targets for unwanted immune responses. We develop computational methods to aid the antibody design process and produce higher quality candidates while reducing their immunogenicity.

 

Team

András Szolek

András Szolek

PhD Student

+49 7071 29 70464
Leon Kuchenbecker

Leon Kuchenbecker

Postdoc

+49 7071 29 70437
Leon Bichmann

Leon Bichmann

PhD Student

+49 7071 29 70437

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