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The main research interests of our laboratory are focused on understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton in health and disease by employing state-of-the-art technology at the interface of biophysics and immunology.

Fritzsche group biophysical immunology
(A) 3D-Reconstruction of the cortical actin cytoskeleton in resting Jurkat T-cells expressing LifeAct-citrine. (B) Temporal projection (TP) of activated Jurkat T-cell expressing LifeAct-citrine.

The actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in actively reorganising molecules in the plasma membrane during cellular signalling. This is especially true for the cortical actin cytoskeleton of immune cells, which is thought in some way to be involved in coordinating their activation at all stages. Understanding the role of the actin cytoskeleton has, however, been one of the most contentious questions in immunology. This is largely because previous analyses were limited by the use of conventional-resolution microscopy, which inevitably misses essential details due to the limited spatiotemporal resolution. This situation is now changing.

The main objectives of our laboratory are focused on the application and development of novel ultra-sensitive, live-cell fluorescence microscopy techniques with a spatial resolution down to the nanoscale (super-resolution microscopy), superior to conventional optical microscopes, to investigate these processes.

In the future, we will address how actin cytoskeleton dynamics rule adaptive immune responses in

chronic diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. One major focus will be the development of additional therapies for patients' own tumour specific immune responses.

Further information and ongoing research projects are available on our group webpage.