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Kochl Group

Our research focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin cell adhesion and migration. A failure of cells to adhere, detach and ultimately migrate properly can have severe consequences for human health and either directly cause or contribute to several types of severe illnesses. For example, if immune cells have mutations in genes that control their homing to secondary lymph nodes or their adhesion to antigen-presenting cells, this often leads to immunodeficiencies characterized by lifelong recurrent infections, as illustrated by a group of rare diseases collectively named Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiencies. Furthermore, many autoimmune diseases are characterized by alterations in adhesion or chemokine receptor expression levels or mutations in downstream or upstream signalling molecules. These changes can lead to hyper activation of lymphocytes or enhanced recruitment to and retention in tissues causing chronic inflammation.