Vitamin D-dependent host defense in humans
Germany (bvmd) - Universitaet zu Koeln, Cologne
Klinik und Poliklinik for Dermatologie und Venerologie
Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Thomas Krieg
Dr. med. Mario Fabri (
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The skin, through exposure to UV radiation, is the most important source of vitamin D in the human body. Current research has shown that vitamin D is not only important for bone metabolism, but regulates immune responses in infections and autoimmune diseases. Our working group deals with the function of vitamin D in human immune response.
What is the aim of the project?
The Aim of our project is to understand the function of vitamin D in the interaction of different cells of the immune system. As we place special emphasis on uncovering the immune responses of the skin, our research forms a bridge between immunology and dermatology. In the future, our research might contribute to the development of targeted therapies against deseases where these immune processes play an essential role. For example, the growing resistance of tuberculosis towards antibiotics means that alternative treatment options such as vitamin D gain importance.
What techniques and methods are used?
Standard laboratory methods including PCR, Western Blot, ELISA, FACS and cell culture are used.
What is the role of the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
There are weekly seminars and lectures in which the exchange student can partake.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
No legal limitations. The student should be able to read and understand English manuscripts, namely specific medical literature and laboratory manuals in English.

Fabri et al: Vitamin D is required for IFN-gamma-mediated antimicrobial activity of human macrophages. Sci Transl Med. 2011 Oct 12;3(104) Can be found on
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
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