III. Medizinische Klinik (Hämatologie und Onkologie)

Arbeitsgruppe „Immune Regulation in cancer and stem cell transplantation“

Prinicipal Investigator:

PD Dr. Hendrik Poeck and Dr. Tobias Haas

III. Medizinische Klinik (Direktor: Prof. Dr. Florian Bassermann)
Technische Universität München
Klinikum rechts der Isar
Phone:     +49 89 4140 4111
Fax:         +49 89 4140 4825

E-Mail:    hendrik.poeck(at)tum.de and tobias.haas(at)tum.de

Lab members


Senior Research Scientist / Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Simon Heidegger (MD), Senior Research Scientist, (TUM, Department of Hematology and Oncology, since 2013)
    Scholar Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung Forschungskolleg München (since 2015)
    Best of Congress at DGHO 2015 (Talk: “Synergistische Wirkung von RIGI Agonisten und Checkpoint Blockade in der Tumor Immuntherapie”)
    Best of Congress at 32. Deutscher Krebskongress 2016 (Talk: “Activation of the cytosolic RNA receptor RIG-I in tumor and immune cells triggers efficient anti-tumor immunity and synergizes with checkpoint blockade”)
    Winner of the 3rd Immunotherapy of Cancer conference 2016 (ITOC3) Poster Award
    Württembergischer Cancer Award (Nachwuchspreis) 2016
    Habilitation (PD Dr. med) 04/2017 simon.heidegger(a)tum.de
  • Silvia Spoerl (MD), Postdoctoral Fellow (TUM, Department of Hematology and Oncology, since 2013) silvia.spoerl(a)tum.de
  • Erik Thiele-Orberg, (MD, PhD), Postdoctoral Fellow (TUM, Department of Hematology and Oncology)
    Scholar Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung Forschungskolleg München (Start 11/ 2017)

Graduate (PhD) students

  • Alexander Wintges, PhD. Student (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS) and Department of Hematology and Oncology, since 2013, experiments running), alexander.wintges(a)tum.de
  • Sarah Bek, PhD. Student (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS) and Department of Hematology and Oncology, since 2013, experiments finished), sarah.bek(a)gmx.de

Medical Students

  • Julius Fischer, cand. med. (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS), “Promotionsprogramm translational medicine”, since 2012, experiments finished), julius.fischer(a)tum.de
  • Diana Kreppel, cand. med. (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS), “Promotionsprogramm translational medicine”, since 2010, experiments finished)-Scholar of the Cornell-Program between TUM – Weil Cornell, New York, USA, diana.kreppel(a)tum.de
  • Vera Otten, cand. med. (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS), “Promotionsprogramm translational medicine”, since 2013, experiments finished), vera.otten@tum.de
  • Gabriel Eisenkolb, cand. med. (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS), “Promotionsprogramm translational medicine”, since 2014, experiments running), gabriel.eisenkolb(a)tum.de
  • Florian Stritzke, cand. med. (TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS), “Promotionsprogramm translational medicine”, since 2016, experiments running), f.stritzke(a)tum.de

Research Assistant

Former supervised postdocs:   

  • Michael Bscheider (MD), Postdoctoral Fellow (Technical University of Munich, Department of Hematology and Oncology; from 01/2012-06/2013); now Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, Eugene Butchers laboratory)
  • Chia-Ching Lin, PhD.; Postdoctoral Fellow (TUM, Department of Hematology and Oncology, 10/2013-05/2015; now Product Support Manager at Thermo Fisher)
  • Julius Fischer, (MD), Postdoctoral Fellow (TUM, Department of Hematology and Oncology, 01/2017-07/2017, now resident at the Department of Radiooncology, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, TUM

Former supervised students (cand. med.):

  • Michael Bscheider (MD) (summa cum laude)
  • Cornelius Maihöfer (MD) (summa cum laude; now Attending physician at the Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Klinikum der Universität München, LMU)

Current research interest

Work in our lab is focused on the interplay between innate and adaptive immunity in malignant diseases. Concepts of innate immune instruction of adaptive T-cell responses, initially identified as cornerstones in pathogen defence, are increasingly beeing applied to the field of cancer biology. Our laboratory currently focuses on two major topics: 1.) Immunotherapy of cancer and 2.) hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT):

1. Cancer Immunotherapy: Expression of innate immune genes involved in antimicrobial defense has been associated with clinical benefit to immune checkpoint blockade, although the molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Using transplantable poorly immunogenic and immunogenic tumor cell lines that stably lack essential components of innate pathways and genetic mouse models, we are currently evaluating the impact of innate immune sensors in tumor and host cells on natural and therapy-induced (i.e. checkpoint blockade, irradiation, chemotherapy) anti-tumor immunity and its modulation of the tumor microenvironment. We anticipate that these results will yield significant insights into improving outcomes of cancer patients as well as reveal processes that are fundamental to immune – cancer cell communication.

2. Tissue regeneration after allo-HSCT: Impairment of intestinal barrier function by total body irradiation (TBI) or chemotherapy (CTx) is an essential step in enhancing the development of inflammatory disease such as graft versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Our current limited ability to protect epithelium and promote regeneration in GVHD is at least in part due a limited understanding of intestinal stem cell (ISC) function and epithelial regeneration in the allo-HSCT setting. Our lab is characterizing the role of intestinal microbiota (bacterial / fungal) on the ISC compartment and immune system after damage induced by allo-HSCT and at understanding the innate immune pathways that can regulate barrier function after inflammatory tissue damage. In addition, the relevance of these innate pathways as potential “biomarkers” and predictors for developing GVHD will be investigated in human allo-HSCT recipients. Our studies may have the potential to develop novel targeted therapies (i) to promote intestinal barrier integrity, (ii) to prevent the development of GVHD, and (iii) for the regenerative response of other tissues.



Written applications including CV and the names of 2 professional referees are welcome and should be forwarded by email to Dr. Hendrik Poeck or Dr. Tobias Haas. We are part of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation Network



European Hematology Association (EHA)

DKMS Foundation for Giving Life (DKMS)

German research foundation (DFG)

Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid)

Else-Kröner Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS)

Promotionsprogramm „Translationale Medizin“ of the TU München

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Selected Publications

  1. Fischer JC, Otten V, Kober M, Drees C, Rosenbaum M, Schmickl M, Heidegger S, Beyaert R, van Loo G, Li XC, Peschel C, Schmidt-Supprian M, Haas T, Spoerl S, Poeck H.
    A20 Restrains Thymic Regulatory T Cell Development.
    J Immunol. 2017 Oct 1;199(7):2356-2365. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1602102. Epub 2017 Aug 25.
  2. Fischer JC, Otten V, Steiger K, Schmickl M, Slotta-Huspenina J, Beyaert R, van Loo G, Peschel C, Poeck H, Haas T, Spoerl S.
    A20 deletion in T cells modulates acute graft-versus-host disease in mice.
    Eur J Immunol. 2017 Aug 22. doi: 10.1002/eji.201646911.
  3. Fischer JC, Bscheider M, Eisenkolb G, Lin CC, Wintges A, Otten V, Lindemans CA, Heidegger S, Rudelius M, Monette S, Porosnicu Rodriguez KA, Calafiore M, Liebermann S, Liu C, Lienenklaus S, Weiss S, Kalinke U, Ruland J, Peschel C, Shono Y, Docampo M, Velardi E, Jenq RR, Hanash AM, Dudakov JA, Haas T, van den Brink MRM, Poeck H.
    RIG-I/MAVS and STING signaling promote gut integrity during irradiation- and immune-mediated tissue injury.
    Sci Transl Med. 2017 Apr 19;9(386). pii: eaag2513. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2513.
  4. Fischer JC, Wintges A, Haas T, Poeck H.
    Assessment of mucosal integrity by quantifying neutrophil granulocyte influx in murine models of acute intestinal injury.
    Cell Immunol. 2017 Jun;316:70-76. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 11.
  5. Heidegger S, Haas T, Poeck H.
    Cutting Edge in IFN Regulation: Inflammatory Caspases Cleave cGAS
    Immunity. 2017 Mar 21;46(3):333-335. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.03.004.
  6. Haas T, Heidegger S, Wintges A, Bscheider M, Bek S, Fischer JC, Eisenkolb G, Schmickl M, Spoerl S, Peschel C, Poeck H, Ruland J.
    Card9 controls Dectin-1-induced T-cell cytotoxicity and tumor growth in mice.
    Eur J Immunol. 2017 May;47(5):872-879. doi: 10.1002/eji.201646775. Epub 2017 Apr 10.
  7. Shono Y, Docampo MD, Peled JU, Perobelli SM, Velardi E, Tsai JJ, Slingerland AE, Smith OM, Young LF, Gupta J, Lieberman SR, Jay HV, Ahr KF, Porosnicu Rodriguez KA, Xu K, Calarfiore M, Poeck H, Caballero S, Devlin SM, Rapaport F, Dudakov JA, Hanash AM, Gyurkocza B, Murphy GF, Gomes C, Liu C, Moss EL, Falconer SB, Bhatt AS, Taur Y, Pamer EG, van den Brink MR, Jenq RR.
    Increased GVHD-related mortality with broad-spectrum antibiotic use after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in human patients and mice.
    Sci Transl Med. 2016 May 18;8(339):339ra71. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2311.
  8. Jenq RR, Taur Y, Devlin SM, Ponce DM, Goldberg JD, Ahr KF, Littmann ER, Ling L, Gobourne AC, Miller LC, Docampo MD, Peled JU, Arpaia N, Cross JR, Peets TK, Lumish MA, Shono Y, Dudakov JA, Poeck H, Hanash AM, Barker JN, Perales MA, Giralt SA, Pamer EG, van den Brink MR.
    Intestinal Blautia Is Associated with Reduced Death from Graft-versus-Host Disease.
    Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Aug;21(8):1373-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.04.016. Epub 2015 May 11.
  9. Vahl JC, Drees C, Heger K, Heink S, Fischer JC, Nedjic J, Ohkura N, Morikawa H, Poeck H, Schallenberg S, Rieß D, Hein MY, Buch T, Polic B, Schönle A, Zeiser R, Schmitt-Gräff A, Kretschmer K, Klein L, Korn T, Sakaguchi S, Schmidt-Supprian M.
    Continuous T cell receptor signals maintain a functional regulatory T cell pool.
    Immunity. 2014 Nov 20;41(5):722-36. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.10.012. Epub 2014 Nov
  10. Heidegger S, van den Brink MR, Haas T, Poeck H.
    The role of pattern-recognition receptors in graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukemia after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
    Front Immunol. 2014 Jul 18;5:337. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00337. eCollection 2014. Review.
  11. Spoerl S, Mathew NR, Bscheider M, Schmitt-Graeff A, Chen S, Mueller T, Verbeek M, Fischer J, Otten V, Schmickl M, Maas-Bauer K, Finke J, Peschel C, Duyster J, Poeck H, Zeiser R, von Bubnoff N.
    Activity of therapeutic JAK 1/2 blockade in graft-versus-host disease.
    Blood. 2014 Jun 12;123(24):3832-42. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-12-543736. Epub 2014 Apr
  12. Jankovic D, Ganesan, Bscheider M, Stickel N, Weber F, Guarda G, Follo M, Pfeifer D, Tardivel A, Ludigs K, Bouazzaoui A, Kerl K, Fischer J, Schmitt-Gräff A, Manoharan A, Müller L, Finke J, Martin S, Gorka O, Haas T, Peschel C, Ruland J, Idzko M, Duyster J, Holler E, French LE, Poeck H*, Contassot E*, Zeiser R*
    The Nlrp3-inflammasome regulates acute graft-versus-host disease
    J Exp Med. 2013 Sep 23;210(10):1899-910
    *H.P., E.C. and R.Z. contributed equally
  13. Haas T, Poeck H
    Apoptosis Induction by Cytosolic RNA Helicases.
    J Med Microb Diagn
    2:117. (2012) doi:10.4172/2161-0703.100011
  14. Dann A*, Poeck H*, Maihofer C, Endres S, Kalinke U, Knobeloch KP, Akira S, Waisman A, Hartmann G  and  Prinz M
    Cytosolic RIG-I-like helicases act as negative regulators of sterile inflammation in the CNS
    Nature Neuroscience 2011
    , Dec 4;15(1):98-106 (Impact factor 14.9)
    * These authors contributed equally
  15. Poeck H, Ruland J
    From Virus to Inflammation: Mechanisms of RIG-I-induced IL-1beta production
    Eur J Cell Biol.
    2012 Jan;91(1):59-64. Epub 2011 Apr 9 (Impact factor 3.3)
  16. Poeck H, Ruland J
    SYK kinase signaling and the NLRP3 inflammasome in antifungal immunity
    J Mol Med.
    2010 Aug;88(8):745-52 (Impact factor 4.4)
  17. Poeck H*, Bscheider M*, Gross O*, Roth S, Finger K, Hannesschläger N, Schlee M, Rebsamen M, Rothenfusser S, Barchet W, Akira S, Inoue S, Endres S, Peschel C, Hartmann G*, Hornung V* and Ruland J*
    Recognition of RNA virus by RIG-I results in activation of CARD9 and inflammasome signaling for interleukin 1beta production
    Nature Immunology
    2010 Jan;11(1):63-9 (Impact factor 25.1)
    *These authors contributed equally
  18. Gross O*, Poeck H*, Bscheider M, Dostert C, Hannesschläger N, Endres S, Hartmann G, Tardivel A, Schweighoffer E, Tybulewicz V, Mocsai A, Tschopp J, Ruland J
    Syk kinase signaling couples to the Nlrp3 inflammasome for anti-fungal host defence
    2009 May 21;459(7245):433-6 (Impact Factor 28.8)
    *These authors contributed equally
  19. Besch R*, Poeck H* , Hohenauer T, Senft D, Häcker G, Berking C, Hornung V, Endres S, Ruzicka T, Rothenfusser S, Hartmann G
    Proapoptotic signalling by RIG-I and MDA-5 results in type I interferon independent apoptosis in melanoma
    J Clin Invest
    . 2009, Aug; 119(8):2399-411 (Impact Factor 16.6)
    *These authors contributed equally
  20. Poeck H*, Besch R*, Maihoefer C, Renn M, Tormo D, Morskaya S, Kirschnek S, Gaffal E, Landsberg J, Hellmuth J, Schmidt A, Anz D, Bscheider M, Schwerd T, Berking C, Bourquin C, Kalinke U, Kremmer E, Kato H, Akira S, Meyers R, Häcker G, Neuenhahn M, Busch D,  Ruland J, Rothenfusser S, Prinz M, Hornung V, Endres S, Tüting T & Hartmann G
    5’-triphosphate siRNA: turning gene-silencing and RIG-I activation against melanoma
    Nat Med.
    2008 Nov;14 (11):1256-63 (Impact Factor 27.6)
    *These authors contributed equally
  21. Haas T, Schmitz F, Heit A, Wagner H.
    Sequence independent interferon-alpha induction by multimerized phosphodiester DNA depends on spatial regulation of Toll-like receptor-9 activation in plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Immunology. 2009 Feb;126(2):290-8
  22. Haas T, Metzger J, Schmitz F, Heit A, Müller T, Latz E, Wagner H.
    The DNA sugar backbone 2' deoxyribose determines toll-like receptor 9 activation.
    . 2008 Mar;28(3):315-23 (Impact Factor 28.8).

PD Dr. H. Poeck

Dr. T. Haas

2010 · III. Medizinische Klinik (Hämatologie / Onkologie) am Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München