Wimmers group – Systems Immunology Lab
Key words: the immune system - infections - vaccines - cancer - systems biology - computational biology - the epigenome - single cells

In our lab, we answer questions in fundamental and translational immunology using systems biology tools. Our goal is to understand how the immune system fights cancer and infections and what happens when it is forced to battle both at the same time. The Systems Immunology Lab provides a nurturing environment for students to explore and grow their interests and abilities. We aim to help students become confident, creative, and independent researchers and thinkers. Our lab brings together members with diverse expertise, including immunology, cancer, epigenomics, and computational biology.

Learn more on our LabWebsite

Research topics that we care about

Cancer patients are at high risk of infection and often respond poorly to vaccination. In our lab, we work to understand how cancer manipulates the immune system to cause dysregulation and how that affects responses to vaccines.

Evidence suggest that certain vaccines provide protection not only against the pathogen they were designed for but also a variety of unrelated pathogens. This unspecific protection (Trained Immunity) is mediated by epigenomic reprogramming in immune cells. We work to understand how Trained Immunity can provide protection against infection in patients with cancer.

Heterogeneity and plasticity are central features of the immune system, but it is unclear how they affect functionality. To target immune cells more efficiently during vaccination, detailed knowledge on their functionality at the single-cell level is paramount. In our lab, we use single-cell genomic and proteomic tools to determine how heterogeneity contributes to immunity.


Dr. Florian Wimmers

Emmy-Noether Research Group Leader

Adresse: Department for Molecular Medicine
Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry
University of Tübingen

E-Mail-Adresse: florian.wimmers@uni-tuebingen.de

About Florian

Florian is a DFG Emmy-Noether research group leader and systems biology specialist with 10+ years of experience in immunological research, multi-omics analysis, and computational biology. He is enthusiastic about innate immunity, epigenomics, and Sci-Fi movies. After holding research positions in the Netherlands (Radboud University), Switzerland (Institute for Research in Biomedicine), and the US (Stanford University), Florian is now leading the research group on Systems Immunology in Tübingen.

Key publications

Wimmers F, Pulendran B. Emerging technologies for systems vaccinology – multi-omics integration and single-cell (epi)genomic profiling. Curr Opin Immunol 2020; 65: 57-64. Link

Wimmers F, Burrell AR*, Feng Y*, Zheng H*, Arunachalam PS, Hu M, Spranger S, Nyhoff LE, Joshi D, Trisal M, Awasthi M, Bellusci L, Ashraf U, Kowli S, Konvinse KC, Yang E, Blanco M, Pellegrini K, Tharp G, Hagan T, Chinthrajah RS, Nguyen TT, Grifoni A, Sette A, Nadeau KC, Haslam DB, Bosinger SE, Wrammert J, Maecker HT, Utz PJ, Wang TT, Khurana S, Khatri P, Staat MA, Pulendran B. Multi-omics analysis of mucosal and systemic immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after birth. Cell 2023; 186(21):4632-51.e23 Link

Wimmers F, Donato M*, Kuo A*, Ashuach T*, Gupta S, Li C, Dvorak M, Foecke MH, Chang SE, Hagan T, De Jong SE, Maecker HT, van der Most R, Cheung P, Cortese M, Bosinger SE, Davis M, Rouphael N, Subramaniam S, Yosef N, Utz PJ, Khatri P, Pulendran B. The single-cell epigenomic and transcriptional landscape of immunity to influenza vaccination. Cell 2021; 184(15): 3915-35.e21. Link

Arunachalam PS*, Wimmers F* (equally contributing), Mok CKP*, Perera RAPM*, Scott M, Hagan T, Sigal N, Feng Y, Bristow L, Tak-Yin Tsang O, Wagh D, Coller J, Pellegrini KL, Kazmin D, Alaaeddine G, Leung WS, Chan JMC, Chik TSH, Choi CYC, Huerta C, Paine McCullough M, Lv H, Anderson E, Edupuganti S, Upadhyay AA, Bosinger SE, Maecker HT, Khatri P, Rouphael N, Peiris M, Pulendran B. Systems biological assessment of immunity to mild versus severe COVID-19 infection in humans. Science 2020; 369(6508): 1210-20. Link

Wimmers F, Subedi N, van Buuringen N, Heister D, Vivié J, Beeren-Reinieren I, Woestenenk R, Dolstra H, Piruska A, Jacobs JFM, van Oudenaarden A, Figdor CG*, Huck WTS*, de Vries IJM*, Tel J. Single-cell analysis reveals that stochasticity and paracrine signaling control interferon-alpha production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Nature Com 2018; 9(1): 3317. Link

Wimmers F, Aarntzen EH, Duiveman-deBoer T, Figdor CG, Jacobs JF*, Tel J*, de Vries IJM. Long-lasting multifunctional CD8(+) T cell responses in end-stage melanoma patients can be induced by dendritic cell vaccination. Oncoimmunology 2015; 5(1): e1067745. Link

List of all publications