Emmy Noether Group Evolutionary Immunogenomics

Emmy Noether Group Evolutionary Immunogenomics

The coevolution between hosts and parasites is increasingly being recognized as one of the major drivers for the evolution of genetic diversity. We are interested in the evolutionary forces and constraints that shape the functional diversity of the vertebrate immune system, from the sequence level to genomic organisation and protein structure. Our research is strongly based on computational analysis of genomic and epidemiological data from human populations, but includes also molecular and experimental approaches using the three-spined stickleback and other model species. Current projects range from the genomic organisation of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in both sticklebacks and humans to immunogenetic selection in human populations and an evolutionary perspective on the association between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) diversity and autoimmunity as well as cancer.

Note: In 2021, group leader Tobias Lenz has been appointed as Heisenberg-Professor by the University of Hamburg, where he is currently building up the Research Unit for Evolutionary Immunogenomics. The Emmy Noether group at the MPI in Ploen is therefore currently phasing out, and will be closed once all members have moved to Hamburg.

The new website of the group in Hamburg can be found here:



Our research group has been supported by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2016 to 2021.

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